NEW YORK (TheStreet) — With 28% of U.S. adults using their smartphones and tablets to conduct banking transactions and 60% calling access to mobile banking either "important" or "very important" in choosing banks, according to AlixPartners, there's a growing risk of consumer financial fraud.
AlixPartners, a San Jose, Calif., consulting firm, reports that two recent malware threats called Sypeng and HijackRAT have caught the attention of the banking industry, leading financial institutions to tighten up on data security. (Malware, or "malicious" software, is a software-based cyber threat that can damage or disable computers and mobile devices via viruses or spyware.)
But banks can do only so much on the secure technology front, and consumers must help secure their own financial data.
"We use multiple forms of identity authentication, log-in procedures and encrypted communications and perform extensive native app and WAP security testing to prevent criminals from accessing confidential information," says Kevin Alsup, vice president of information at the San Francisco credit union Tech CU. "The bigger threat is someone who is unmindful while online, but a few simple steps can help prevent fraudulent activity, especially for things like hacking and phishing."
To better secure your mobile banking, Tech CU advises that you:
Lock up your device. Make sure you choose a strong password or PIN and that is not easily detected by mobile banking fraud artists. Also, lock your device when you're not using it, and install mobile security software on all your mobile devices.