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Alert: Hackers Target Mobile Banking Apps, Warns FBI

Alert: Hackers Target Mobile Banking Apps, Warns FBI

More people than ever are utilizing the conveniences of the Internet and mobile apps to avoid unnecessary human contact during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, mobile banking alone has increased by 50 percent over the last few months, nationwide. In a recent PSA, the FBI warned that hackers are likely to be targeting mobile banking apps.

According to the FBI’s public service announcement:

“As the public increases its use of mobile banking apps, partially due to increased time at home, the FBI anticipates cyber actors will exploit these platforms.”

The PSA is definitely worth a read, and includes some good tips and potential threats that are out there. It’s worth noting that many of the tips apply to a lot more than just mobile banking.

If you are in a rush, here are some of the best tips to take away from it to protect yourself.

Utilize 2-Factor Authentication

You’ll see this called 2-Factor Authentication, Multi-Factor Authentication, 2FA, or MFA. That’s where a website or service will email or text you a little code to log you in. Some services will utilize an authentication application, such as Google Authenticator, Authy, Duo, or LastPass Authenticator. Using an authentication app is definitely a safer way to go, as they are harder to spoof than email and text, but anything is better than nothing.

You should always set up 2-Factor Authentication on any account you have, especially if it deals with sensitive information or your money.

Always Have Good Password Hygiene

Use strong passwords that contain lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Your passwords should always be unique and not be used for multiple accounts, and your passwords should never contain information that could be guessed like your name, birthdays, your pets, and so forth.

If Something Seems Fishy, Don’t Install It

Never install something you aren’t 100 percent sure about. If your bank has a mobile app, be sure to download their official app, which they should have linked in their website. Avoid installing a mobile banking app that is sent to you via email or text message, because there is a chance that it could be bogus. 

When In Doubt, Call the Bank

We’re really glad the FBI covered this tip too, as it’s often glossed over. If you have any suspicion that something is strange or not working correctly, just call your bank. Go to their official website, or use the number on the back of your card or from a statement. 

If you accidentally called the number from the banking app, and that phone call seems suspicious, immediately hang up and be sure you use the number from their official website. If the hackers were clever enough to get you to download a fake banking app, they could easily have a fake support number to get you to call and submit your credentials. Your bank will never need your username and password over the phone.

All in all, be ever vigilant, because cybercriminals want to take advantage of the chaos to grift people out of their money. Don’t let them!

If you need help locking down your business and protecting your staff from cyberthreats, give 415 IT a call at (415) 295-4898 today!

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