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Can Your Smartphone Be Hacked?

As the popularity of mobile banking continues to grow, so does the number of potential hackers and scammers who want to steal your personal information. In recent months, several malicious software programs have been developed to specifically target smartphones. The malware has stolen bank account numbers, login information and account funds. Fortunately, we are committed to customer privacy, security and protection at Ion Bank. Nonetheless, it is important to follow safe mobile banking practices to avoid a hack we cannot prevent. Consider these quick tips:

1. Take Safety Precautions

There are several ways to prepare your smartphone before it is compromised by a hacker.

  • Set a passcode: Think of a number combination that would be hard for someone to guess if your phone was stolen. Avoid birthdays, account numbers and the last four digits of your phone number.
  • Keep your phone on you: Never leave your phone behind in a public place.
  • Install anti-virus software: Many people mistakenly believe that smartphones cannot get viruses. Shield your phone and personal information with malware protection.
  • Logout of your accounts: When you log onto mobile banking, a retail store's shopping cart or even Facebook, logout when you have finished. Saving your password can not only be a convenience for you, but to a hacker who gains access.
  • Turn off Bluetooth Discovery: The Bluetooth component on your smartphone is made “discoverable” when enabled, which makes your phone openly accessible to hackers. If you don't regularly use Bluetooth, make sure it remains disabled. Otherwise, disable it after each use.

2. Be Suspicious of Texts from Unknown Senders

Hackers can easily gain access to your smartphone and any personal information stored on it via text message. You may receive a text from a number claiming to be your bank, asking for account information to be updated. Once you click the link, malware corrupts your phone's software. Keep in mind that financial institutions will rarely contact you in this way, if ever. It is important to verify text messages from unknown senders to avoid this hack.

3. Pay Attention to Your Apps

Only purchase and download apps through your carrier's trusted app store (i.e. Apple Store and Google Store). Hackers have developed the technology to create display ads that infect your smartphone with a virus when you click on them. Sometimes it can be unavoidable to click. However, it is avoidable to allow an app to access your personal information. Unless it has GPS capabilities, an app likely doesn't need to know your location.

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