The way that we carry out our banking operations has changed dramatically over the years. With the increase in Internet use a decade ago, it helped to remove the need to go to our banks or ATMs to manage transactions or to move money around. In the past couple of years the landscape has changed even further, with the advent of smartphones meaning we can also look after our finances on the go.

Thus, if you have a smartphone then it is likely that you will also have downloaded the official app of your bank. Most banks have invested greatly in ensuring the security of these apps, as any potential problems could be devastating for the reputation of the bank. These apps often have limits set on the amount of money they can transfer to minimize the risks and some demand a code from a token or card reader to authorize any transaction.

However, as with all apps, it pays to be safe and take precautions when using your banking application, just as you would with your credit cards, especially with Christmas just around the corner – a time when we are usually busy transferring money and checking our statements more than usual.

To help you stay safe, here are a few easy tips to help you bank safely from the comfort of your smartphone.

  1. Only use official apps

This may seem slightly silly, but you need to make sure that you’ve downloaded the official app from your bank.

  1. Keep the app updated

This piece of advice goes for all applications that you install, but with banking apps it is even more important. With each update, the developer may have included increased security defenses, which if you haven’t updated to, could leave you exposed.

  1. Select the SMS authorization option

Search for this option in the app, which means your bank will send you an SMS every time money has been lodged or removed from the account. This will allow you to spot any discrepancies before it’s too late.

  1. Log out when not in use

When you have finished using the app, it is very important that you log out of the app. This will help protect you in the event of your phone ending up the hands of the wrong person.

  1. Use a phone tracker

Getting a phone tracking app is an efficient way of remotely deleting information from your device in case you lose it or it is stolen.

  1. Install a trusted antivirus

A good antivirus will protect you from any suspicious activity or malicious apps. Panda offers solutions for both Android and iOS users in the form of Panda Mobile Security for Android and Panda Antivirus for Mac, which also scans iPhones for malware.

Finally, if you suspect that you have been the target of banking fraud, contact your bank immediately.