Online banking offers convenience on the goBy Joe HarrisonLet’s face it, who doesn’t like convenience and what better way to bank than in the convenience of, well, wherever you choose to? Thanks to the Internet, online banking accommodates your busy lifestyle. It provides access to your money at any time of day and any day of the week.
By: Joe Harrison, Superior Telegram
By Joe HarrisonLet’s face it, who doesn’t like convenience and what better way to bank than in the convenience of, well, wherever you choose to? Thanks to the Internet, online banking accommodates your busy lifestyle.
It provides access to your money at any time of day and any day of the week.
For even greater convenience, smart phone technology allows you to bank wherever you have cell service.
The benefits of online banking include the ability to monitor your balances, pay bills or transfer funds between different accounts. Some banks even allow customers to open accounts or pay their bills online. Plus, online banking is very user friendly so you don’t have to be a computer wizard to use it.
Many people ask me, “How safe is online banking?”
The truth is online banking is very safe. The security features are many, including:
Privacy: All of your banking can be done from the comfort of your own home, office or while you’re on the go.
Firewalls: Banks use high-level firewalls, designed to block unauthorized access, to protect information sent and received.
Encryption: Banks use an encryption code called SSL for all transfers of information, making it even more difficult for would-be thieves to steal your information.
Additional security: Some banks also offer free software that provides additional protection on the user’s end.
There are also steps you can take to add additional layers of security. These include:
Checking to make sure the web address is correct: Sometimes, copycat websites will use a very similar web address to trick individuals into entering their personal information.
Limiting who has access to your computer or phone: Set passwords and lock your computer when it’s not in use. Change your online banking passwords regularly.
Logging off instead of closing: Always use the “log off” prompt after accessing your account or performing any tasks instead of clicking the “x” at the top corner of the website.
Closing all browsers: Do not access your online banking account if multiple browsers are open on your desktop.
Reading your bank’s security policies and procedures carefully: Policies and procedures will most likely state how your bank will contact you if they need any personal information. Keep in mind, your bank will not ask for your personal information over the phone or via e-mail.
Setting up identity theft protection: Most banks offer an identity theft protection plan for a nominal fee. This is another layer of security whether you bank online or prefer traditional banking.
If you’re still uncertain about online banking, call a trusted banker and ask them to walk you through your account setup and its security policies and procedures. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. When it comes to your money, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Joe Harrison is branch manager for Citizens Bank in Superior. Citizens Bank is a diversified financial services company providing a wide range of commercial, consumer, mortgage, trust and financial planning services to a broad client base. For more information, visit www.citizensbanking.com.