It’s summertime. And as much as we’d love to be carefree, spending time out in the sun, the coronavirus pandemic remains. The rate of new cases has slowed in some locations, but it’s rising in others, and we’re not out of the woods yet. States are rolling out phased plans for reopening, but there’s still a long road ahead. The social distancing measures we’ve learned to follow will continue on to some extent.
One of the ways our daily routines have changed is that we’ve increasingly adopted online banking.
Many major banks had to temporarily close branches, and would-be customers were staying home anyway to protect their health. As a result, mobile apps and banking websites had to do more of the heavy lifting and support everyday financial transactions for millions.
Americans had long been shifting toward using mobile devices to tackle their banking tasks. However, use of these platforms has surged during the pandemic. For instance, Fidelity National Information Services says new mobile banking registrations rocketed 200% in April, and mobile banking traffic jumped 85%.
Cybercriminals are eager to exploit any explosion in new activity, and the online banking trend is no exception. The FBI has recently warned the public that hackers are expected to strike mobile banking platforms even more in the immediate future.
The FBI specifically points out that two attack methods should be to of mind for banking app users. The first attack type is app-based banking trojans, which are malicious programs hiding in apps that can be unrelated to banking. The other major category is fake banking apps, which are made to look like the real thing. These apps trick users into giving up their personal information and banking credentials.
To combat these threats, here are four online banking tips:
- Be cautious when downloading apps. Any kind of program, even games, could include malicious code. This includes apps downloaded from official platforms. Make sure you know and trust the company offering the app you are downloading.
- Double-check for fakes. Make sure the banking app or site you’re using is officially associated with your bank. Look out for misleading, suspicious URLs and app makers you don’t recognize. If you receive an email from your bank asking you to click on a link, hover over it to determine whether it’s a legitimate URL. If you’re ever unsure, don’t click on the link – instead, independently navigate to your bank’s website in a separate browser tab, or call your bank’s customer support to determine whether they sent the email in question.
- Use good password hygiene. Here’s everything you need to know about creating a strong password, but in short, avoid repeating passwords across different sites, and use combinations of characters, numbers and letters.
- Use multi-factor authentication (MFA). If your bank has multifactor authentication as an option, turn it on. An example of MFA is entering your password on a website, then entering a code sent to your phone on the website.
Lunarline can’t keep hackers out of all consumer banking apps, but we can help companies stay a step ahead of cybercrime. For more info on how we can help your cybersecurity situation, contact us today.