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5 Security Tips for Banking by Smartphone

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When you download a banking application to your smartphone, don't be fooled into thinking it's one and done. You'll need to check for updates on a regular basis -- and then download those, too. If you aren't performing these updates, your banking information may become vulnerable to hackers who prey on software weaknesses [source: Schwartz]. Just make sure you're downloading your bank's official app by getting it straight from your bank's Web site instead of an app store. Check the Web address to make sure it's your bank's official site and not a wolf-in-sheep's-clothing site that could compromise your account numbers or passwords. It's also a good idea to steer clear of "everybank" apps that promise to connect you with multiple banks because there's no guarantee your data won't be stolen by the app's creators -- who aren't bound by the same federal data restrictions as financial institutions.

For added security, use your banking app to sign up for account alerts. Many banks and credit cards will send you a text or email when there's activity on your account [source: Rosencrance]. You'll know, almost immediately, if a fraudulent charge or withdrawal is made.