Meet your new bank manager. New teller. New financial planner.
New personal broker. Meet your smartphone.
If you’re still paying the bills with checks in the mail and getting cash counted out to you
by a friendly bank teller, you may not be for much longer. Whether you like it or not, the
way we manage money is going the way of nearly everything else: online and on the move.
Bank on it
Be Safe Online Managing Money on the Move www.avg.com 2
ven a decade ago, it was hard to
imagine just how much would
soon be at our fingertips, from
video chats while riding the bus to
simultaneously following NASDAQ,
watching CNN Money and buying a coffee
- on a phone of all things.
Mobile banking, finance and commercial
purchasing are exploding, not only in the
United States but across the world. It’s
estimated that, in 2013, there are 181.4
million smartphone users in America,
with 44 percent of those using a device
to check their account balance or do
other online banking. Research suggests
this trend is only going to rise, with
smartphones becoming a ubiquitous part
of our lives.
Still, if you feel apprehensive about
putting so much of your life, or at least
livelihood, in something smaller than a
purse, you’re not alone. Like a wallet full
of ID and credit cards, it could be lost or
stolen, but if a phone is full of passwords,
apps and account details, isn’t there
much more at stake? And that’s even
before considering the invisible dangers
of hackers, viruses and the like.
With the increasing popularity of such
convenient options, though, it’s in the
best interests of businesses, banks and
other financial institutions to make the
technology as safe and problem-free as
possible - and experts say it is. The rest is
up to you.
IntroductionNot so long ago, the idea that we could wave an ATM card to make a purchase
seemed like the start of a brave new world. What could possibly be next?
Tony Anscombe is AVG’s Head
of Free Products. He blogs at
hat can you do from home or
on your mobile device? In a
nutshell: almost everything.
Deposit checks. Check balances and
transaction histories. Move money around.
Pay bills and make purchases. Most things
a bank teller can do, you can do yourself,
whenever and wherever you choose.
If you play the markets, are looking for a
real-time quote or just want to keep an
eye on stocks, shares and bonds, there’s
an app for it. Most stock brokers also offer
their own apps, including eTrade and TD
Research shows customers are
increasingly using mobile devices
to research, locate, compare prices
and purchase goods and services.
From prepaid coffee to finding the
nearest oil change and the best deal
on a refrigerator, mobile devices make
purchasing quick and convenient.
You can even do your weekly grocery
shopping from your smartphone and
have it delivered to your front door.
Meanwhile, banks are increasingly
moving away from face-to-face
interaction with their customers and
toward a digital relationship. It’s more
cost-effective and secure for both
parties, and generally more convenient
for customers. Apart from giving you
instant, 24-hour access to your finances,
mobile technology means you can travel
or spend time at a second home without
worrying how far you are from a bank
Much depends on the type of device
you’re using and your comfort level with
technology. Spend some time searching
the internet and your bank’s website to
decide what options work for you.
Mobile moneyIt can take some time to get used to internet banking, much less performing
more sophisticated financial dealings on the move. You may even be wondering
where to start.
Be Safe Online Managing Money on the Move www.avg.com 3
Most things you might
ask a bank teller to do
you can do yourself,
whenever and wherever
f you’re used to accessing your
accounts online - for instance,
to transfer funds - it’s a natural
progression to smartphone banking.
Rest assured that your bank will have
protective measures in place, such as
multiple layers of authentication for
account access. Then download the
app and away you go. Just be sure to
passcode- and software-protect your
device, which should provide peace of
mind if it’s lost or stolen and arm it
At least 75 percent of major banks,
including Bank of America and Citibank,
offer apps for traditional services and
time-saving features such as location-
specific ATM finders. But that’s just the
start: there are apps to help track and
manage spending, pay bills and even
mobile check-depositing options.
Most bigger banks, such as Chase and
PNC Bank, will accept check- and money-
order deposits from a smartphone
camera image, but may require
restrictive endorsements to reduce the
risk of double deposits. While there have
been a few hiccups along the way,
experts agree that advances such as
smartphone deposits are generally less
prone to human error, and consumer
response has been overwhelmingly
There can be catches. Occasionally,
there are additional charges - though
they’re usually minimal - for things such
as depositing checks via a smartphone.
But banks are responding to consumer
demand: 76 percent of American
consumers expect real-time access to
their financial accounts, according to
payment solutions provider First Data.
Get smarterGet in touch with your financial advisor or bank to find out what online options
are available and what suits your needs.
Be Safe Online Managing Money on the Move www.avg.com 4
There are apps to help
track and manage
spending, pay bills and
even mobile check-
wareness is your first defense.
