(WXYZ) - Are you a big fan of mobile banking…or maybe afraid of embracing the technology? Do you struggle with
comparing the ease of banking over the phone to the threat of something happening to that info?
Well, in either group, you'll want to know more about a recent experiment involving smart phones, and what happens when they are lost, then found by a stranger, and what you can do to protect yourself in case it happens to you!
April Tucker is prone to losing her phone. "I have lost it traveling. I have put it down." April says.
So she's nervous about mobile banking. Even though it's catching on with the masses, she's still among those who say no way. "Just having it on your phone is just an additional way for someone to hack into your information.
A snooping experiment
A recent experiment gives her all the more reason to be concerned. The computer software company Symantec intentionally lost 50 phones in four cities around the U-S, just to see what would happen when they were found. Special software was installed to track the phones, and what people did with them.
In half the cases, the finder tried to return the cell. But not before they did a little snooping…
"People looked at private pics, they tried to access a banking account, logging into a person's bank," Symantec’s Kevin Haley explains.
43% actually tried to access banking apps and 57% went into a saved password file. Still, Doug Johnson, with the American Bankers Association's Risk Management Unit, hopes April, and others, reconsider. He says with proper steps, it's safe to bank on your smart phone.
Steps to protect your information
First, create a password just to be able to use the phone.
Then create different passwords for each mobile account that's tied to your money. It may be a lot to
straight, but he warns you not to use the 'remember this password' option when it appears.
"It kind of defeats the purpose of the password," Haley says.
He also says there are a lot of new special software and apps to protect you if your phone goes missing.
"There's also some other great technology out there that would let you remotely wipe all your personal information and business information off that phone."
There’s even a feature called Scream, which makes you phone let out a loud noise, a scream, so you can identity where you’ve left it, or scare a thief into dumping it.
The American Bankers Association advises that if you have misplaced your phone, and you don’t believe you’ve taken proper safety measures, that you contract your financial institution. The ABA points out the tech and financial industries have learned a great deal of phone safety by using the lesion they learned with online banking protections.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
More Don't Waste Your Money
Why you're not guaranteed you're getting the level of protection listed on the sunscreen label. Also, the sunscreens that do a great job... and can save you money!