• Thu. Dec 1st, 2022

5 Ways to Protect Your Mobile Banking Apps

ByCindy J. Daddario

Sep 23, 2022

How secure are mobile banking apps? It’s a question people may be asking, following news that a serial thief in London stole thousands of pounds after taking phones and cards from lockers in the gym’s changing rooms.

Met Police are investigating a series of nearly identical incidents, where the thief was able to bypass not only facial recognition technology, but also banking app passwords, and go on a spending spree around the city in racking up huge bills.

These cases highlight the importance of ensuring your mobile phone and banking apps are as secure as possible, minimizing the impact if your phone is stolen.

Here, which one? offers tips and advice to make your device more secure.

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1. Keep phones and cards separate

First, never leave your cell phone and bank cards unattended together.

If a thief has both, they can register the stolen card on your bank’s app on their own phone or computer. After entering the card details in the app, a verification code is sent to the stolen phone, which the thief can see on the screen, even when it is locked.

Once the thief enters the security code into the app, they can take control of your account and even change the access settings to lock you out.

To prevent any verification code from being displayed when your phone is locked, go to your phone’s “Settings”.

If you have an iPhone, go to “Messages”, select “Notifications”, then “Show previews” and choose “When unlocked” or “Never”. Android users should select “Lock screen”, “Notifications” and then select the “Do not show notifications” option.

  • Learn more: what to do if your phone is stolen

2. Create a strong password and pin

You must set up a different password for each account or service you sign up for. That way, if there’s a data breach and your password is revealed, criminals won’t be able to access them all.

There are a few things to keep in mind when setting a strong password – for example, it shouldn’t include any personal information, should include special characters, and you shouldn’t allow your browser to remember it for you. Our guide can tell you more about how to create secure passwords.

Keep these points in mind when deciding how to unlock your phone. Choosing a strong password or a hard-to-guess pin will help prevent thieves from gaining access.

  • Learn more: How to spot a scam

3. Protect your device against viruses and cyberattacks

While it is true that new mobile phones have built-in security, you will need to keep updating the operating system to maintain the level of protection.

You may also consider installing a mobile antivirus app, which could further prevent malware, viruses and scams by monitoring background activity on your phone to prevent viruses from compromising your personal data. There are free and paid options.

If you’re an iPhone user, try to resist the temptation to ‘jailbreak’ your phone, which allows you to install apps that Apple hasn’t approved. While it gives users more freedom over how they use their device — by removing vendor-imposed software restrictions — downloading a dangerous or bogus app puts you at risk of having your phone hacked.

  • Learn more: what are my rights following a data breach?

4. Make sure your network is secure

If you need to access your mobile banking services when you are away, avoid accessing your bank accounts from public networks – which may not be secure – and make sure to turn off the Bluetooth function on your mobile when not in use. This will stop any unmonitored wireless activity on your phone.

If you access your accounts using a public computer, never leave it unattended and always log out properly when you have finished your banking session.

You can also increase the protection of devices and apps at home by making sure your router’s security is set up to prevent others from accessing it – most will come with a strong password, so resist it. want to set it to something simpler.

5. Check your bank’s security features

If you think someone has hacked into your account or if you spot any suspicious transactions, notify your bank immediately. He can then temporarily freeze your account and your card.

Many banks will allow you to do this online or through the app – if you still have access to it. Otherwise, you can call their helpline.

UK banks will reimburse any losses caused by unauthorized transactions, as long as they do not suspect you are involved or have been negligent. According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website, the bank should refund fraudulent payments by the end of the next business day.

If you’re wondering how your provider’s security compares to others, check out our table Rank banks based on the security of their online and mobile features, looking at everything from the login process to account management.

If you have any doubts or are unhappy with your bank’s protection against mobile banking fraud, you may want to consider switching providers. Our guide reveals best and worst banksas rated by customers and our experts.

  • Learn more: how to change bank account – we describe the process step by step.