Are online banking sites secure enough to trust?
Making sure your online banking transactions are safe is mostly a matter of common sense and protecting your passwords.
In the 5 years I’ve been banking online, there have been very few problems.
Here’s how the FDIC suggests keeping your online banking transactions safe:
1. Read key information on the ABOUT page of the bank’s website
Which means make sure they have a toll free number to resolve internet issues. Also, call the number and see what your impression is before you take any action to buy their services.
2. Check the FDIC’s online list of approved banks
If the bank is approved by the FDIC, the first $250,000 on deposit is insured by the US government. This is a necessary stamp of approval that a bank should have before you even consider doing business with them.
3. Beware of scam sites
There are a number of fake banking websites set up to harvest your personal information (phishing scams). They call the sites something very similar to those of legitimate banks.
The look and feel of the site will be very similar to the real site and many people inadvertently enter their information.
As you know, access to your bank account is only allowed if you have a valid PIN#.
The safety of your online banking will depend on the smart choice of one.
When choosing your Online Banking PINs, follow these rules:
Choose a word that you will remember. Then create your PIN from the letters of the alphabet.
Definitely don’t choose your birthday, but it’s a great way to choose a memorable PIN.
Set up a dummy friend in your mobile phone and store your PIN numbers there
Needless to say, never store your passwords and PINs in a file named “passwords”… instead, set up a fictitious name in your mobile phone and just store them there.
The longer the better
At least 8 characters – composed of upper and lower case letters and numbers, with a symbol at the end.
Keep your password recorded in a place that only you know. Just like using a backup storage company to protect your data, this means your money will be available when you need it.
Finally, also keep in mind that the Internet is a VERY public place. Banks are a source of focus for Internet thieves because, as Willie Sutton said, “that’s where the money is.”
So you need to do a little more homework on the front end and make your password airtight.
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