Online Banking: Myths and Facts
Banking via the Internet saves time and money and even helps you prevent fraud. By 2011, four out of five American households were using online banking — but some consumers still avoid online banking because of common myths.
Online Banking Benefits
Online services give you instant access to your funds, and the ability to make deposits and payments from almost anywhere at any time. The greater efficiency saves time and money compared to transactions that used to require a trip to a bank or automatic teller machine.
Real time balances and fast transfers between accounts are other major benefits. Monitoring your accounts online even helps detect suspicious activity and put a stop to unauthorized use of a credit card or other account. Here are some of the top myths that make some people hesitate to perform their banking online:
More Vulnerable to Fraud
In fact, online banking adds additional layers of security to your account information. A paper statement mailed to your home or business might be taken from a mailbox, but email statements are password-protected.
Exposes You to Hacking
Financial institutions use multiple security measures to protect the financial data of their customers. All transactions take place over a secure connection to prevent would-be hackers from accessing your personal information. Your banking information is encrypted to prevent anyone else from viewing your data while it’s in transit.
You Could Lose All Your Money
Financial institutions vary as to their policies about fraudulent use of an account. Your best defense is to know what your liability would be if theft occurred and to stay informed about fraud tactics to reduce your risks.
Even though online banking is secure, it’s important to protect the security of your computer and other devices that you use for online banking. Never give out your account numbers or passwords in an email or over the phone. Make sure the website is verified and using a secure connection before you enter your password. Your bank takes high-level measures to protect your account. By keeping your account information secure, you can prevent common forms of online crime.
Monitoring your accounts online is a fast way to make sure that transactions and fees are accurate. Reporting fraudulent activity immediately can reduce your liability. In some cases, if you don’t notice and report unauthorized transactions you may be on the hook for the loss. Used correctly, online banking saves time and offers greater protection for your money.