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Is mobile banking safe? You have to pay attention to this

With mobile banking, you can manage financial transactions on the go with your smartphone. Whether your account is safe or not depends primarily on the standards of your bank and your own precautionary measures. In this practical tip, we will tell you what you absolutely have to pay attention to and what precautions you can take yourself to protect your money.

Mobile banking: This is how secure the smartphone apps are

Mobile banking is becoming more and more popular: Over a third of Germans are already doing money business from their iPhone or Android - and the trend is rising. You no longer access your account via the browser, but with apps.
  • From the Sparkasse to the Volksbank-Raiffeisenbank to the ING-DiBa, numerous credit institutions offer banking apps exclusively for their customers.
  • If you access your account using the bank's own smartphone apps, you are usually even more secure on the go than if you log in via the browser: you can neither fall for wrong Internet addresses nor reach a dangerous phishing site through typing errors.
  • Most banking apps also use high security standards. In many cases, in addition to your PIN, you also need an individual master password that you have to enter each time you access the app. In addition, all transactions are secured with 256-bit encryption - a procedure that is still considered unbreakable to this day.
  • We have put together the best apps for mobile banking for you in a picture gallery. Stiftung Warentest has also carefully tested the banking apps.

Secure TAN procedures for mobile banking - these options are available

Anyone who does online banking can have their TANs - short number combinations for transaction confirmation - sent as SMS using the mTAN procedure. However, we strongly advise you not to do so with mobile banking: if you receive your TANs on the same device that you use to make transfers, hackers will have an easy time of it. The following TAN procedures are more suitable for mobile financial transactions:
  • With the Push-TAN, the transaction confirmation number can be requested in a separate app, which you have to protect with an additional password. This is convenient, but all the data is again on the smartphone here. Once a virus has crept into your device, it may read both the banking and the TAN app.
  • The Photo-TAN offers more security: Before the transfer is made, a cryptic image is generated that you have to photograph with a smartphone or tablet. A special app then reads the TAN from the graphic. However, this procedure is much more cumbersome - after all, you always have to have two devices with you for banking transactions.
  • The Chip-TAN procedure has so far been the most secure variant for mobile banking: With the help of your bank card and an additional card reader, unique TAN codes are created for each transaction. The small TAN generator basically cannot be hacked, but in most cases you have to buy it separately.

Additional security tips for safe mobile banking

  • Only download banking apps from trusted sources, such as Google Play and the App Store for iOS. It is best to use the original apps of your respective bank - if anything is unclear, ask your advisor beforehand.
  • Your smartphone is also not completely protected from hacker attacks, Trojans and viruses. So be careful on the Internet, only download apps and email attachments from known providers and protect your device with anti-virus software for iOS or Android.
  • In addition, never save your PIN and PUK for mobile banking on your smartphone, not even disguised as a telephone number or date of birth in the address book.
  • Never use mobile banking when you are connected to the Internet via public networks. Likewise, avoid having Bluetooth switched on on your device - data thieves can establish a connection to your smartphone much more easily.
  • Always make sure that nobody is watching you enter your master password. Use a secure password in all cases.
Not only mobile banking requires security precautions, banking transactions on the computer can also be easily spied on. To prevent this from happening, you should follow our tips for secure online banking.