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Mobile Banking Apps: Convenient Or Costly?

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I-Team

MIAMI (CBS4) – Mobile banking may be the most convenient way to keep track of your money, but are you putting your personal information at risk every time you log in?

Smartphone user April Tucker is one person who is used to losing her phone.

“I have lost it traveling. I have put it down,” said April Tucker who is nervous about mobile banking. “Just having it on your phone is just an additional way for someone to hack into your information.”

A recent experiment gives her cause for concern. The computer software company Symantec intentionally lost 50 phones in four cities around the United States. Special software was installed to track the phones and what people did with them.

In half the cases, the finder tried to return the cell but not before doing a little snooping

“People looked at private pictures, they tried to access a banking account, logging into a person’s bank,” said Kevin Haley of Symantec.

Forty three percent of people actually tried to access banking apps and 57% went into the saved password file.

“You don’t want people to be able to get right into the phone,” said Doug Johnson of the American Bankers Association’s Risk Management Unit who feels it is safe to bank on your phone as long as you take steps like setting up a password.  Then, create different passwords for each mobile account that is tied to your phone.

If all else fails, there are also a lot of new special software and apps to protect you if your phone goes missing.

“There’s also some other great technology out there that would let you remotely wipe all your personal information and business information off that phone,” said Haley.

There is even a feature called Scream.

“The scream feature is going to make your phone let out a loud noise, a scream, so you can identify where you’ve left it,” said Haley.

If you don’t have extras, Johnson offers advice in case you lose your phone.

“You misplaced your phone, you believe you haven’t taken proper measures, contact your financial institution,” said Johnson.

The ABA Points out the tech and financial industries have learned a great deal of phone safety by using the lessons they learned with on line banking protections.

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