Online banking requires vigilance

Managing your financial accounts with a smartphone or Managing your financial accounts with a smartphone or tablet opens a new world of convenience -- and potential problems. Photo Credit: iStock

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Many older adults have been using online banking since it became widely available more than 30 years ago. Managing your financial accounts with a smartphone or tablet opens a new world of convenience -- and potential problems.

The FDIC, in newly issued tips about safe mobile banking, says make sure your device is password protected in case it is lost or stolen. Your banking PIN should be strong. If you're restricted to a four-digit number, don't use something simple such as 1-2-3-4, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Also be aware that if you conduct financial business using unsecured Wi-Fi networks commonly found at coffee shops and restaurants, scam artists could tap into your device and watch your keystrokes.

If your smartphone is lost or stolen, check with your carrier to see if the data on your device can be erased remotely or if access to your phone can be restricted. And immediately notify your financial institution.

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