October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
According to a 2013 report by the Federal Reserve, 87 percent of the U.S. population has a mobile phone, and 52 percent has smartphones. Of those mobile phone users, 28 percent have performed banking transactions in the past 12 months.
Independent Bank’s Deposit Operations Manager Sandy Dine said, “Banks work hard to protect customer information and customers play an important role. We urge our mobile banking users to keep safety measures in place.”
In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Independent Bank recommends that consumers protect the data on their mobile device by following these best practices:
- Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
- Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
- Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
- Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”
- Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
- Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.
- Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
- Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.
- Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.