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The Downside of Using Mobile Banking Applications

Lately, security flaws in mobile banking applications have been making headlines – and these may be enough for one to reconsider the convenience that they originally bring.

According to Praetorian, a security firm, there are 8 in 10 mobile banking apps that have security flaws that can be potentially dangerous to its users. In another report, IOActive Labs Research claims that 90% of iOS banking apps are also at risk for being attacked.

So the question is – are these apps now too risky to reconsider?

According to Kaspersky Lab, a firm that looks into the vulnerabilities of the internet, says that consumers need to assess if the convenience outweigh the risks. There are numerous known security attacks that can be executed to interrupt plain text traffic and in effect, steal the credentials of unknowing users.

Furthermore, the founder of eStrategyPro.com, Terence Kam, states that web browser-based banking is still far dangerous compared to apps that are directly downloaded from the application store. These mobile apps were designed in a way that it makes it extremely difficult to tinker and corrupt, compared to web-based transactions that attackers have been well versed on for years, even decades.

As such, this makes it seem that mobile app banking is still safer than the other alternatives – but there are still security measures to be taken care of to ensure that online fraud does not occur.

For starters, it is important that the phone is not rooted (Android) or jailbroken (iOS), as this removes the protection that both Android and iOS offers to its users. Furthermore, an unlocked phone enables it to download external applications – applications that could have been tampered with, making it easier for online theft to take place.

Also, it is recommended for smart phone users to set up security codes to prevent unauthorized entry in the phone. These measures are also designed to further protect the phone if another person manages to get through these codes – the break in may render the phone unusable for them – which could very much protect the information contained in the phone.

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