April 18, 2023

Guide to Secure Digital Banking

In light of the increase in mobile banking scams, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued guidelines on unapproved electronic funds transfers. To protect their finances, consumers must understand the potential risks and security measures involved with digital banking during this period when people are relying heavily on online services.

Here is a guide to secure digital banking.

What are the risks of mobile banking? 

Mobile banking can be an efficient and convenient way to access your finances, with no need to visit the bank or credit union during your lunch hour or on your way home from work. Banks and credit unions now make it easy for you to do a range of tasks, from depositing checks, making transfers, and reviewing account history, all from your phone using their mobile banking app.

However, there are risks associated with online and mobile banking. Hackers can break into phones and accounts in order to steal money and data. Mobile phishing scams trick customers into giving away personal details which could then be used by criminals to access the account. And bogus emails or messages appearing to be genuine could lead to malicious software being unknowingly installed on the device.

The latest data from Feedzai suggests that mobile banking scams have risen significantly, with a 159% increase in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the last quarter of 2020. This is likely due to people returning to their usual banking habits, and many are choosing to carry out transactions online.

Being mindful of the potential threats to your finances, and taking appropriate precautions, such as downloading apps only from legitimate financial institutions and enabling two-factor authentication, can help safeguard you from mobile and internet banking fraud. Taking these steps will give you peace of mind when managing financial transactions on your phone.

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Is Online Banking Safe?

With identity theft an increasingly serious issue, you may be concerned about banking online with Interior Federal. However, it is important to note that traditional banking carries its own risks, including:

  • Mail (bank statements, bills, etc.) being intercepted.
  • ATM use exposing personal information such as PIN numbers.
  • Paying bills by paper check makes account numbers and phone numbers susceptible to theft.

Online banking offers its own security measures that help protect you from such risks:

  • Transactions are done within the secure environment of your home or office.
  • There is heightened industry focus on security protocols.
  • Computers are safeguarded with firewalls and multiple-factor authentication.
  • Data transfers use SSL encryption.
  • The Card Controls feature allows you to turn your debit card on/off.
  • You can maintain control over access to your computer.
  • Consumers can and should always log off after completing a transaction.

When conducting online transactions, it’s important to also avoid conducting transactions while multiple browsers are open on your computer. These measures above, along with responsible usage, can help you make the most of your online banking experience.

How to bank safely online

Instances of online fraud are on the rise, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the convenience of mobile banking. To stay safe while banking online, heed these protocols and bank securely:

  • Utilize a virtual private network (VPN) to conceal your IP address. Through a VPN, you can establish a private connection even when connecting to public Wi-Fi, thus preventing scammers from accessing and compromising your mobile device. However, some VPNs are so effective that your own credit union may not recognize you. To ensure both security and account recognition, be sure to find a VPN that provides each user with a dedicated proxy IP. This will protect you from hackers while allowing selected accounts to identify you.
  • Opt for multi-factor authentication whenever available. Many financial apps require this security measure, and if yours offers it, be sure to activate it. Taking an extra step in protecting your money is always a smart choice.
  • Use a strong, unique password for your online banking app that is not used elsewhere. Include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to make it secure. Never share this password with anyone, as it must remain confidential. Additionally, select a security question that cannot be answered by searching through the information you have posted on social media. Keep your password secure and protected at all times.
  • Stay informed about potential scams. Make sure you are aware of the latest banking frauds and understand how to identify them if they target you. Never give out your account information in response to a text, email, phone call, or alert without verifying it first. Be wary of any unsolicited contact that requests such private details.
  • Secure your mobile device. Your phone holds a great deal of confidential data, so it should be shielded just as you would guard a laptop or desktop computer. Install an antivirus application on your phone as well as a location-tracking system so that you can locate your phone if it is ever lost. Always remember to lock your phone after use, sign out of any mobile banking applications you utilized, and keep your phone in a secure spot.

Learn more about cyber security best practices in our video.

Digital Banking with Interior Federal

Digital banking services are popular. More and more people turn to the internet for their financial needs and it allows consumers to access online banking and conduct transactions from any device, anytime they want. Here are services that come with Interior Federal digital banking.


Have you ever heard of Zelle? It’s a digital payment service that has been gaining popularity, especially among young adults. With Zelle, you can send and receive money directly from your online bank account with just a few taps on your phone. It’s fast, easy, and convenient. No more searching for cash. Plus, there are no transaction fees when you use Zelle. Whether you’re splitting a bill with friends or paying your share of the rent, Zelle makes it simple to handle your finances on the go.

Digital Wallets

Digital wallets are secure, easy to use, and incredibly convenient. No need to fumble through your purse or pockets searching for cash or cards. There are a few popular ones, such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay. You can link your bank account to these digital wallets, making it easy to make payments with just the tap of a finger. With digital wallets, you’ll no longer have to worry about carrying cash or worrying about fraudulent charges on your cards.

Account Management

With our user-friendly platform, you can take control of your finances with just a few clicks. We offer a range of tools that cater to your specific needs such as card management, where you can keep track of your spending and secure your card with just one click. You’ll also receive pre-approval offers, making it easier for you to apply for loans or credit cards without any hassle. Plus, with our shared access feature, you can grant access to a trusted individual, like a family member or accountant, to manage your finances with you. And the cherry on top? You can access your account balance, and transaction history, and even transfer money via text message banking!

Security Features

One of the most fundamental security features is a secure login process that includes multi-factor authentication. This helps ensure that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive personal and financial information. Alerts are another helpful feature that notifies you when there is suspicious activity on your account. Finally, mobile statements can allow you to keep an eye on your account activity from the convenience of your phone. It’s always better to be prepared and aware when it comes to online security.

Additional Services

Have you heard about the additional services available to you through your Visa card? Not only can you earn cash back on your purchases, but you also have access to various member rewards that can make your shopping experiences even better. Plus, you can enjoy exclusive deals and discounts at select retailers. But that’s not all, if you’re in the market for a new home, we also offer access to mortgages to help make the process smoother.

Tools & Resources

Whether you’re trying to master money management, file your taxes with ease using Turbo Tax, keep tabs on your credit score, or stay on top of your mobile statements, there are a wealth of resources available to help you succeed. The real key is knowing which tools to use and how to use them effectively. So if you’re ready to step up your financial game, get ready to dig in and start learning. The world of finance may seem overwhelming at first, but with the right tools and a willingness to learn, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.

Member Services

Whether you need assistance over the phone or in person, we’re here to help. Our helpful and friendly representatives are just a call away and will work tirelessly to ensure that your needs are met. And with our top-notch secure support, you can rest easy knowing that your information is safe and secure. Plus, with multiple locations available, you can choose the one that is most convenient for you.

Rising mobile banking fraud is a real concern, but you can rest assured knowing that with the right precautions, your money and information are safe. Taking the steps outlined above can give you peace of mind when banking with your phone. In fact, it may be more secure than traditional methods nowadays.

To learn more about staying safe while using digital banking services, get in touch with one of our Member Service Representatives at (800) 914-8619 or visit our Fraud & Security Center. We’re here to help you bank safely and securely.

Related: Tips for Online and Mobile Security

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