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5 Security Tips for Banking by Smartphone

With a smartphone, this is what serious banking can look like. Just make sure you take a few steps to secure your information -- and your money. See more banking pictures.

Keeping track of one's money used to be an arduous process. Some took a DIY approach by hiding gold coins under mattresses or burying dollar bills in back yards. Others avoided threats of roving pirates and shovel-happy neighbors by keeping their cash in banks. But this solution wasn't hassle-free. Hours were lost tracking pennies in handwritten registers, as well as commuting to banks to make deposits, transfers and withdrawals.

Enter the smartphone. Now we can manage our money by logging on to banking Web sites through mobile Internet connections or banking applications that link directly to financial accounts. We can even transfer funds via text message.

Mobile banking services like these aren't only for the tech-savvy; they've become a mainstream tool for the money-using masses. According to a report by Javelin Research, the number of people using mobile banking services increased from 19 percent to 30 percent in 2011 [source: Bell]. And, if gaps that threaten data security continue to be addressed, the percentage of those using mobile banking is expected to continue to increase.

Even with the potential risks, we're glad that "mobile banking" now refers to smartphones instead of carrying around the money jar. Our top five tips for keeping your money safe when banking with your smartphone begin on the next page.