Mothers no more use their spare time playing candy crush. They are the mothers of so-called digital era wherein they use the power of hand-held device for online banking, shopping, social networking and even for getting child-rearing advice. Experts say that women use the Internet more after becoming mothers.
According to the annual Asian Digital Mum Survey released by theAsianparent.com last year, 99% of Asian digital mothers own a Smartphone. And with time, the number is not just increasing in Asia but across the globe. Smartphones facilitates us with so many resources available just at our fingertips; Mobile banking is one of them.
The convenience of remote banking allows us to carry out all activities that we would by using a laptop. In other words, transferring money, checking and paying bills by simply using our pocket-sized device has made our lives extremely easier. It would not be wrong if we say that today, the proportion of mobile users who sometimes use their device for banking is more than 50%. The proportion of IT users who are dependent on their mobile / Smartphones is way beyond this.
While mobile banking apps offer a whole lot of convenience, eScan, one of the leading Anti-Virus and Content Security Solution providers, alerts of the rise in security concerns due to its constantly increasing usage. The affected users can easily lose their login details or even credit card details to a cyber-criminal. It would be fair to say that mobile banking apps do come with the highest level of security. However, the chances of giving away login details of users can only be possible if the user’s mobile device is already infected or if they have accidently installed a malicious banking app.
If the user was already infected by a third-party app, which is considered to be the largest source of malware, the chances of running malware in the background are considerably high. This malware, which is already present in the mobile can easily collect information about the Smartphone, steal SMS messages about banking information and even steal login details of user’s online banking accounts. It is, therefore important to install safe / legitimate third party apps.
Android OS, the most commonly used OS for mobile devices, does come with an option to allow the company to check for malicious third party apps. At the same time, it also allows the user to deny scanning of third party apps. So unless, scanning of third party app becomes a permanent feature, the chances of user installing a malicious app are considerably high.
On the other hand, the Play Store is not quite riddled with malicious banking apps though there are one or two apps that keep showing up every now and then – only to get removed by Google. However, there are three simple ways to check if an app is legitimate or not. eScan suggests to;
- Read the description and know what you are installing. Do not just install anything and everything.
- Scroll down to the Developer section. The ‘Visit Webpage’ column should have the official webpage of the company. For instance – Citibank India should have and should point to – http://www.citibank.co.in; HDFC Bank should have and should point to – http://www.hdfcbank.com.
What can you do?
It is our ultimate responsibility to secure our personal information. A combination of awareness and implementation of security software is always considered the best way to reduce the chance of getting infected.
Last but not the least, if you do come across apps that are malicious, flag them as inappropriate. Not only will you be helping the developers in re-verifying the app but you might just be able to prevent another user from being compromised.