With the Coronavirus pandemic keeping many people close to home, the use of mobile banking apps has increased. Unfortunately, the FBI is predicting that this increased interest in mobile banking apps will also lead to increased cybercriminal activity on these platforms. According to a recent report by the financial tech industry, 75% of Americans used mobile banking in 2019, and that number is expected to increase 50% in 2020. With the increased usage comes the increasing threat of cyber attacks.
Two Main Ways Cybercriminals Exploit Mobile Banking Platforms
- Through fake banking apps
Scammers create fraudulent apps designed to look like the legitimate apps of financial institutions. The user downloads the app and enters their login credentials.
- App-based banking trojans.
An app-based banking trojan is a malicious program that disguises itself as another app, such as a game. When the user launches a legitimate banking app, the trojan creates a fake version of the bank’s login page and overlays it on top of the legitimate app. The trojan steals the login information, then passes the user on to the real banking app login so the user doesn’t even know their information has been compromised.
Rest assured mobile banking is a safe, secure option to access your accounts at anytime, anywhere. But there are just a few steps you can take to avoid falling victim to these scams.
The FBI recommends only obtaining apps from trusted sources such as official app stores or directly from financial institution websites
Use Strong Passwords and Good Password Security
Avoid reusing the same password for multiple accounts, and create strong, unique passwords. Avoid common words or phrases, such as “password” or “123456.” For added security, use a password manager; don’t write down passwords or save them in a notebook.
Don’t Click Links in Emails or Text Messages
Many criminals use legitimate-looking emails to trick consumers into providing personal information. Make sure messages are from the financial institution before taking action.
If you see an app that appears suspicious, contact your financial institution right away. The security of your financial information is our top priority.
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