If you think that online or mobile banking is limited to the younger generation, you would be wrong. According to research from Jumio, 76 percent of Baby Boomers bank online where Millenials are only one percent more at 77 percent.
Hong Kong, Hong Kong – JULY 25: A smart phone with the finance banking apps from China Construction Bank is seen on the screen in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, on July 25, 2018. (Photo by S3studio/Getty Images)
The reality: All generations bank online. And all generations need greater security awareness, so here are a few tips from a variety of experts:
Never Use Public Wifi
Use a VPN or your cellular data connection, not public wifi. Hands down, this is one of the top recommendations from security experts. Tied to that, never, ever, use public wifi to access your banking services.
I spent a bunch of time researching VPNs earlier this summer. Here’s a list of some recent VPN work I’ve done that may help speed your journey to greater security for your own online banking and general online activity.
Use a Mobile Banking App for Greater Security
Bankrate.com says that online banking is less secure than a bank’s mobile app. “Some banks that have multi-factor authentication on their mobile apps don’t provide the same capability on their websites. Well-designed mobile apps don’t store any data, and you’re less likely to hear about a virus on a smartphone.”
There are some exceptions to this, but in general, bigger banks will have better mobile apps and stronger security on them.
Biometrics Are Coming
Look for two-factor authentication in your financial apps. Although some mobile phone users are using face recognition or eye scans, more apps are likely to require this in the future. Biometrics is one example of a two-factor authentication method. Two-factor authentication is a second layer of security, asking for a second method to verify who you are. Many banks use a password and a PIN, or a fingerprint and a password, are two examples.
According to my friend and fellow Forbes contributor, Daniel Newman, “Reports show 40 percent of Americans have not stepped through the doors of a bank or credit union within the last six months… The number of physical banks has dropped by almost half from 1995 to 2015 — largely due to the rise of online and mobile banking.” Although his post is from 2017, it is still timely: Top 5 Digital Transformation Trends In Financial Services.
Bankrate.com also had a useful post if you’ve been concerned for protecting your identity: 7 ways to protect your banking and financial accounts from hackers. My favorite suggestion and one I have been using for years: “If your bank calls you, call them back.” It is too easy for people to scam you with an inbound call.
It used to be that we had to do all aspects of banking in person. Banking was always slightly inconvenient, time consuming, and while there are lots of improvements in the retail branch experience, it is still the same, really. Mobile banking is already used by a majority and will only get better and more useful. I love the mobile deposit function that my two main banks offer and use them regularly. Use these tips to stay secure in your financial life.