When you think of things that make your life easier, what comes to mind? Smart phones? Other electronic devices? Household appliances? When you think about it, one of the biggest boosts to easier living in the last decade has been immediate access to your cash, or online banking technology. It’s easy. It’s convenient. And it has a lot to offer.
Online account opening. Most financial institutions allow you to open a new account within minutes and from anywhere.
Enhanced security. Access to banking information is protected by multiple protection layers to keep your personal data private and prevent unauthorized access. It’s vital that you follow the security protocols established by your financial institution.
Instant access 24/7. Enjoy a full range of services from your computer, tablet, or mobile phone anytime, anywhere.
Save money. By automating your finances using the bill pay service available in online banking, you can ensure your payments are on-time.
Convenience. Skip the long lines. Easily check balances on all accounts and view records of transactions from the palm of your hand.
Pay bills. Save time and money with this free service. Schedule payments or set up autopay to automatically pay bills from one website.
Automate your savings. Online banking allows you to have some of your paycheck directly deposited into your savings account or funds can be scheduled to automatically transfer from your checking to your savings.
Make loan payments. Avoid late fees by scheduling all of your loan payments before the due date.
Mobile deposits. Deposit personal and business checks safely, securely, and without having to visit a branch or ATM.
Transfer money between accounts. Move your cash quickly between accounts or by sending to an external account. You can set up automatic transfers to move money into a savings account or other accounts to make loan payments.
Integrate with other apps. Take control of your finances with budgeting, expense and other apps that automatically track your spending and saving habits.
View statements. Get immediate access to your bank statements for your tax or personal records.
Monitor fraud. Set up alerts to be notified by text, email, or phone if your financial institution suspects fraudulent activity on your account.
Alerts and notifications. By setting up notifications on your account, you’ll be in the know with the latest transaction and balance activity on your account.
Most financial institutions offer online and mobile banking as a free service. Like banking within a branch, you sign on to your online account from anywhere that has an internet connection–computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Protecting Online Financial Information. Online and mobile banking makes handling your finances easier and more convenient, but it is imperative to make sure that you are protecting your financial information.
Build strong passwords for your accounts and make them all different. Create passwords that are hard to guess and include a combination of numbers, special characters, uppercase and lowercase letters.
Avoid using names, dates, or common words.
Wifi hotspots in coffee shops, libraries, airports, hotels, and other public places are convenient, but often not secure. If you connect to a Wi-Fi network and send information through websites or mobile apps, it might be accessed by someone else. Visit the FTC site for tips and information on using public Wi-Fi access.
In addition to paying close attention to the internet connection used when accessing your financial information, here are a few tips to protect your smartphone as well:
Set your phone to lock automatically. When you don’t use your phone for a few minutes, the phone should automatically lock itself and require a password to reopen.
Use passwords for your phone. In addition to a password to unlock your phone, use different passwords for each shopping or financial app. Don’t share your passwords with anyone.
Use your phone’s data network if you can’t verify that a public Wi-Fi connection is secure.
Be cautious when connecting to Bluetooth. Bluetooth makes it easier for you to connect your phone with other devices, but, it also makes it easier for thieves to steal your personal information. If you connect to Bluetooth, make sure it’s in a private, uncrowded area and don’t forget to turn off Bluetooth when you aren’t using it.