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If you prefer not to visit your local bank to make a deposit or handle some other transaction, online banking allows you to conduct most of your business from your personal computer. However, any time that you use an online site, including your bank, there are certain safety tips for you to keep in mind to ensure that your experience is a safe one. Let’s take a look at five online banking safety tips.
1. Your Bank
Before using the services of any bank online, confirm that your institution is legitimate. Is the bank FDIC insured? Visit the “Bank Find” page on the FDIC.gov site to confirm that your bank is listed. Similarly, if you choose a credit union, the National Credit Union Administration can give you that information at MyCreditUnion.gov.
According to the FDIC, some banks use different names online than what they use for their brick and mortar facilities. For example Emigrant Savings Bank is Emigrant Direct online. Confirm with your bank that they are one and the same. Keep up with news about mergers and acquisitions too. In 2012, Capital One assumed control of ING Direct’s U.S. operations.
3. Fake Emails
The FDIC warns consumers about fraudulent email messages sent where someone pretends that they are a bank, but when you click on their link they redirect you to a page in an effort to steal your name and password. No bank will send you an email announcing problems with your account and directing you to click on a link. If you’re not certain that any notification from your bank is legitimate, simply contact you local branch for clarification.
4. Secure Page
Only use a secure page when conducting banking business online. You should notice two things: the web address starts with “https” as the added “s” represents that the page is secured. Also, look for a closed padlock icon in your browser – you can usually see it in the corner of your screen.
Keep your password secret, never give it out to anyone making an inquiry about it. Change your password from time to time as well. Use a long and complicated password that includes numbers, letters, capitalized letters and punctuation marks if allowed.
If security is a concern, opt to have your important papers including monthly statements mailed to your home. Online banking is convenient, however when you need to access important documents, hard copies can come in handy if your account is frozen or otherwise compromised.
About the Author
Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and owner of several websites including WordJourney. Matt covers a variety of inspirational topics including reviews of some of his favorite Christmas movies.