Going Mobile with Your Money

Stay connected!

We hear this on a daily basis as technology makes it possible for us to order groceries, confirm dinner reservations, talk, text or Facetime friends and grandchildren around the world, change airline seat preferences and check the Dow and Nasdaq 20 times a day.

But forty years after the advent of the ATM and the thrill of withdrawing money from machines at a moment’s notice, long-term investing is now a convenient tap away on your smart phone or mobile device. Today, people want the ability to manage their investment accounts when they want, taking technology and money to another level.

However, in spite of the convenience of accessing financial information on a mobile device, security remains paramount and should be your first priority.  Performing financial transactions online can be as safe and protected as they are in person, but investors can reduce their exposure to risks by familiarizing themselves with the following safety tips to help prevent financial loss and identity theft.

PINs: Secure your mobile device with a PIN

Set up a PIN (go to settings on your device), which simply locks your device against unauthorized users. Setting a PIN also automatically sets up data encryption on newer Apple mobile devices. On Androids, you must go to security or settings to set up encryption. (Remember: Connections to financial institutions are encrypted so it’s not essential for the wireless network you use to also be encrypted, but it won’t hurt). Public networks are convenient but unsecure.

WiFi access: Always be mindful your device is connected to a secure network

Before entering your username or password into a smartphone or portable device on a public wireless network at an airport, hotel, coffee shop, library or other public place, ensure your information will be protected. Instead of using the unsecured WiFi hotspot network at the airport, disable the WiFi on your smartphone or mobile device and switch to a cellular network.  When you use a secure wireless network, all of the information you send on that network is protected.

Protection: Lock & Secure your mobile device

Use your mobile device’s keypad lock function when you’re not using it and have it timed out to a locked screen after a period of inactivity. In addition, consider using mobile tools that allow you to erase your devices of sensitive information remotely should they be lost or stolen. Apple’s tool is “Find My iPhone” and Android’s is “Device Manager”.

Financial institutions work diligently and undertake many measures to protect consumer accounts and to make sure the online experience is safe and secure. Coupled with user caution, investors can access their accounts with safety and confidence.

Gigi Harri
The Bedminster Group 

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