Is online banking safe?

Online banking has become an increasingly popular way to pay bills, deposit funds and manage accounts. But is online banking safe?

Through online banking, you can access all of your accounts — including checking, savings, investment, credit and mortgage — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is a fast and popular way to manage your finances and budget your money — but is it secure?

As identity theft and financial fraud have become more prevalent, online banking includes several features to keep your accounts secure. Here are some of the most common features of online banking.

 

Online and mobile banking use secure connections

Online and mobile banking (using your smartphone) process transactions through secure Internet connections provided by your bank or financial institution. So you needn’t worry about lost or stolen information. These secure connections also protect your privacy by eliminating the risks associated with lost or stolen paperwork, whether you are transacting through a home computer or mobile banking app.

 

24-hour access lets you monitor and set up alerts

Online banking lets you manage your money with advanced features to streamline your banking experience — it’s like having a bank wherever you go. You can regularly monitor your balances and transactions and get online statements. This allows you to watch for suspicious activity that may indicate identity theft. You can also set up alerts to email or text you when withdrawals occur.

 

Paying bills online is safer

With online banking you can make payments to businesses or individuals right from your checking account. You can direct payments to be made on specific days and to specific individuals or businesses according to your preferences. Online payments help you avoid the potential theft of physical checks, which are often used for financial fraud. It also allows you to edit or cancel payments at any time, preventing costly mistakes.

 

Immediate deposits and transfers avoid thefts

Forget the drive to the bank — you can deposit checks directly to your account using a scanner or camera phone and Internet access. Another convenient feature is the ability to send money to a person quickly and securely. Both of these features can prevent the theft of your deposits or transfers because they are implemented quickly, without physical checks or cash.

 

Online statements are secure

Online banking stores your bank statements and allows you access to them whenever you need them. Not only does this reduce paperwork, it also prevents thieves from stealing your statements from your mailbox and using the information to commit identity fraud. Stealing statements is a common method thieves use to access your information. Also, going paperless cuts down on clutter and is good for the environment.

 

You can manage your budget

With online banking you can also set up alerts to let you know if your account balance falls below an amount predetermined by you. This can alert you to a potential breach of your accounts or to unauthorized activity. You can also export your account activity to a personal bookkeeping application such as Mint or QuickBooks and review all of your activity over a long period of time.

 

Continue reading on usbank.com to learn more about online banking.