Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Dangers of Mobile Banking

Over 230 million Americans use smartphones everyday but many are unaware of the dangers of using mobile banking. Smartphones have the potential to pose a real security threat. All smartphones should include good security software to allow users to block malware and locate a phone if lost. Users who access personal information or download applications are at greater risk.

Mobile banking also known as M-banking, mbanking or SMS banking allow customers to check balances, and perform account transactions using their smartphones. Some experts feel that Wells Fargo and Bank of America’s mobile banking services provide strong security and offer multiple downloadable applications. Mobile banking services vary based on the type of phone you are using, the cell phone plan and technology the bank is using.

There are several advantages to using mobile banking such as: easy access, many applications for smartphones, easy control of your money, availability 24/7 anywhere, anytime and no fees. Disadvantages to mobile banking is that mobile banking provides fewer services that internet banking and increases security risks.

Many big cities such as New York and Washington DC using mobile payments to allow drivers to pay for parking meters. Drivers register online and can pay for the parking and select the time they wish to purchase using an application or text message with the meter number.

Unfortunately mobile payments increases the chances of a driver getting a ticket as soon as the meter expires versus with traditional parking meters drivers may get lucky and get a few extra minutes on an expired parking meter.

BlackBerry software and core applications are digitally signed to ensure integrity preventing the smartphone functionality from being directly accessed by other applications. However, this does not mean that blackberry is immune to viruses or security risks.

iPhones do not provide security software because the iPhone does not share applications; the risk of spreading a virus from phone to phone is very low. If an iPhone has been altered or changed in any way this increases the chance of a security risk. This can cause the iPhone to download and run unauthorized software which can slow your system down and may lead to identity theft. However, this does not mean that iPhones are immune to viruses or security risks.

The Android software has less virus attacks because most of the viruses are written to attack Windows based programs. However Android is not immune to viruses. Here are the top 9 virus protection software for smartphones:

1. ESET Mobile Antivirus is only available for the Windows Mobile platform.
2. BullGuard Mobile Antivirus is available for pocket PCs and smartphones.
3. F-Secure Mobile Security Business is available on Windows Mobile and Symbian platforms.
4. Kapersky Mobile Security provides the same level of protection you would get on a computer.
5. McAfee Mobile Security for Enterprise antivirus anti-spyware software operates on any Windows Mobile based device.
6. Trend Micro Mobile Security is a package of Windows Mobile and Symbian antivirus software.
7. Norton Smartphone Security provides the same level of protection you would get on a computer. Norton Mobile Security Lite offers virus protection for smartphones and blackberries.
8. McAfee offer virus protection for smartphones and blackberries.
9. AVG offers virus protection for Androids.

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