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HOW SAFE IS ONLINE BANKING?

HOW SAFE IS ONLINE BANKING?

HOW SAFE IS ONLINE BANKING?

If you have not been inside of a consumer bank for a while – and many of us have not – the environment in most banks would probably surprise you now. In a nutshell: fewer people, more machines. For those of us who have lived long enough to remember being dazzled by the new drive-through banking way back when, modern banking facilities are truly representative of how technology has changed our lives. Most of us have moved our banking activity online.

If you are one of the 51 percent of Americans who do their banking online, safety concerns have probably crossed your mind. Hacking always makes news. Just this past July a woman in Seattle hacked into a server holding customer information for Capital One and obtained the personal data of over 100 million people. That report alarmed many online banking customers, but the truth is that your information and your money are probably safe. The hacks are few and far between and progress is constantly being made in safeguarding consumer data.

Research shows that young people, particularly those in their early 20s are the most likely age group to have and feel comfortable with an online bank account. That willingness and comfort level decreases as age brackets increase. Baby Boomers are far less likely to bank online or consider it. That has much to do with older citizens’ online safety concerns.

Still, experts agree on a few proactive steps consumers can take to ensure the security of their data:

· Two-factor identification is (2FA) becoming more widely used than ever. This is a process by which you have to offer two identification factors instead of the traditional one. Check out this website to find out if your bank offers 2FA and to see details of how it is used. At this site you can also get information on 2FA offerings from finance and investment firms. 2FA makes a hacker’s job far more than two times tougher.

· Change your passwords frequently. Maintain a document file on your laptop or smartphone where you keep your updated passwords for all of your online accounts.

· Understand that your bank (and most large finance companies) would never send you a link and ask you to enter your details such as username, password or financial details. If you receive such an email, do not click on the link or offer any personal information, and contact the company to report the scam.

· Make sure your bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the government institution that backs your accounts up to $250,000 each.

· Keep your smartphone, PC and laptop updated consistently. When an update is created for your operating system, you will receive a message on your device about downloading it. Do so immediately because most often these updates include tighter security functionality.

If you are still hesitant to move your banking online, it may also be advisable to speak to a security expert from your bank. Ask the questions that are of most concern to you. Keep in mind that as the years go on technology will inevitably require you to do at least some of your financial business online.

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