Banking on Your Cellphone Security

November 5, 2013 – In The News
The Better Show, The CW Network

Scott Vernick was a guest on the CW’s show, “Better,” on November 5, to discuss the risks of cellphone banking.

“There a lot of potential dangers associated with cellphone banking. About half of consumers have smart phones, and about half of those use it for mobile banking. People shouldn’t be thinking it’s a phone with a PC, but rather it’s a PC with a phone. The same kind of precautions and the same kind of dangers that are present on a PC are also really present on your smart phone. What you should be concerned about is something like malware, which is a virus, getting inside your smartphone.”

One startling statistic Vernick pointed out regarding smartphone viruses: “Over a three-month period, one of the leading consultants in the field identified 17,000 different strains of malware aimed at Android devices.”

Vernick provided some tips that consumers can use to help protect themselves from potential phone hacking. “Ask your provider or carrier if their smartphones have antivirus software on it. If malware gets into your phone, whoever is behind it can then capture, say, your user name or your password or your account information or maybe text messages that your bank is sending you for authentication purposes.”

Vernick also offered smartphone banking best practices for consumers:

  • Download app from official bank website.
  • Create a “strong” password (no personal identifiers).
  • Don’t use the mobile browser, use the app.
  • Don’t store automatic login information.
  • Don’t go to websites that you do not recognize.
  • Don’t store passwords or Social Security information on your phone.
  • Ask your provider if they can remote wipe your phone.
  • Be mindful of opening unsolicited emails or following links.
  • If you get a new phone, take out the memory card and delete info.

View Scott's appearance.