Mobile banking is the new age smartphone revolution. While the computer and laptop brought the bank to our homes, the smartphone made it possible for us to take our bank along, wherever we go. So convenient it is that the global populace is rapidly opting for this method of banking.
Though mobilebanking is not strictly an issue that is related to parenting tweens and teens, it is nevertheless important for both parents and children to know its pros and cons. I realized this first hand when my son joined college. He was instructed to install a mobilebanking app on his phone to enable him to pay fees, hostel bills etc. I had to give him a rapid course on mobile banking safety. This brought to my mind the large number of children leaving home at 16 to pursue higher studies. These kids will be on their own for perhaps the very first time in their lives, managing their finances along with their academics. They will be aware of mobile banking but may not be fully cognizant of all the precautions to take. And it will be the parents’ duty to teach them that.
So if you are a regular user of the app, well and good, you know the stakes. But it sure helps to have a clear idea of the merits and demerits just so you can clarify your child’s doubts and provide him the right tools to help him stay safe online.
As I keep saying, this is the internet age and everything will soon become internet-oriented. It’s best therefore to know than to repent. Agree?
Now here are some simple DOs related to mobile banking:
- Mobile Security software: It goes without saying that having the latest security software running on your computer is a huge safety measure. It actually safeguards your phone, your data and warns you if it finds anything amiss. Try the highly recommended McAfee Mobile Security
- Auto-lock on: Keep your phone locked, with Wi-Fi & Bluetooth turned off, when not in use
- PIN-protect phone: The 4-digit PIN to unlock your phone should not be an easily guessable set of numbers. AND never the same sequence you use for your ATM transactions
- Strong Password: Use strong passwords for account login. A passphrase is a better option. AND don’t store your passwords on your phone or draft e-mails. Anyone with access to your phone will be able to acquire it eventually
- Official app: Always download the official mobilebanking app from your bank’s homepage and use it
- Security checks: Before doing financial transactions, ALWAYS ensure that the web address starts with https//: and NOT http//:. In addition, the green padlock symbol should be visible
- Beware of Phishing attacks: Do remember that banks will never send unsolicited emails or text messages asking for personal details like date of birth, address or mobile banking password. Report such mails as Phishing mails. Contact branch in case of doubt.
Things you should ask your teen to do:
- Use only the official apps provided by your bank
- Don’t use an unlocked phone for carrying out banking or any financial transactions, as it might be running an untrusted software
- Take printout of each transaction or save every message received.
- Request your bank to send you monthly account summary and review them thoroughly
- Give standing instruction to bank to send alerts on phone and email, everytime a transaction is carried out
- Use only trusted and verified websites to do online shopping
- Do not share mobile banking details with friends
- Regularly check all apps running on your phone and uninstall those you don’t use or those that want permission to access a lot of data on your phone
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