Most users want easier and more convenient access to their bank accounts, but they are not aware of how safe it is to use a mobile banking app. In reality, banking via a mobile app is the safest way to bank via the Internet, because banks can control the security on an app much easier than through a browser.

When customers use their browser to do their banking, they leave themselves open to malware and man-in-the-middle attacks. As we’ve seen in recent bank breaches, hackers can gain valuable information about users’ bank login credentials, even their two-factor authentication credentials in some cases, by keylogging and stepping in between a user and his or her bank’s website. Even when a bank has strong security, if users’ computers are infected with malware or a virus, they may be vulnerable to attack. This same threat is also possible on mobile browsers.

Mobile apps, on the other hand, provide a direct link from the device to the bank, without having to go through any software such as a browser or third-party application. This means banks have much better control over the security and connection of customer interactions. Because these apps are built specifically for a particular bank and its customers, the bank can provide a secure connection using SSL encryption and two-factor authentication that meets the institution’s unique needs.

A consumer may ask: “What if someone gets a hold of my phone? Can’t they then access my account?” Even if someone is able to obtain a customer’s phone, they will still be required to put in a username and password, and if available, provide a second factor of authentication, in order to gain access to the accounts.

According to the Federal Reserve, only about 20 percent of mobile phone users have used mobile banking applications in the past year. Yet most major financial institutions have mobile applications available for popular mobile phones. So why is only one in every five smartphone users utilizing those apps? Fear.

A recent study by Google found that many customers are worried about mobile banking security. This is mostly due to a misunderstanding or lack of knowledge of mobile banking security. Hopefully, this short article clears things up a bit.

Just make sure you download the correct app authorized by your financial institution. There are fakes out there, so don’t make that mistake. Another benefit is that the recent spate of ‘Denial of Service’ attacks launched by hacktivist organizations on major banking websites do not affect the app access channel.

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