By John Drachman
Convenient, engaging, easy-to-use fintech apps are everywhere. And so are the hackers who want to steal your money and your identity.
For example, Android’s accessibility feature recently mimicked the finger taps required to send $1000 in three seconds from a PayPal account with malware disguised as an app that optimizes batteries. Today’s hackers have a lot to work with: In addition to the number of personal financial apps, tax apps too have multiplied dramatically – thanks to the IRS’s robust enthusiasm for digital taxpayer engagement.
What can the average user then do to increase security and reduce the likelihood they will wind up as one of the millions of identity theft and fraud victims reported every year?
According to research from Aite Group and Arsan, the top security breaches are account takeovers, identity fraud, credit application fraud, identity theft and gift-card cracking. Whether your favorite fintech app features savings strategies, budgeting approaches, portfolio management tools, review it against this safe-start checklist.
Check the Box: Tune up Your App Security Today
- “My fintech app is from a source I trust” Your app must come from authorized app stores or official websites of well-known companies only.
- “I’ve tightened up the privacy settings on my device” Control how much data your apps can access.
- “I signed up for account-monitoring alerts” Ensure your app service sends you a notification for each transaction.
- “I’ve updated my password-protection and disabled the app’s auto login feature In case your phone is stolen, don’t want to give thieves easy access to your data.
- “I know which apps have access to my bank data” Consider deleting fintech apps you’re not using, too.
- “I installed my device’s latest operating system” Also, make sure your device has its original, built-in security tools.
- (Promise to self #1) “I’ll never click on links from unknown senders” It could be a phishing email.
- (Promise to self #2) “I’ll never use public Wi-Fi for financial transactions.” Who’s seated next to you? Airports, cafes and libraries are havens for hackers.
Consider consulting with a financial advisor too. Many not only have access to technology at their firms, but are becoming digitally sophisticated themselves. A study from Schwab Advisory Services stated that most independent advisory firms are making major investments in new technology to improve client service and fintech security. Next-Gen advisors know they can focus more energy on their clients experience if they let the apps crunch more numbers.
John Drachman is a contributing writer to www.myperfectfinancialadvisor.com, the premier matchmaker between investors and advisors .John is an IABC award-winning writer, who applies his 30 years of financial marketing experience toward advancing the dialog between investors and investment professionals.