5 September 2016

Your Journey To Mobile Banking Mastery

My Money Matters |

Mobile banking is almost ubiquitous in this age of technology. It’s the height of convenience to simply whip out your smartphone, log onto your bank’s website or mobile app and manage everything from account administration to beneficiary payments and so much more.

But with this convenience comes an inherent level of danger. Fraudsters are evolving in line with our mobile technology and there is a constant threat from highly intelligent and deceptive entities that will stop at nothing to get your personal details and scam you out of your hard-earned funds. It’s an unpleasant reality that simply cannot be denied.

Although it’s wise to maintain constant vigilance in everything you do online, the fear of fraudsters shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the simplicity and practicality of mobile banking. We set out to profile the journey from net novice to mobile banking mogul, so that you can do the same and enjoy peace of mind whilst banking from your smartphone.

Getting started

 You might be new to the wonderful world of smartphones, or perhaps you’ve just been weary of mobile banking in the past, but now that you’re ready to take the plunge you had better make sure you go about it in the right way.

Essentially you should approach mobile banking in much the same way as physically transacting at an ATM, in the sense that your personal information is of paramount importance and you should never give this out to anyone, ever. Your PIN and password should remain secret at all times and it’s highly advisable that you don’t even give this information to your close family members. Don’t even write it down. We will never ask you for this information and as soon as you give it out to anyone, your online security is considered compromised.

With your personal details securely filed away in your memory bank it’s time to forge a strong relationship with your new best friend: your bank. Your first step is to ensure that your cellphone number on our database is correct. Absa sends SureChecks directly to your phone before online transactions can be completed, so it’s crucial that your cellphone number on our database is correct and up-to-date at all times. Next you will want to pay a visit to our Security Centre, where you will find top security tips, advice on avoiding the latest scams and much more. Check it frequently to stay updated and keep yourself safe online. Oh, and as a client, you’re entitled to download Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 10 for free, on your pc and mobile device. This powerful anti-virus suite will give you an extra layer of protection for all your online banking and you can access it directly, right here.

One of the biggest perks of mobile banking is convenience and the only thing simpler than transacting through our website from your smartphone is to do it through Absa’s mobile banking app. So your next port of call should be to download the app and follow the instructions on screen to get set up and started. It really couldn’t be simpler.

You should be just about good to go, but there’s one more important step to ensuring your device is primed for mobile banking mastery: making sure your mobile software is up to date. Keeping the operating system (OS) software on your mobile device updated is one of the best methods of ensuring your mobile security is running at an optimal level, as the updates are generally built to resist the latest forms of malware and spyware, plus it’s usually free, quick and extremely simple to do.

Master your Mobile banking

Now that you’re all properly prepped for your mobile banking journey, it’s important that you understand some of the dangers to avoid and things to keep in mind to ensure your online safety is never compromised along the way.

Fraudsters will often try and lure you in with dodgy deals or by imitating sources that you trust, so keeping your wits about you when banking online is essential.  One of the most subtle and effective cons is initiating a fake SIM swap request. If your MNO (Mobile Network Operator) sends you a message regarding a SIM swap that you didn’t request, it’s a massive red flag and may be the work of a fraudster. Before responding you should immediately give our Fraud Department a call on 0860 557 557 so that they can advise you on the best course of action.

You won’t always be targeted directly by criminals and it’s often the victim who unwittingly initiates the first contact or allows the fraudster access to their device. This is often as a result of jailbreaking one’s device or downloading apps from untrusted sources. Jailbreaking involves changing certain software restrictions (particularly on iOS) to give your mobile device the ability to download hacked or cracked apps, for which you would usually have to pay, for free. This is a very risky procedure and can open your phone to all kinds of malicious software. Additionally, downloading apps that aren’t on your OS’s official app store is illegal. Play it safe when downloading apps and stick to the official app store.

It might go without saying, as most of us seem to have our smartphones glued to our palm/ear all day long, but it’s a very bad idea to leave your mobile device unattended for long periods. Your device is a wealth of personal information and you should never let anyone have access to it without your permission and supervision: you never know who might try and hack it, steal your personal information or access your bank account. What’s worse, it could get stolen and theft is often an inevitable occurrence regardless of how closely you watch your precious device. In the unthinkable event that your device is stolen you should report it to our Fraud Department (that number again: 0860 557 557) immediately. They will be able to help you de-link the device from your account and ensure the thieves don’t have access to your funds.

One last thing to keep in mind on your mobile banking journey is to never bank over public WiFi networks. WiFi hotspots might be like oases in a desert of data charges, but using public, unsecured WiFi is inherently very risky. You open your mobile device up to unsolicited monitoring, information theft and much more. It goes without saying that this is a very dangerous environment in which to do your banking.

Go forth and bank!

 So there you have it, the comprehensive journey to mobile banking like a boss. Although your online safety is never 100% guaranteed, if you implement the advice above and safeguard yourself against fraudsters, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy quick convenient banking on the go.

Stay safe and prosper!

Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.

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