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Many modern banks and financial companies offer app-based banking and credit cards, which enable consumers to gain more convenience for doing things like making payments, investing, and checking balances.
But exactly how secure and safe are these apps? If you use banking and credit card apps, you will want to know the answer.
So, let us explore the topic in detail.
Security Standards are in Place for Apps
Whether you get into investing and use an investment app or use a general mobile banking app, banking and credit card apps use multiple methods to help ensure people can use them safely and securely; just like any reputable app that involves personal and financial information.
The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council creates global standards to ensure payments are safeguarded when using apps. It helps to maintain security in the apps themselves as well as the network.
The standards that are put in place by the council are continually updated to help protect banking and credit card information that is used in apps.
Those standards ensure app developers protect three main areas: the data that is entered on an app, the data that is stored on an app, and the data that is transmitted from a device.
That means data that is entered and stored on a mobile device is not readable by any unauthorized person and data that is transmitted outside of a mobile device is encrypted, with the aid of a private key, to prevent the information from being stolen.
As for in-app protections, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council’s standards ensure things like firewalls are used to further protect sensitive information and detect potential cyberattacks.
With in-app protections, unusual activity can be reported and individual sessions can be shut down if an attack is sensed.
Are Banking and Credit Card Apps always Secure and Safe?
While banking and credit card apps follow standards and protocols and use many other defenses besides those mentioned above to ensure people’s information is kept secure and safe, any app in existence can potentially be targeted by cybercriminals.
While almost two hundred Americans regularly use banking and credit card apps to transfer money, make deposits, and review balances in a completely secure manner, some people do become victims of cybercrime.
For example, scammers can create fake log-in pages in which non-savvy consumers enter their details and compromise their personal and financial information. Criminals can also steal phones and devices and access accounts when people store their password details on those devices.
And sometimes cybercriminals can hack banking and credit card apps themselves, such as by using malicious software like Trojans but some do have integrated layered cyber security for better protection. Occasionally, breaches of banking and credit card apps can occur.
Know How to Spot and Prevent Risks and Vulnerabilities
So, while apps can never be 100% safe, as cybercriminals find more and more sophisticated ways of targeting companies and consumers, in general, the apps from banks and credit card companies themselves follow rigorous standards and adopt high-level security methods to ensure they are safe to use.
Most cases of financial fraud and identity theft that arise from banking and credit card apps come from scammers targeting individuals rather than the banks and credit card companies.
Therefore, you should have trust in the apps but also make sure you are aware of things like phishing attacks and other techniques that cybercriminals use to ensure you do not fall for a scam.
The top ways in which your details are open to risks and vulnerabilities from cyber criminals are via:
- Phishing links in emails.
- Manipulated texts and calls that claim to be from your bank.
- Physical phone theft and hacking.
- Fake apps.
- Trojan overlays.
- Keylogging malware.
- Mobile check deposit scams.
- Wi-Fi hacks.
- SIM swaps, which take control of your phone.
Whether we share information when using apps, websites, emails, or any other kind of digital interaction, we can potentially become victims of cybercriminals.
However, reputable apps and sites use high-level protection methods to ensure our information is kept safe. And banks and credit card companies employ the most robust tools and follow the proper standards to ensure our details are protected.
So, in general, banking and credit card apps are most certainly secure and safe. But, like anything online, cybercriminals can sometimes use sophisticated methods that cause risks and vulnerabilities.
As long as you look after your financial health as much as your mental health by using apps from reputable companies, ensuring you are not accessing fake apps, and knowing how to stay savvy in the face of things like phishing attacks, you stand a very good chance of remaining safe.