Our President & CEO Jerry Ernst submitted an opinion piece to azcentral.com this week on simple ways we sabotage our own bank accounts, The premise of Jerry’s article was something that might interest you… vulnerabilities of a lost smartphone.
As banks, we go to extraordinary lengths to ensure we leverage the most advanced security options available. From encrypted software and two-factor authentication options for online banking, to complex checks and balances designed to protect data, security is top-of-mind. It’s of critical importance.
However, the best technology advances in the world can’t protect an account from certain customers mistakes. Some of the most common methods used to clean out someone’s bank account have nothing to do with being hacked or other methods, it’s simply a lost phone that didn’t have basic security precautions in place. The phone’s owner decided to NOT take advantage of simple security measures (such as password protecting the phone using the keyboard lock feature, using adequate passwords and avoid banking transactions on public WiFi).
Be sure to read our azcentral article for more detail.
Phones are rarely stolen–most people simply leave them in a restaurant, night club or other location. They’ll use their phone to check in on Facebook or answer an email or text, then leave it on the table or toss it in the trash with their food wrappers when dumping a tray. Without password protection, anyone can pick up that abandoned phone, and have instant access to what’s on it.
Cookies that remember passwords make it even easier.
In addition to what’s mentioned in the article, here are three additional steps you can take:
- Change your password often. A combination of three unrelated words (such as “dog martini purple” can be somewhat simple to remember, and utterly impossible for brute force attacks on your phone to crack. Just be sure they are not a logical combination. The trick is using different passwords for each place you log-in, so password manager program can be effective.
- Best password manager programs to try: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/quick-guide-to-password-manager-apps/2/
- Do this if you lose your phone: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/07/24/Lost-Your-Cell-Phone-Heres-What-to-Do
- For Verizon users: https://www.verizonwireless.com/archive/mobile-living/tech-smarts/how-to-find-your-lost-phone-mobile-security/
Here’s something worth thinking about… If you lost your phone tomorrow, what are you risking?
(stay tuned for part two – cell phone security for businesses)