AgriLife Information Technology

The Mobile Banking Monster

The final fright of Cybersecurity month is something we use on a daily basis- mobile banking.

According to a 2022 Forbes Advisor survey,

78% of Americans prefer to bank digitally

Since so many people use their devices to manage their money, we thought we should cover 3 important tips to keep you and your money safe when using a banking app.

1. Secure your Accounts


Make sure you are using long, complex, and unique passwords for your financial accounts. A good password will meet the following criteria:

  • at least 12 characters
  • at least 1 uppercase letter (A,B,C,D,E)
  • at least 1 lowercase (a,b,c,d,e)
  • at least 1 number (1,2,3,4,5)
  • at least 1 symbol (!@#$%^&*_-+=|{}[]:;”‘,.?/)
  • does not include your name or personal info
  • not used for other accounts

Do these rules sound familiar? They should! They are requirements for our own AgriLife AgNet password. You can review all AgNet password requirements here.

Why do we have to follow these rules?

According to a study conducted by cybersecurity company Hive Systems, an 8-character password can be cracked by hackers in just 39 minutes using a brute force cracking method. A 12-character password with numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and symbols would take a hacker 3,000 years using the same method. Long, complex passwords are harder to crack, meaning your account is protected behind a strong password.

Strengthen your Authentication Methods

Always opt to enable stronger authentication when available, especially for accounts with sensitive information, such as your bank accounts.

A stronger authentication helps verify a someone has authorized access to an online account. For example, it could be a one-time PIN texted to a mobile device, providing an added layer of security beyond the password and username.  

Social Media Permissions

If a payment service is linked to your social media account, your payment or purchase history could accidentally be shared with your larger network. The more you post about yourself, the easier it might be for someone to use the information you post to access your accounts, steal your identity, and more. Be sure to review and understand those privacy permissions and settings.

Click the links below for steps on how to change your privacy settings on each platform:

2. Be Alert-ed

Always review your banking, credit card, or payment service statements regularly to ensure there are no unauthorized charges or withdrawals. Check your accounts regularly and sign up for any alerts your bank offers. Most banks and credit card companies offer alerts for the following:

  • Profile updates
  • Password changes
  • Attempted logins
  • Low Balance or Insufficient Funds
  • Direct Deposit available
  • Withdrawals
  • Large purchases
  • Card Declined

If you receive an alert and you know you were not responsible for the action that prompted the alert, contact your financial institution immediately.

3. Choose your Apps Wisely

Know your applications. Be sure to review and understand the details of an app before downloading and installing it. Be aware that apps may request access to your location and personal information and determine what information you want the app to be sharing or transmitting. Delete any apps that you do not use regularly to increase your security.