Seven steps towards safe and secure use of banking applications

Mobile banking is one of the fastest growing segments in the Indian financial market. Considering the Indian government’s key focus on Digital India initiatives, the growth prospects for this segment look promising. The advent of UPI and the new digital preference driven by the normal world has resulted in banking applications taking center stage with the end user community. According to a Deloitte study, India will have one billion smartphone users by 2026 and rural areas will drive the sale of internet-enabled phones. However, frequent cyber breach incidents have also instilled a sense of fear and apprehension.

Here we outline seven basic but critical steps by which an end user can safely take advantage of the convenience and comfort of using a banking app with a seamless experience:

Download apps only from a genuine and verified source: Recent incidents reflect that the end user who downloaded apps from unverified sources eventually ended up on the receiving end of cyber breach incidents. Android or iPhone users are required to use the official app store or the bank’s official website to download apps.

Uninstall apps that are no longer in use: On many occasions, we continue to have applications on our portable device even when we no longer use them. There is a strong possibility that such apps have hidden malware in them that the threat actor can activate. Therefore, it is best to remove all these applications from the mobile phone device.

Manage permissions for each app: It is a general tendency to blindly accept and grant permissions when downloading an app. This serves as a potential threat and vulnerability for malware to gain access to mobile devices, so be sure to review and manage permissions carefully.

Research on the app developers and reviews: In today’s age and time when end users are well informed and do some research on product or service reviews, it is equally important to do the same when downloading any app to ensure that the correct and official app has been downloaded.

Never install apps from links in emails and WhatsApp: Avoid downloading apps through links received in emails and social media platforms. Often times, they claim very lucrative offers to push consumers to download apps from these links and act as a gateway for malicious activities.

Authenticity must be verified before downloading the application: Many times, fake apps have a very similar name to the original one and therefore it is recommended to take a detailed look at the name of the app.

Reboot the phone in case of a possible malware threat: In the event that the end user becomes aware of malware residing on the device, they can address it by resetting the phone to original factory settings. This helps to remove the threat completely.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


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