Banks and financial institutions
will never send e-mails requesting
verification of your password, account
or personal details. Security software
is essential for all devices, including
smartphones, and should protect against
viruses and spam; but you may still get
e-mails masquerading as pleas for help
from down-and-out friends or get-rich-
Pop-up ads and downloads that look too
good to be true are also prime
vehicles for malware to infect your
device, gathering sensitive information
or disrupting operations. If in doubt,
force shutdown immediately.
Avoid any banking or other financial
transactions on public computers,
such as in a library or internet cafe, or
using insecure WiFi networks, such as
in airports or coffee shops. Your details
can easily fall into the wrong hands,
particularly if, like many people, you
haven’t protected your smartphone
or tablet. These devices have all the
capabilities and vulnerabilities of a
computer, so take similar precautions.
Smartphones come with unique risks,
not least because they’re smaller, more
portable and a good place for storing
apps. With hundreds of thousands of
apps on the market, it can be hard to
differentiate between legitimate ones
and those that can launch a malware
attack on your phone. California-based
network security company Juniper
Networks estimated that by March 2013,
there were some 276,000 malicious apps
on the market. So be careful what you’re
installing and what personal details
you’re providing, particularly if the app
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Your details can easily
fall into the wrong
hands, particularly if
you haven’t protected
We’ve all heard scary reports of identity theft, lost life savings and cyberthieves
operating out of sight and beyond reach. Hackers, scammers and phishing
attacks are a relatively infrequent, but persistent, part of life online.
...& SenseLike any desktop, laptop or tablet, your smartphone needs appropriate
protection to keep your data safe, even if it’s never out of your possession
- but especially if you ever lose it.
Be Safe Online Managing Money on the Move www.avg.com 6
e sure to passcode-protect your
smartphone and log out of any
sites when finished. Set up a
SIM card lock to keep it from being
used in another phone. Encrypt the SD
card, which stores data, or erase any
usernames and passwords. You may
consider storing sensitive data remotely,
such as in secure cloud storage, rather
than in your phone itself; either way,
it’s good practice to backup information
such as contact details.
Experts say texts are easily hacked,
so never send passwords or account
information via text. Also switch off
wireless connections when not in use,
which will save your battery and prevent
others from connecting to your device
without your knowledge.
You can set the Bluetooth to default to
“non-discoverable” mode and make sure
the phone settings don’t automatically
connect to a network when in range. If
you do get any unknown requests coming
through a Bluetooth connection, such as
invitations to ‘pair’ with another device,
ignore them. As with any messages from
unfamiliar sources, don’t respond.
Keep in mind that whenever you enter
details, like your name or address,
to access accounts or websites, that
information will be retained and probably
gathered by third-party sources.
When you install an app you’re also
giving it access to other data, such as
your phone and email contacts, call logs,
calendar and the location of the device.
it does with any information it collects,
and whether it shares or stores it. Don’t
just gloss over those details or you could
be in for a surprise.
Be Safe Online Managing Money on the Move
What do professional investors and other market-watchers
think about your stocks? Take a peek at relevant updates from
the Twittersphere and chat with other investors who are fol-
lowing the same stocks. Also offers charts, videos and other
custom financial news. For iPhone or Android.
After downloading the app, users are mailed a free Square
credit card reader for processing payments anytime, anywhere.
Small business owners or others who accept card payments
can do so with a smartphone. Available for iPhone and Android.
Does what it says and more: highlights prospective stocks to
buy while providing quotes, charts and technical analysis of
your current portfolio. For iPhone and iPad.
Check Money & Bills
App that provides real-time alerts and reminders about users’
accounts and helps organize and track financial dealings. Free
and available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 and
Mobile applications, or apps, are programs that can be downloaded to your mobile
device and accessed directly without using an internet browser. Hundreds of
thousands of apps are available, with more appearing every day. Here are a few that
come recommended by savvy money experts.
Be Safe Online Managing Money on the Move
of smartphone users check their bank balance or
do any online banking
of smartphone users on a typical day check
their bank balance or do any online banking
75%of the country’s major banks are offering mobile apps,
according to a report by Corporate Insight.
57.3%of Americans have
Moving onWith technology moving so quickly, it can seem like a full-time job keeping up with the
changes. But even younger generations who have never known life without a cellphone
can do with a few pointers about how to stay safe while getting the most of
It’s also important to remember that all of these options are just that: options. Bricks-
and-mortar banks still exist and real, living financial advisors and brokers can be reached
over the phone. You don’t have to make purchases with your mobile device. Just take it
one step at a time and don’t let your smartphone replace those real-world encounters
Learn more about mobile security at www.avg.com
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