Although we haven't yet discovered an app that will cause a smartphone to self-destruct like a secret spy missive in a James Bond movie, we can share the next best thing: Data wipe apps that can be activated remotely.
A remote wipe app will reset your smartphone to its original factory settings, erasing your personal data -- like your contacts, emails or banking information. There are a variety of data wipe apps, including the Mobile Defense app for Android smartphones. The date wipe process is a little more complex for iPhone users; it requires a MobileMe account, a Find My iPhone app and the activation of push notifications [source: Dachis].
The good news is that, even with its inherent security risks, banking by smartphone may actually make it easier to safeguard your financial information than managing your money on paper. Thieves are more likely to access your account data by snatching bank statements from your mailbox than by digitally eavesdropping on your smartphone or computer [source: Huddleston].
- Bell, Claes. "Mobile Banking Popularity Explodes." Bankrate.com. (Oct. 4, 2011.) http://www.bankrate.com/financing/banking/mobile-banking-popularity-explodes/
- Dachis, Adam. "How to Secure Your Smartphone." Lifehacker.com. Jan. 5, 2011. (Oct. 5, 2011) http://lifehacker.com/5724683/how-to-secure-your-smartphone
- Huddleston, Cameron. "Stay Safe, E-Pay." Dec. 3, 2003. (Oct. 5, 2011) Kiplinger.com. http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/2003/12/epay.html
- Kidman, Angus. "3G Broadband a Safer Choice than Wi-Fi." Lifehacker.com. Sept. 17, 2009. (Oct. 5, 2011) http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2009/09/3g-broadband-a-safer-choice-than-wi-fi/
- Microsoft. "Create Strong Passwords." (Oct. 5, 2011) http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/passwords-create.aspx
- Rose, Brent. "Smartphone Security: How to Keep Your Handset Safe." PCworld.com. Jan. 10, 2011. (Oct. 5, 2011) http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/216420/smartphone_security_how_to_keep_your_handset_safe.html
- Rosencrance, Linda. "9 Safe Ways to Bank Online with Your Smartphone." SecurityNewsDaily.com. Sept. 13, 2011. (Oct. 5, 2011) http://www.securitynewsdaily.com/9-ways-secure-mobile-banking-1145/8
- Saltzman, Marc. "Are Free Public Wi-Fi Networks Safe?" ITinsideronline.com. (Oct. 5, 2011) http://www.itinsideronline.com/1035espn/Network/public_wifi_networks_safe/index.html#.To3Y7OtrVJF
- Schwartz, Mathew. "Vulnerabilities Found in Banking Apps." InformationWeek.com. Nov. 5, 2010. (Oct. 5, 2011) http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/vulnerabilities/228200291?cid=RSSfeed_iWK_News
- Zetlin, Minda. "8 Tips to Stop Banking App Fraud." FoxBusiness.com. Feb. 21, 2011. (Oct. 5, 2011) http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/02/18/8-tips-stop-banking-app-fraud/
Is this the payment method of the future? No cash, no credit card, just your smartphone and your finger? Find out how Square works at HowStuffWorks.