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Tips to help boost mobile and banking safety

With 97 percent of American adults owning a mobile device, smartphones have become a common target for cyber criminals. These attacks have become more sophisticated and difficult to spot as cyber criminals have found new ways to cover their tracks. In 2020, Security firm Check Point noted a 15% increase in activity where mobile banking credentials could be stolen.

A safety check-up for your device and good mobile banking habits can help you steer clear of malicious software, known as “malware,” and other online threats. Follow the recommendations below to help secure your personal and financial information.

Set up your device for optimal protection

  • Contact your mobile carrier to set up a PIN for your account. This extra security measure helps prevent scammers from transferring your service to a different mobile number to receive your temporary access codes for banking and other online accounts.
  • Use security software on all your devices and keep it up-to-date to help prevent viruses and malware.
  • Enable automatic updates for your operating system software in your device settings to help protect your phone with the latest security patches.
  • Lock your phone and tablet when not in use, and use a passcode, your fingerprint, or face to unlock it. If you use a passcode, don’t share it and don’t use your birth year, address number, or something else others could easily guess. 
  • Secure your home router with a strong password to help protect devices on your network from unauthorized access.
  • Do not alter or "jail break" your device, as it may make it vulnerable to malware.

Practice mobile banking safety 24/7

  • Never re-use passwords across sites, especially for mobile banking.
  • Set up account alerts to notify you when anyone makes a purchase or withdrawal, so you can contact your bank quickly if something doesn't look right.
  • Only download applications from a trusted source, like your mobile phone’s app store. Read reviews, ratings, and privacy information before downloading a new app and delete apps that you no longer use.
  • Never use unsecured Wi-Fi networks in public places, such as coffee shops or airports, to sign on to financial accounts or other accounts containing your sensitive information.
  • Always sign off once you finish banking on your mobile device – do not simply close the browser or app.
  • If you change your mobile number, email, or mailing address, let your bank know so they can contact you if necessary. If you’re a Wells Fargo customer, you can update your contact information in mobile banking.

Protect your data when it’s time to part ways

When you're ready to change out your device:

  • Unpair your old phone from Bluetooth-enabled devices.
  • Restore the device to factory settings – don’t just manually delete contacts, calendars, and other personal content.

By making these habits part of your routine, you can help protect your sensitive information, even when you’re on the go.

Explore more tips on how to stay safe online.

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