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Know the risks of financial apps

(NC) Financial technology helps us to keep track of our finances, but it’s important to know the risks related to new digital banking options.

Fintech refers to any kind of technological innovation used to support or provide financial services, such as online transactions through your tablet or smartphone. These innovations are bringing about major changes in the financial industry and giving rise to a range of new business models, applications, processes and products.

Although these apps can give you easy access to your personal finances, there are also some risks involved. For instance, your banking information — such as your debit or credit card number, username or personal identification number (PIN) — could be stolen.

That’s why it’s important to be very careful about sharing your personal and banking information online. In fact, did you know that by providing your banking or credit card information, you may risk violating your financial institution’s user agreement?

This means that no matter what security features an app has in place, your financial institution may hold you responsible if your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge or approval.

Here are a few tips to help you protect your personal, banking and credit card information when using fintech apps:

  • Check your bank’s user agreement before you share your personal, banking or credit card information.
  • Check your financial institution’s fraud protection policy to confirm who is responsible for any unauthorized transactions.
  • Make sure you understand what security measures are in place and how your personal information may be used.
  • Check your credit report regularly for any applications for credit or transactions you did not make. You can have a fraud alert placed on your credit report file to tell lenders to contact you and confirm your identity before they approve any applications for credit.

If you suspect that your information has been compromised, change your passwords immediately. Review your bank account and credit card statements and look for anomalies, and immediately report any unauthorized transactions to your financial institution.

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