Best practices for mobile device security
As you use your smartphone or tablet to bank and shop online, it’s important to keep your personal information secure. Here are some tips to help you protect your mobile devices.
Enable password protection
A reasonably complex six-digit password will protect your phone from the average criminal if it’s lost or stolen. For convenience, most devices also offer biometric identification such as fingerprint or face ID. In order for these measures to be effective, remember to set your phone to lock automatically when you aren’t using it.
Don’t connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots
It’s hard to verify that a public Wi-Fi network belongs to who you think it does. Someone else could access your private login details while you are connected. Instead, use your mobile data network, which has built-in security.
SMS Phishing (or SMShing)
Phishing attacks, which are misleading emails or text messages designed to trick you into clicking on a malicious link, account for more than 80% of reported security incidents. Never download attachments or click on text links that come from people or phone numbers you don’t recognize. You also shouldn’t disclose any personal information (account numbers, passwords, social insurance numbers or birth dates) through mobile messages.
Make sure you have remote access
Most smartphones allow users to remotely track a device location, lock the device, erase the data, and retrieve a backup if it’s lost or stolen. If you lose your device or change your number, remove the old number from your mobile banking profile and call us immediately at 1.800.728.6440.
Use discretion when downloading apps
Only download apps from the App Store or Google Play. Even apps that seem innocent can have software designed to steal personal data, make fraudulent charges, or even hijack your phone. Be sure to also manage the apps your children can download on your device.
Keep your device up to date
Set your devices to automatically update so they can receive security patches to keep them protected. Consider replacing devices once they no longer receive software updates.
Turn off Bluetooth
Mobile viruses can spread through a Bluetooth connection. Don’t connect to unknown sources, turn on Bluetooth in public spaces, or accept files from unknown devices.
Keep your apps up to date
Just like the operating system on your device, you should also update all your apps regularly. These app updates will patch security holes that have been discovered.
Avoid making purchases and banking transactions — or any communication that conveys a password, account number, or credit card number — unless you are certain that you are on a secure site and connection (i.e. https://).
Set up a PIN for account changes
If you haven’t already, call your service provider and set up a pin that must be used before making any changes to your phone plan. This adds an extra layer of security and helps make sure only you have access to your account.
Learn more about protecting yourself by visiting our fraud prevention centre: