I've never set up online banking. Please tell me why I shouldn't worry about identity theft or unauthorized withdrawals. I do have some direct deposits to my checking account and direct payment from it to utilities, etc.
"Please tell me why I shouldn't worry about identity theft or unauthorized withdrawals"
The question isn't whether you should worry about those things. The question is whether you should worry more about those things with online banking. The answer to that is "No, you should exercise the same high level of vigilance as you would with other accounts."
Whether you like it or not, all banking is "online" now. Criminals and scam artists buy credit and debit card numbers by the thousands and can complete transactions from anywhere on earth at any time of day. None of your traditional banking methods are safe even if you didn't personally own a computer.
You are more likely to suffer identity or financial theft from either: a corporate hacking, such as the TJMaxx database hacking; or swiping your card at a machine (anywhere: gas station, 7-11, grocery store, ATM) that has been compromised with a fake card reader add-on.
On-line banking is great, although I have reservations about smartphone access becaues there are some serious security holes in both Apple and Droid software that can be 'backdoored'. But at home or over a secure network you can access real-time data which is very useful.
My MIL lives with us and we finally had to take the step of opening on-line access on her checking account. She has gone from $300/month to $500/mo and now $800+/mo in cash withdrawals but can't account for where the money is going. She overdrew her account four times in three weeks and the month isn't over yet.
With on-line access we can keep an eye on what she's doing and transfer funds from her brokerage if needed. Much easier than having to drive over to the bank and talk to an Operations Officer or Mgr to get a balance that wouldn't be accurate in a few days anyway.
We've had on-line access (local bank, checking) with full bill pay for a while now and are very, very pleased with it. Our primary savings account is with an on-line bank and it's a cinch to transfer money back and forth. Takes a few days, nothing major, and I can do it at any hour, any day of the week. I NEVER walk into a bank any longer and prefer it that way.
So you don't even check balances online? Do you have a brokerage account that you can access online? IRA's and the like? Nothing? So you either hand carry deposits or go to the bank in person, or you write checks for brokerage?
Yeah, you're paranoid!
Use you noggin and listen to what Billl said above.
Another nice thing about online banking is that most banks let you set up alerts. You can get an email everytime there is a withdrawal from your account.
I would be more scared to not have online banking and not be able to monitor my accounts.
I don't bank on line and I am not going to. It is not as safe as walking into a bank. I do have my bills auto drafted from my checking account. That is as far as I go. There are no numbers on my PC. I even have a special debit card account and never have more than $200 in the checking the account for online shopping. If they get my number they can't get any more than $200.
Online banking is quite safe. Banks have strong firewalls and access control such that a few consecutive failed log-in attempts will lock-out access until the bank is contacted to have it reset. It's also real-time, so fraud/theft can be caught much faster by checking activity daily or every few days as compared to examining a statement that comes once per month.
Theft by check forgery is much easier than cracking into someone's online access. Every check you write has your bank routing number and checking account number, along with your name and postal address. There has been a surge in local check forgeries recently.
I've been using online bill payment for more than 6 years. The savings in postage and checkblanks is a nice bonus. Other than sending a few Christmas cards, I don't use even 5 postage stamps per year.
I don't draft anything except my hospitalization insurance (which has been in effect much longer than my use of online banking). Payments are pushed to the payee from MY bank, not initiated and pulled by the payee ... which puts ME in control.
Of course, you are responsible for keeping your computer clear of viruses and keyloggers, but that's part-and-parcel of using a computer.
I've done online banking for years, along with online credit card account, hydro, telus, etc etc. As I explained to my mother, who had similar concerns, look for the https to indicate a secure link (as opposed to http, as with Gardenweb).
I agree with barbcollins "I would be more scared to not have online banking and not be able to monitor my accounts."
Thanks to all of you. On reflection, it's not so much being worried as it is making a change. Seems like much ado to change a simple system that has worked well for me. (I'm only speaking about my checking account, BTW.)
I've never had a problem with the security of my bank checking account, so that's sort of 'tried and true'. I don't 'play chicken' with bills or balances or need to transfer funds frequently, so the ability to look up the account online hasn't been pressing. I may write ten checks a month. The only time I enter the bank is to access the safety deposit box. We may use the drive-through four or five times a year. I never use an ATM; use CC's and very little cash.
I'm sure the BANK would prefer that I bank online! (Maybe I am just perverse. lol)
I had a little difficulty with online banking. I signed up (allegedly "free") with a website called "MyLife", supposedly for getting in touch with old school friends, etc. Well after the first 30 days, they started charging me $29.95 a month and zapping the money right out of my online checking account. Yes, I had given the number when I first signed up, my mistake. I called them and asked them to stop and refund all past monies. Yes to the first (stop withdrawals) but they would not issue a refund. So I called my bank (Citibank, a biggie) and they were friendly and even gave me a refund of the two months "subscription fees". Very nice of them. Other than that, I've never had any difficulties with online banking.
jannie, that sounds like a scam. All online activities should be with that actual institution, like your bank or mastercard company. There should be NO charge for online banking, since it saves the bank $.
All the bank having Alert you get e-mail so i think you can use online banking
You are FAR safer to use a credit card for auto payments and do not allow ANYONE access to your checking account. You can pay honest bills thru your checking account, but do not give the the account info to make auto payments. An example, several of my bills are paid on my credit card, and I can pay that credit card online from my bank account.
Yes, Jannie got scammed and she's lucky to have the problem solved. But her checking account number is out there in the hands of obvious crooks. I'd get a new checking account.
Jannie's problem was with a particular company - I would NOT consider that online baking at all!
Please tell me why I shouldn't worry about identity theft or unauthorized withdrawals
Have you ever handed your credit card to a waiter at a restaurant and had them walk out of sight? That is definitely more dangerous than on-line banking.
I've been doing on-line banking fo over 10 years and never had a problem.
BEWARE: Any e-mail from your bank asking you to "click here and log in" is a SCAM! Do not click, do not log in, EVER from an e-mail.
Banks do not have to have you verify your account details, nor do they ever have to have you tell them your password: they know all that information.
It is safer than most people think it is. When I expressed my concerns at the bank, I was told all I can do online would be transfer money from one account to another account and those accounts have to have my name on them. I just don't want my banking numbers on my PC so I don't balance my check book on line.
It's not safer to use my CC to pay my bills I don't have a lot of money in my checking account, I do have a very high Max on my CC for travel emergencies.
>>Have you ever handed your credit card to a waiter at a restaurant and had them walk out of sight? That is definitely more dangerous than on-line banking. >>
Boy, that brings back a bad memory! Our card # was stolen by a waiter at one of our favorite restaurants once. Fortunately our liability was zero, but it just goes to show, you never know when you hand your card over, who's going to get that info for criminal use.
Nowadays, you don't even have to hand your card over. One night we were watching an episode of "NCIS" which started with a teenager stealing credit card numbers with an electronic gadget that pulls the RFID info from your card while it's in your wallet or purse. Easy as pie and it actually exists. They just need to get close to you, which is as simple as walking down a crowded sidewalk and brushing past you in the opposite direction.
First time in 38 yrs I've been able to get DH to change his wallet voluntarily. Usually he keeps it until it's literally falling apart. After he saw this episode, I bought him an RFID-blocking wallet from amazon.com and he changed over immediately! It annoys me very much they don't make different styles for women's wallets, BTW.
You don't need the actual special wallet...
you can by an RFID blocking sleeve to slide the CC into. That way you can use any wallet you want!
luann, he carries a lot of cards - far more than I'd like him to - and didn't want to use a bunch of separate sleeves. The RFID wallet is exactly the same style of wallet he's accustomed to, so he was happy.
That sleeve might work for me, though! Although I really prefer see-through cases, but we'll see if the one on amazon.com can work for me. Relatively cheap to try.