This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by a seeker of security 6 years, 12 months ago.
June 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm #1508
How do people use and keep their online banking accounts and personal privacy safe from crooks?
June 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm #1510
a seeker of security
There is no doubt that using online banking services are incredibly convenient. Personally, I have not actually walked into any physical branch of my bank in several years. Think about it—if you have direct deposit or an account linked to PayPal (or some other source of electronic funds transfer) and online banking, there really is not much of a reason to use in person services anymore.
Most people that I know use there online banking account at least as much as they use in person banking services. There are a number of reasons for this including not needing to stand in line just to process a routine transaction, not having to make the drive during normal business hours (and deal with the hassle of traffic), not needing to fight for a parking space, etc… No one in there right mind would debate the fact that online banking is convenient.
The question that everyone must answer for themselves is whether this convenience is worth the cost involved. We are not talking about a monetary cost for services, but the cost of compromised security and privacy. There are many fraudsters out there who prey upon innocent or unsuspecting people. If you are not careful and take the proper steps to secure your account, you could become a victim of identity theft and find your accounts cleaned out one day.
This is a very real risk, despite the fact that online banking privacy is becoming better each day. The real key to making sure we do not fall victim to anything sinister is to monitor all of our online banking accounts regularly.
One of the simple things which can be done is to change our passwords. Experts recommend that we do this on a regular basis, like once a month. Personally, I think this is a very simple thing. I would also not recommend that those online password storage robots be used, since if someone has access to your information and computer, they will probably be able to get into this program as well.
Make sure that you do not allow anyone else to access these online accounts. Experts also say that sharing passwords is one of the most common ways crooks are able to gain access. Contrary to popular belief, most identity theft actually is committed by people that we know or workers in local companies that we frequent as customers.
The bottom line is that it is very possible to keep ourselves safe and well protected when using online banking. If we are able and willing to take some simple protection measures, then I think that the rewards do indeed outweigh the risks posed by potential fraudsters. I enjoy the fact that I do not have to ever walk into a local branch again, never have to wait in line. I will gladly deal with a little extra monitoring and keeping track of a password.
August 11, 2012 at 3:19 am #1509
Well, the best thing that you can do to keep your online bank account safe is to make sure that you pick a secure username and password, something that no one that you know can guess. That's the first line of defense. A lot of people think that it's totally fine to pick a password that their trusted friends and loved ones can guess. Even if you trust someone, it does not mean that they always hang out with trustworthy people. For example, if your aunt always gave you the nickname of Teenie and still calls you that, then that would not be a good password.
Let's say that she has a boarder that hears her call you Teenie all the time, and then that boarder finds out you bank at First Federal. Your username is typically going to be your name or email address which are both easy enough to find out. Next, the boarder types in Teenie and voila! That person now has access to it all.
So, the first line of defense is to make sure you’re the ONLY one who understands what your usernames and passwords are and where they came from.
There has been some debate on whether online banking is safe in any way. I mean, here's my stand. I've heard of cases where files of passwords have been stolen. These are not banking cases, but nonetheless, files of passwords have been stolen from major companies before. I think online banking is very convenient, but personally I do a mixture of online and offline banking. When I get money electronically for something, I usually take it out of cyberspace and put it in a bank physically. I go into the bank to withdraw money and do other things from time to time too. I check my balance online, but that's really about it. I don’t' get into all that bill pay stuff. I like to pay my bills consciously. I don't like the idea of bill paying going on in the background. I also don't like being so dependent on my online dealings for all of my money exchanges.
Everyone has their own comfort level. I would say that if you are asking about staying safe while online banking, you are probably considering it, but there is some apprehension there. I have to ask you then, what is that hesitation? Look inside and see what the problem is and then address that. Like, do you feel like someone will get into your account? Why? Once you find the problem, then the solution will present itself. Maybe online banking is not for you. Maybe if your gut is telling you that something might go wrong, then you should stick with what you know. It's always worth it to have peace of mind.