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Tips for mobile and banking safety

Now that nearly all adults own 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.

These tips can help you avoid becoming a victim.

Set up your mobile device for optimal protection

  • Contact your mobile carrier to set up a security PIN for your account. This extra safety measure helps prevent scammers from transferring your service to a mobile device that you don’t control.
  • Enable automatic updates for your operating system software in your mobile device settings to help protect your phone with the latest security patches.
  • Set your phone and tablet to automatically lock when not in use, and use a passcode, or biometric such as 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 different sites, especially for mobile banking.
  • Set up online banking 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 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 right away so they can contact you when 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 device from Bluetooth-enabled devices.
  • Restore the old device to factory settings before you get rid of it — don’t just manually delete contacts, calendars, and other personal content.

By making these safety 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. Safety tips for mobile banking