Banking apps are a convenient tool for keeping one’s finances in check. Everything is only a click away, and there’s no need for waiting in long lines to make a payment. However, with an uprise in digital security threats, users are often left wondering how secure their banking apps actually are. That is a very healthy concern – better safe than sorry. Banking apps and their security measures are very complex. A lot goes into the process of creating such apps, and it’s in the bank’s best interest to do their best to keep their users safe. Let’s dive into it further.
What Keeps a Banking App Secure
Many different factors influence the security of a banking app. One of the most critical factors is the coding and different layers of security. This includes:
- Two-factor authentication
- Fraud alert software
- Biometric identification
- Password requirements
- Login lockout
- Bot protection
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a two-step login process that usually consists of entering a password and going through another login checkpoint before being able to access the account. The second checkpoint can be in the form of email confirmation, SMS code, or a fingerprint.
Fraud alert software is essential because it minimizes the risks of having one’s account stolen. The service providers usually have a system in place which can detect and isolate suspicious behavior and alert the account owner, as well as the bank. Then, immediate action could be taken to ensure account security.
Biometric identification can be a part of 2FA, or it can be a standalone login process. This is a very secure form of user identification because it uses either a fingerprint scan or a facial scan. Biometric identification is tough to fool.
Password requirements are a crucial aspect of maintaining one’s security. By increasing the password difficulty, users are significantly lessening the chance of being hacked. However, service providers must set the requirements to ensure that the customer will create a strong password. Some of the requirements include:
- Uppercase letters
- Lowercase letters
- Character length – the longer, the better
Login lockout is an option to put the account on lockdown if there are several unsuccessful login attempts. That also decreases the chances of exploitation. If the user was responsible for those unsuccessful login attempts, they can always call the bank, verify their identity and get their accounts back.
OTP stands for a one-time-password. This is probably one of the most useful and secure options because it required a different password every time a user tries to access their account. The most common form of OTP is having the password delivered to users via SMS or email each time they want to log in.
Bot protection is excellent because everyone’s accounts are on a constant cyberattack streak, usually by bots. The upside is that most of these attempts never go through thanks to options such as bot protection. This option is realized wither in CAPTCHA or honeypot form.
Tips for Increasing Your Banking App’s Security
Users have to realize that their security isn’t only reliant on the service providers, or banks in this particular case. It’s always a smart choice to incorporate additional precaution measures because phones get lost and stolen all the time – some criminals steal phones and crack banking apps for a living. Here are some vital security measures all users should consider:
Don’t Use the Public Wi-Fi for Banking
Public wi-fi is great for everything, except security. Open connections are very vulnerable, and it’s a common method that hackers use to exploit other people’s devices. When possible, users should avoid connecting to public networks altogether. If that’s not the possibility, then make sure not to enter any login credentials and make online payments.
Use a VPN
In the previous point, we discussed the risks of making online payments using public wi-fi. However, sometimes it’s inevitable to use public wi-fi to make payments. In that case, users should at least use a VPN service to safeguard their connection. If it’s a one-time thing, account holders can always opt for a VPN free trial here, or if using public wi-fi is an everyday thing, they should consider purchasing a suitable VPN subscription plan.
Download From Reputable Sources
Never download any apps, and especially banking apps, through unreputable, third-party services. Always download the apps directly from the App Store or the bank’s website. Even though third-party apps might seem normal, you never know what’s hiding within the code.
Keep Your Banking Apps Up-To-Date
Banks are always improving and adding additional security measures and layers of protection. The world of cyber threats is ever-evolving, and banks must keep up with the trend. That’s why they issue frequent updates that help in preventing any exploitation. Users should always check for updates and immediately install them.
The mobile banking industry has been booming, and that trend won’t stop anytime soon. Banking apps are fast, convenient, and easy-to-use. However, the rise in popularity makes them an active exploitation target. That’s why it’s important to learn about all the aspects of mobile banking. Prevention is the key, and everyone should be proactive about it.