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Tips To Use Mobile Banking Safely

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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Award-winning journalist Paula Ebben co-anchors WBZ-TV News at 6PM...
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BOSTON (CBS) – April Tucker is prone to losing her phone. So, she’s nervous about mobile banking.

“Just having it on your phone is an additional way for someone to hack into your information,” says April.

And a recent experiment gives her reason to be concerned.

The computer software company Symantec intentionally lost 50 phones in four cities just to see what would happen when they were found. Special software was installed to track the phones and what people did with them.

In half of the cases, the finder tried to return the cell, but not before snooping around.

“People looked at private pictures, they tried to access a banking account, logging into a person’s bank,” says Kevin Haley, Director of Product Management for Symantec Security Response.

Of those people that found the “lost” cell phones, 43% actually tried to access banking apps and 57% got into a saved password file.

With the right steps, it can be safe to bank on your smart phone.

Step one: create a password just to be able to use the phone.

The American Bankers Associations also suggests you create a different password for each mobile account that’s tied to your money. And you might want to skip the “remember this password” option.

There are apps available that would let you remotely wipe all the personal information from your phone if it is ever lost. And if you’re not sure if you’re protected, you can always call your bank.

Still, April is not ready to make the leap to mobile banking.

“I’m not comfortable with having a bank app on my phone,” she explains.

So, April is sticking to her laptop.

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