Mobile banking: How to make your transactions secure

Must-do’s to avoid data theft while doing banking transactions through mobile phones.

pay, mobile transaction
Illustration: Shyam Kumar Prasad
pay, mobile transaction
Illustration: Shyam Kumar Prasad

Cash may still be a preferred mode, but amidst online transactions, mobile modes are gaining currency. UPI just announced that it hit a billion in transactional volume. Although NEFT transactions still command a higher share in terms of value, mobile banking has made it easier for people to transact without the hassles of logging into an account and dealing with websites.

Convenience, however, also comes with security challenges. Mobile isn’t safe either. And, with new viruses and trojans attacking phones, one needs to be very careful while transacting online. Mobile apps of most banks have indeed added additional security features, but consumers also need to take care of security mediums. Here are a few tips to ensure transactions online are safe and secure:App checks and Google protect

Although various banks and payment companies are offering multiple UPI apps, they also have multiple clones, which facilitate data theft. To check whether your app is indeed a legit one, keep Google protect on. While some of the malicious apps also qualify the Google protect test, a better idea is to check the app vendor. That shall provide clarity on whether the app is legit. Just do not go by the name BHIM, malicious apps also carry the name BHIM. Even the interface is similar to legit UPI apps.

An important thing to remember is that none of the UPI apps would ask for full debit card details, including CVV (3-digit code at the back of your card) and other particulars. A UPI app would only ask last 4-6 digits of your card, and the CVV and nothing else.

Two-step password process and SMS check

Although most banks offer two-step authentication, and apps now come with additional security features but added security never killed anyone. First, don’t keep the same password for your phone and your banking app. Similar banking pin or UPI pin makes it easier for someone having access to your phone to initiate transactions. Two, you can always add an extra layer of security, by selecting the phone’s password protect or a third party app protect app to ensure there is an additional level of protection.

With the growing use of WhatsApp, we have forgotten to check SMS alerts. If you have registered your mobile phone number with the bank, it will always inform you of any transaction taking place over the phone. Do keep track of such instances, as you can always notify the bank about any mishaps.

Password keepers/vault

If you cannot remember passwords, you can always invest time and energy in storing your passwords in a vault or a digital storage locker, storing passwords as contact information or as notes is a dangerous practice. A better idea would be to download a third party, but trusted password storage app. Lastpass, Dashlane, Intel’s True Key are easy to use and secure apps. Also, repeating the same password won’t help.


One of the first wall of defence between your phone and malicious software is an antivirus. A good antivirus can keep trojans and viruses at bay and makes it difficult for hackers to gain access to your phone. While there are multiple free offerings available, given that phone is used beyond payments and transactions, think of antivirus as an investment. Nod32, Norton and Avira can be good options.

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