Can you avoid risks of online banking?

quandaryMay 12, 2007

I do not use online banking. I worry that notwithstanding my refusal to use online banking, I'm still vulnerable to fraud.

Isn't it true that banks put all of their customers' account information out there, and if you don't sign up for online banking, you can't access it, but it's still out there? I believe that you can sign up for online banking and start using it immediately, so it would seem that my account information is situated similarly to someone who already uses online banking. I don't have access to my accounts online, but are my accounts really safer than those of someone who does use online banking?

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zone_8grandma

I use online banking - have for a number of years. I am careful with my passwords. The bank has security precautions. I can't say whether it's as safe or not, but my son had checks stolen from his mailbox and became the victim of fraud and he's never had an online account.

So I doubt that you are safer. The best precaution, I think, is to treat passwords carefully, change them often, and track your balance.

I think that there is so much publicity that it tends to make people overly fearful.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 4:12PM
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partst

I have never thought of it quite that way . So I would say yes all customer account information is out there. Any branch of your bank in any city can pull up your accounts so it is out in cyber space I guess. I know that if I give my checking account number to my saving bank they can transfer money or maybe it's the other way around but it can be done.

As zone_8grandma said protecting your pass word is the safest way to go.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 7:32PM
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cearbhaill

I think that there is so much publicity that it tends to make people overly fearful.

I agree. I have banked online since it first became available and (knock on wood) have not had the first problem.
In fact I think I am even safer than folks who do it the old way as all my accounts are at my fingertips so that I can check everything daily- I could catch a problem nearly the instant it occurred rather than waiting for a statement to alert me.
I am far more organized and on top of things now than I ever was before online banking.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 7:51PM
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socks

Thousands maybe even millions of people enjoy the great convenience of banking online. You are at risk no matter what you do, unless you keep your $ in a mattress, and even then...

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 8:34PM
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housenewbie

My parents had thousands stolen from their checking account.

By online thieves? Hackers? Nope. By a dude walking into a branch and filling out a withdrawal slip. Multiple times.

They got the money back, but it was a PITA and the bank really wasn't all that interested in helping them. If one of my mother's former students hadn't been an employee, she might still be fighting w/ them.

Meanwhile, banks, credit card companies, etc. all store customer info on computers. And they back up that data on tape or disks and ship it off to storage facilities. And sometimes, it gets lost. Or they accidentally throw out computers laden w/ SSNs. Or a laptop is stolen. This has happened a dozen times just in the last year in the US. To hundreds of thousands of people. So not banking online doesn't make you any safer.

Make up a good password and check your accounts regularly. You won't be any more vulnerable, and you'll catch errors/fraud quicker if they do happen.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 12:40PM
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zone_8grandma

housenewbie's story reminded me of a few years ago when I worked at a local nursery.

When a customer paid by credit card, the number was stored on the nursery's computer. More than once, I saw customers cross out the number on the slip when they signed for it. I did not tell them that a dishonest cashier would have no problem bringing up the transaction and writing down the number (including exp date) 5 minutes after the customer left.

I'd also like to point out that if someone makes a fraudelent charge on your credit card, you don't know about it until your statement arrives. By then there could be multiple charges. If you have online access to your account, you can check the charges anytime and not have to wait for a statement in the mail.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 1:28PM
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