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Here's how to bank on mobile safely

| Crime and security

A recent spike in mobile banking viruses has prompted South African banks to alert customers about safety when banking on mobile.

Kartik Mistry, Head of Smart Devices at FNB said: “Although technology allows you to bank anywhere at any time, the onus is on you to constantly lookout for the latest security measures to prevent fraudsters from robbing you of your hard earned cash.” 

Mistry advised customer when accessing banking services on their mobile devices, either through Banking Apps, cellphone banking and the mobile web, that users should only used trusted apps from app stores.

“It is not safe to download apps from suspicious or unknown sources as these can expose your mobile phone to malicious malware and viruses that can gain unauthorised access to your private information,” he said. 

Mistry also said users should install an up-to-date anti-virus application to their mobile device, which most banks provide free of charge to their customers.

“Protect yourself from Sim Swap fraud by always keeping your phone switched on, ensuring that you have connection to the network and can send and receive messages,” he said. 

Absa last week urged mobile networks, banks and customers to all be more vigilant to combat cybercrime, after a customer lost R240 000 in a sim swap fraud attack on the Vodacom network. 

“Cyber criminals employ increasingly sophisticated methods to access customer internet banking information through email phishing, sim swaps and other methods," an Absa spokesperson told Fin24.

FNB customers who use the FNB Banking App, get to use the inContact function which allows for the  approval of Online Banking transactions on the Banking App and verifies devices that login to a user’s profile.

When using cellphone banking FNB advise:
• Memorise your PIN, never write it down or share it with anyone. 
• Choose an unusual PIN that is hard to guess and change it often. 
• Remember, for your own security you are required to re-enter your PIN before each transaction. 
• If you think your PIN has been compromised, visit your nearest branch and change it immediately. 
• Protect your phone content and personal information you saved by using a PIN or password to access your phone. Do not leave your phone unlocked. 
• Avoid responding to competition SMS’s or MMS’s. 
• If you receive a phone call requesting personal information do not respond and end the call. 

“If you suspect that your mobile device may have been compromised, check if you are free from viruses and malware, have access to your cellphone network and avoid entering your banking PIN and accessing banking services until you are certain that it is safe,” Mistry said.

In November last year, a recent version of one of the first malware viruses for mobile infected at least 318 000 Android users since July and was stealing users banking information. 

The Svpeng mobile banking Trojan was first under investigation in 2013 as a PC-grade mobile malware but has since been modified reaching an infection peak of 37 000 victims per day.

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