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Defend your data: 5 online security don'ts

Don't assume mobile apps are safe
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Don't assume mobile apps are safe

For sheer convenience, it's hard to beat the allure of banking with your smartphone. But before you download an app that promises to turn your phone into a wallet, it's a good idea to ask yourself if you're trading convenience for security.

"Smartphone users who want to use mobile banking should only use apps from their financial institution," says Eldridge, who warns third-party apps may not have the same privacy protections as apps offered by your bank.

But Albert Thiel, president of Your Data Center Incorporated, a website hosting and network security company based on Long Island, N.Y., says consumers shouldn't be too quick to adopt mobile banking until there's better security across the board for mobile apps.

"Don't ever use a cellphone to connect to your bank," Thiel says. "(Many of) those apps you have loaded continue to run, even when you exit them," which may put users at risk for having keystrokes and touch screen selections intercepted.

According to Thiel, security on mobile devices will get better as anti-virus and anti-spyware packages evolve, but for now, he cautions, "Just don't do it."


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