Be Smart with your Smartphone
Smartphones have changed how we live, and how we bank. Mobile banking apps are used by individuals and businesses to deposit checks by snapping a picture, access balance information, transfer funds, pay bills, and more—from anywhere, anytime. However, many people do not take adequate security precautions with their smartphones, leaving them vulnerable to possible identity theft and privacy loss.
What Can You Do?
- Create a password or PIN to lock your smartphone or mobile device when not in use.
- Do not give your password to anyone, and do not store it on your mobile device.
- Use only Hanmi Bank’s mobile bank app, or the official mobile apps provided by other financial institutions you do business with.
- Do not access mobile or online banking through third-party apps or sites. If in doubt, contact your bank.
- Download apps only from official app stores, such as the Apple iTunes Store or Google Play. Avoid downloading free apps from unknown sources, as they may install malware on your smartphone.
- Keep your phone’s operating system updated with the latest security patches.
- Avoid “rooting” your smartphone, as this may remove security features.
- Install an antivirus program on your smartphone if available.
- Beware of text messages and emails from unfamiliar senders containing links. These may be phishing scams aimed at stealing your personal financial data. Never respond to messages asking for your password or PIN. Don’t reply to unsolicited messages or voicemails.
SMARTPHONES AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Smartphones and mobile devices are now an integral part of social media activity, but it’s important not to reveal information that may put you at risk for fraud or theft. We recommend the following precautions:
How Do You Deposit a Check with Your Smartphone or Tablet?
- Social check-in: When away from home—whether just out to dinner or on vacation—be careful about posting your whereabouts in your social media status. Burglars and other criminals have used Facebook and other social media platforms to find vacant properties to rob. If you're using a social app on your phone to check-in to a location, consider whether you want others knowing you're not at home.
- Taking pictures: Most smartphones have built-in GPS, which may embed coordinates into an image when you take a picture. When you share these photos online, criminals can see where you took the picture.
- Limit photo sharing: It’s common to take pictures with smartphones of family members and personal things, such as a home, car or other possessions. Sharing these online may reveal personal information that can be used by identity thieves.
Start by taking photos... and taking precautions!
At an increasing number of banks, consumers can use a smartphone or tablet to deposit a check into their account from anywhere they can access their account remotely. Simply endorse the check (just like you would at the ATM or teller), use your mobile device to snap a photo of the front and back, and deposit the check using the bank’s mobile application (app).
This service — often called “remote deposit capture” or RDC — is becoming more common at banks and more popular with consumers. Still, there are potential costs and security risks. FDIC Consumer News is offering our latest tips and reminders.
Review and understand your bank’s RDC policies and fees.
This information will generally be on the bank’s app or website. “For example, find out if there is a limit on the total dollar amount or number of checks that you can deposit via RDC in a certain time period,” said Deborah Shaw, an FDIC senior technology specialist.
Additionally, you should determine how long the bank requires you to keep the original check after you deposit it using RDC.
Confirm when the funds from your deposited check will be made available to you.
Federal rules allow banking institutions to put a temporary “hold” on certain deposits, and require institutions to provide disclosures to customers stating when their funds will be available for withdrawal. “If you do not find this information on the bank’s app or website, talk to an employee,” said Luke W. Reynolds, Chief of the FDIC’s Outreach and Program Development Section. “Also confirm the cutoff time for deposits to be considered received that day; this may not be the same as the bank’s normal closing time.”
Take steps to avoid potential problems.
RDC creates the risk that a check could be deposited more than once. That could happen accidentally if, for example, a wife deposits a check electronically using RDC and then her spouse, not realizing that the check is already deposited, sees the paper check and deposits it at the bank. Or, a fraudster could steal a check, alter it and attempt to deposit the funds.
Shaw advises writing “for mobile deposit only” or “deposited” on the back of the paper check and securely storing the check for as long as required according to your bank’s policies. After the bank’s recommended retention period ends, RDC users should shred the paper check.
Always monitor your accounts.
As you would if you were depositing money any other way, make sure deposits and other transactions have been properly posted to your account. “You can check your account online or through the mobile app,” Shaw said. “Your bank also may provide email alerts about changes in account balances or unusual activity on your account.” She added that your bank also may be able to notify you by email or text message when RDC deposits are posted to your account or if there is a problem with a deposit.
For more help or information regarding remote deposits, contact your bank.