The bank I use, Bank of America, added a neat new security feature. I haven’t been able to try it out1, but I think this is how it works:
- You log into your account on the web site and register your cell phone
- You specify which online banking features will require authentication via SMS
- Anytime you want to perform a sensitive transaction via the website (for example, transfer money) they send a random code to your cell phone via SMS
- In order to perform the transaction you must enter the random code into their web site (along with your standard user name, password and site key)
- The random code expires after 10 minutes, if it’s unused.
1 I haven’t been able to try it out because for some reason it requires Flash Player, I’m using 64-bit Linux, and for Adobe still hasn’t released a 64-bit version of Flash Player (for ANY operating system). I mean, WTF? x86-64 processors have been around for four years already. Linux has been running since about that time, and there have been x86-64 Windows products since 2005. I know this probably isn’t going to happen, but if they just open-sourced Flash Player the community would make it work on x86-64 for them.