Smartphone Banking: How safe is your money?

Staff

What percentage of major U.S. banking institutions offer smartphone banking apps as of 2011?

By the year 2011, 75 percent of the United States' major banking institutions offered mobile banking apps for smartphone users.

How much did the global number of people using mobile banking services increase in 2011 alone?

According to Javelin Research, the number of people using mobile banking services grew from 19 percent to 30 percent in 2011 -- and that number is expected to continue increasing for the next several years.

What is the No. 1 deterrent that keeps smartphone users from banking via their mobile devices?

Experts estimate that more smartphone users would bank via their mobile devices if they weren't so concerned about their financial data being compromised.

What's the No. 1 way you can keep your mobile financial information safe?

Always notify your financial institution if your smartphone has been lost or stolen so that texts or emails containing financial information won't be sent to your phone -- for a stranger to read.

Typically, where's the best place to get a reliable banking app?

Safeguard your financial information: Do not download mobile banking apps from a third party. Instead, download them from the official Web site of your financial institution.

What is the strongest type of password for mobile banking?

The greater the variety of characters and length, the stronger the password. It's best to use eight or more characters from all over the keyboard (rather than one central location), including a variety of numbers, letters, symbols and punctuation.

What is a screen lock?

A screen lock can be activated in the settings menu of most smartphones. It requires a code or PIN to unlock the screen and access your smartphone's features -- including online banking apps and information.

Is it OK to connect with your bank via free WiFi using your smartphone?

Your financial information would be more secure if you connected via your password-protected home WiFi network instead of free, public WiFi. Data sent through an unsecured WiFi connection is relatively easy for hackers to grab out of thin air.

SMS (text messages) are sent on a secure wavelength, right?

Text messages are one of the most vulnerable forms of mobile communication, and are one of the riskiest methods for transmitting financial information.

Your smartphone has been lost or stolen. Can you keep your mobile banking data out of the wrong hands?

Certain apps, like Mobile Defense, WaveSecure or Find My iPhone, can be activated by remote and will restore your missing smartphone to its factory settings -- erasing all of your financial data.

According to estimates in 2011, how many customers will be using online banking by the year 2015?

In 2011, experts estimated that by 2015, more than 1.1 billion customers would be using their smartphones for banking.

Why is it less safe to transmit important information by text message than by cellular phone call?

Cell phones use radio channels to transmit calls and text messages. Calls happen on private channels that would be more difficult for a hacker to intercept, but text messages are sent and received via a common control channel that could be easier for a hacker to find and tap into.

As of January 2011, what was the most prevalent operating system for smartphones in the U.S.?

About one-third of all U.S. smartphones ran on Android operating systems, closely followed by the Blackberry operating system, then iOS and Windows Phone 7.

PayPal, believed by some to the be the original mobile banking application, has how many account holders?

In 2011, the number of account holders at PayPal reached more than 100 million. With this service, users can link to bank accounts and debit and credit cards online.

What is a smartphone "pull" banking transaction?

A pull banking transaction occurs when a banking customer requests information or initiates a transaction using a smartphone. It's considered a two-way exchange because the bank must respond to the customer's request.

It's convenient, but is it a good idea to store passwords on your smartphone?

Experts contend that storing passwords on your smartphone -- or allowing financial Web sites to "remember" passwords -- sets you up for disaster if your smartphone is lost or stolen.

If you are the victim of mobile banking fraud, will your bank hold you responsible for the loss?

It depends on your bank's policies regarding mobile banking fraud. However, many financial institutions will replace the funds if you report the fraud -- and if they can prove it occurred -- within a certain period of time.

What is the safest smartphone for mobile banking?

Regardless of make, model or security apps, the safest smartphone for mobile banking is one you watch as closely as a wallet full of cash -- because that's exactly what it would become to thieves who accessed your financial information.

True or false: Once you've downloaded a banking app onto your smartphone and you know it's legitimate, there's nothing more to do.

After you download a banking app, you'll need to check regularly for updates. Hackers are continually searching for software loopholes, and you'll need the latest updates to stay one step ahead.

What is a "Trojan horse" app?

A Trojan horse app is one designed to mimic an authentic app, like one offered by your financial institution. However, a Trojan app steals your ID and login info so that hackers can access your account.

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About This Quiz

We use our smartphones for lots of tasks, from texting our BFFs to watching viral videos. But when it comes to mobile banking, are smartphones really safeguarding our financial information? Take our smartphone banking quiz and test your knowledge!

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