Recent surveys indicate that about 47% of bank customers are using online banking. Trusting such personal information to your mobile device can be a risky business if you do not know what you are doing and you do not take the right measures to protect yourself. There are 3 common issues that cause people to be weary of online banking:
- Identity theft
- Security attacks
- Website outages
As long as you are working with a bank that has really taken the necessary steps to protect their site and the customer’s information, your financial information should be safe. There are many websites out there that consistently make good choices in choosing a good provider to help them secure their website against issues. For you to make good choice with online banking, it helps to know a little about the bank that you are working with and to ensure that there are not any surprises in store with online banking.
To protect yourself when you are dealing with online banking, it is important that you always check on the security of the website. It is also important to work with a bank that is protected by the FDIC so you can regain your money in the event that the website is hacked and your credit cards are stolen or other financial records are compromised.
It is important that you work with a legitimate bank. Are they insured by the FDIC? Use the FDIC database search tool to check on the status of your bank and to know that you are working with a legitimate bank.
The website should be secured when you sign into your account. This usually occurs when you input your user name and password and the site bar will say “https:” and will likely appear green in color or the search bar will go green. This helps you to know that the legitimate bank is securing their site to prevent hackers from gaining access to the site. To further your investigation into the bank, read their website user agreement. Here you will find a physical address, which you need to consider putting into Google to verify it. There should also be a link to the FDIC website and the bank will include the FDIC image on their website where it says “member FDIC”.
Know that legitimate banks will never send out emails asking you to verify your information. Always follow the link given on your bank statement over one that is given to you in an email as it is likely that this is a phishing scam. You might even call your bank to speak with a representative to ask them about the email and your account. Most banks have a department you can forward fraudulent emails to so they can try and report them and reduce phishing scams from occurring with their bank name.