Now that you know the financial basics, let’s learn about the tools you need in the new normal. Many of you might have second thoughts about using technology and are worried about getting hacked or losing your hard-earned money. In fact, lack of trust in digital financial tools is the main reason why most Filipinos hesitate using digital financial services in the first place.
With this in mind, banks and other financial institutions go to great lengths to assure customers that their money and data will remain protected from any fraudulent activity. They do this by equipping their websites and apps with strong encryption and other online security features, such as the following
1. Password Encryption
This is the most common security feature that all applications and websites have. Basically, encryption codes your password into a format that’s unreadable to hackers. It assures that your personal data is secure to some extent. (Read: Password Encryption: How Do Password Encryption Methods Work?)
2. Login Alerts/Notifications
When this feature is turned on, the application or website you use will send you a text mes sage, email, or notification every time your account is logged in from a new place. Usually, alerts like this include the exact time and date of the log in and have a verification prompt if you recognize the log in or not. This feature is mostly used in social media applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (Read: Find out if someone’s logging in to your Facebook account)
3. Login Approvals
Similar to login notifications, this feature alerts you every time your account is being logged from a new server or device. But the main difference is, before authorizing a log in, you would need to input a special security code that will be sent to your mobile number or email. You will only be able to access your account after successfully encoding the special code. They call this two-factor authentication.
4. One-Time Passwords
Through a One-Time Password (OTP) system, websites and applications provide its users an automatically generated numeric or alphanumeric string of characters to authenticate a login session or transaction. This is a common feature in mobile banking and online payment trans actions since it is only allowed for one login attempt or a single transaction within a certain amount of time. (Read: One-time password (OTP) – more security online)
5. Touch/Face ID
This is the most secure class of data protection, mainly because it is unique to every individu al. Usually, this feature can be found in mobile phones and is available at both Apple and An droid systems. Touch ID is an electronic fingerprint recognition feature that recognizes finger prints as a passcode, while Face ID is a facial recognition system that maps your face to a 2D image that will serve as your master key. (Read: Fingerprint vs. Face ID: Which is safer?)
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so whenever you’re going to sign up for something new or simply updating your current accounts, make sure that you maximize these built-in cybersecurity measures when transacting online.
Moreover, it’s also important to have the right tools to make the most out of these digital financial services. Most financial companies nowadays have developed mobile apps for smartphone users and web or desktop versions for those who prefer using laptops instead. Having at least one smartphone, tablet, or laptop would be enough to enjoy the variety of services an app or website can offer.
For smartphone and tablet users, make sure to check your Operating System (OS) versions and Random-Access Memory (RAM) to make sure that the newest apps can run on your device. You can do so by going to your device’s Settings and selecting About Phone from the menu. Your device should have at least an Android Lollipop 5.0 OS version and a 2GB RAM to take advantage of most apps.
What financial apps should you download?
The answer is: It depends on what your purpose or aim is. If you have an existing bank account, then it is highly advisable that you download its corresponding app for convenient banking; if you do a lot of online transactions, such as online selling or shopping, it might be a good idea to open an e-wallet account; while if you are looking to apply for a loan, then you can opt for a lending or consumer finance app.
How To Install, Launch, And Register An App
Now that you’ve determined which apps you would like to have on your phone, follow these 10 easy steps that will guide you from app installation to registration:
1. Open Google Play Store for Android apps or App Store for iPhone users 2. Tap the search bar and type in the the name of the app you want to download 3. Tap on the name or icon of the app, then review its info page to learn more about the app (description of the app, price, ratings and reviews, etc.) 4. After reviewing the app, Android users can tap the green “Install” button. Once the download is done, tap the “Open” button, which will launch the app. 5. If you’re an iPhone user, tap on the “Get” button, and a prompt will show up asking for the verification of your Apple ID password. Use your Touch ID, Face ID, or enter your passcode manually to verify. Once done, the app will automatically download. 6. Once you’ve successfully downloaded and launched the app, register and create your own profile or account to make the most out of the app’s features. Just tap on the “Register” or “Create an Account” button usually found on the Home page 7. Fill in all the necessary fields. Most apps would ask for your full name, desired username and password, birthday, complete address, email address, contact number, and at least (1) valid ID, so make sure to always prepare these beforehand. 8. After creating your profile or account, you will receive an email or text verification from the app. To verify your profile or account, simply follow the steps stated in the email or text. 9. Once your account has been verified, you can now login using your username and password 10. Explore the app and enjoy its features!
With a better understanding of online security features and equipping ourselves with the necessary tools to access digital services, we can enjoy the modern and convenient life brought about by technology with less worries.