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Protéjase del fraude móvil

Protect yourself from mobile fraud

The use of mobile banking services in the U.S. is expected to rise from 19% of cellphone users-about 17% of the adult population-to 22% within the next year, according to a recent study by Luth Research.

The growing acceptance and popularity of mobile banking makes recent actions of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) important for consumers. The FFIEC is an agency of the United States government that establishes standards for the examination of financial institutions.

The FFIEC established guidelines to make handling personal finances on mobile devices more secure. The guidelines require financial institutions to implement antifraud measures for mobile banking services similar to those on their websites. These anti-fraud measures may include using multiple ways to authenticate logins to mobile banking services and identifying suspicious transactions that could indicate fraud.

While these rules may help, the best protection for consumers is to be proactive in managing their mobile activities. Consumer Reports is an American magazine and website that reviews various consumer products based on testing results. Practice these five guidelines from ConsumerReports.org to protect yourself from mobile fraud:

Secure login

Make sure you are logging in to a secure mobile site when using your phone's Web browser to access mobile banking sites. Look for indications on your browser that the site is secure, such as a lock symbol or "https" at the beginning of the site's web address.

Trusted apps

Only allow trusted applications the ability to send text messages or update social networks. Untrustworthy apps may initiate fraudulent messages or spam, and add charges to your cellphone bill.

Public Wi-Fi

Never conduct mobile banking, e-commerce, or other business involving usernames, passwords, or other personal information on a public Wi-Fi network. Crooks may be able to capture login and password information. Maria from Miami used her cell phone, connected on public Wi-Fi, to transfer funds with her online banking. She later learned hackers stole her online banking information. She says, "If it wasn't for the close watch of my Credit Union on my account, a lot of my money could have gotten stolen. Fortunately, most of the damage of the hackers stealing my information was figured out within a few short days. Still, I will never do online banking transactions when connected to Wi-Fi."

Reliable source

Spyware is software that can be downloaded on computers that collects information about the user without them knowing. Avoid downloading this program, which may accompany an application by obtaining your smart phone applications from a trusted source. Cellphone spyware can seize personal information including messages, conversations, and even your location via GPS coordinates.

Security software

Purchase and install security software on your cellphone. Security software for your phone may help you find your cellphone if misplaced, allow you to delete data if the phone is lost, and prompt you to remove malicious software.

By Kayla Sedbrook  
Published 11-14-2011

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