Smartphone Banking: How safe is your money?

By: Laurie L. Dove

Smartphone Banking: How safe is your money?
Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

About This Quiz

We use our smartphones for lots of tasks, from texting our BFFs to watching viral videos. But when it comes to mobile banking, are smartphones really safeguarding our financial information? Take our smartphone banking quiz and test your knowledge!
What percentage of major U.S. banking institutions offer smartphone banking apps as of 2011?
25 percent
50 percent
75 percent
By the year 2011, 75 percent of the United States' major banking institutions offered mobile banking apps for smartphone users.

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How much did the global number of people using mobile banking services increase in 2011 alone?
from 4 percent to 21 percent
from 19 percent to 30 percent
According to Javelin Research, the number of people using mobile banking services grew from 19 percent to 30 percent in 2011 -- and that number is expected to continue increasing for the next several years.
from 68 percent to 75 percent

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What is the No. 1 deterrent that keeps smartphone users from banking via their mobile devices?
Their fingers are too large for smartphone keyboards.
They have concerns about the safety and security of their financial data.
Experts estimate that more smartphone users would bank via their mobile devices if they weren't so concerned about their financial data being compromised.
They would miss the candy treats that bank tellers give out with deposit slips.

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What's the No. 1 way you can keep your mobile financial information safe?
Tell the bank if you get a new job.
Tell the bank when you download a new app.
Tell the bank if your smartphone is lost or stolen.
Always notify your financial institution if your smartphone has been lost or stolen so that texts or emails containing financial information won't be sent to your phone -- for a stranger to read.

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Typically, where's the best place to get a reliable banking app?
the email your friend sent you with a link to the app
the official Web site of your financial institution
Safeguard your financial information: Do not download mobile banking apps from a third party. Instead, download them from the official Web site of your financial institution.
an app store

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What is the strongest type of password for mobile banking?
consecutive numbers, like 1234
the day, month and year of your birth
eight or more characters, using numbers, symbols, letters and punctuation
The greater the variety of characters and length, the stronger the password. It's best to use eight or more characters from all over the keyboard (rather than one central location), including a variety of numbers, letters, symbols and punctuation.

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What is a screen lock?
It requires a code or pin to access your smartphone's features.
A screen lock can be activated in the settings menu of most smartphones. It requires a code or PIN to unlock the screen and access your smartphone's features -- including online banking apps and information.
When activated, it freezes the screen and automatically dials the bank.
It sends an alert when fraudulent banking activity is detected.

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Is it OK to connect with your bank via free WiFi using your smartphone?
always
Yes, but only if you are at an airport.
Don't risk it.
Your financial information would be more secure if you connected via your password-protected home WiFi network instead of free, public WiFi. Data sent through an unsecured WiFi connection is relatively easy for hackers to grab out of thin air.

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SMS (text messages) are sent on a secure wavelength, right?
wrong
Text messages are one of the most vulnerable forms of mobile communication, and are one of the riskiest methods for transmitting financial information.
right
only if you work at the Pentagon

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Your smartphone has been lost or stolen. Can you keep your mobile banking data out of the wrong hands?
Only if you can find your phone -- right away!
Yes, but if you installed the right app beforehand.
Certain apps, like Mobile Defense, WaveSecure or Find My iPhone, can be activated by remote and will restore your missing smartphone to its factory settings -- erasing all of your financial data.
Forget about it.

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According to estimates in 2011, how many customers will be using online banking by the year 2015?
1.1 billion
In 2011, experts estimated that by 2015, more than 1.1 billion customers would be using their smartphones for banking.
1.1 million
10 billion

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Why is it less safe to transmit important information by text message than by cellular phone call?
Cell phone calls are transmitted by secure telephone wires.
Text messages are always transmitted on unsecured WiFi connections.
Text messages are transmitted on open radio channels.
Cell phones use radio channels to transmit calls and text messages. Calls happen on private channels that would be more difficult for a hacker to intercept, but text messages are sent and received via a common control channel that could be easier for a hacker to find and tap into.

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As of January 2011, what was the most prevalent operating system for smartphones in the U.S.?
iOS
Android
About one-third of all U.S. smartphones ran on Android operating systems, closely followed by the Blackberry operating system, then iOS and Windows Phone 7.
Windows Phone 7

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PayPal, believed by some to the be the original mobile banking application, has how many account holders?
210 million
90 million
more than 100 million
In 2011, the number of account holders at PayPal reached more than 100 million. With this service, users can link to bank accounts and debit and credit cards online.

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What is a smartphone "pull" banking transaction?
a transaction or request initiated by a banking customer using a smartphone
A pull banking transaction occurs when a banking customer requests information or initiates a transaction using a smartphone. It's considered a two-way exchange because the bank must respond to the customer's request.
a banking transaction that causes a customer's account to become overdrawn
an incomplete banking request performed on a smartphone

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It's convenient, but is it a good idea to store passwords on your smartphone?
only if you have a poor memory
yes
no
Experts contend that storing passwords on your smartphone -- or allowing financial Web sites to "remember" passwords -- sets you up for disaster if your smartphone is lost or stolen.

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If you are the victim of mobile banking fraud, will your bank hold you responsible for the loss?
always
it depends
It depends on your bank's policies regarding mobile banking fraud. However, many financial institutions will replace the funds if you report the fraud -- and if they can prove it occurred -- within a certain period of time.
never

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What is the safest smartphone for mobile banking?
one you treat as carefully as a wallet full of cash
Regardless of make, model or security apps, the safest smartphone for mobile banking is one you watch as closely as a wallet full of cash -- because that's exactly what it would become to thieves who accessed your financial information.
the newest version of the best-selling model
one with multiple banking apps

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True or false: Once you've downloaded a banking app onto your smartphone and you know it's legitimate, there's nothing more to do.
True
False
After you download a banking app, you'll need to check regularly for updates. Hackers are continually searching for software loopholes, and you'll need the latest updates to stay one step ahead.

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What is a "Trojan horse" app?
a fake app
A Trojan horse app is one designed to mimic an authentic app, like one offered by your financial institution. However, a Trojan app steals your ID and login info so that hackers can access your account.
an app for horse lovers
an app to help you save money

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You Got:
/20
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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