We Know: How Online Banking Works

What is online banking?

Online banking is using the internet to perform banking functions such as paying bills or transferring money. Deposits and withdrawals cannot be made online, but  can be made through ATM Machines and by going to the bank.

Why should I use online banking?

  • Online banking provides the ability to pay bills, view account balances and transactions, and transfer money without ever leaving the house.
  • Because of lower overhead costs, online banks have been able to offer a better rate of interest.
  • Many banks offer the ability for you to download your transactions into your personal accounting software.

Is online banking safe?

The Internet offers the potential for safe, convenient new ways to shop for financial services and conduct banking business, any day, any time. However, you must also make good choices and decisions to prevent costly surprises or even frauds.

How do I confirm that an online bank is legitimate?

On the banks 'About Us' information section, you can find a brief history of the bank, the official name and address of the bank's headquarters.

  • Watch out for copycat Web sites that deliberately use a name or Web address very similar to, but not the same as, that of a real financial institution.
  • Look for the familiar FDIC logo or the words 'Member FDIC' or 'FDIC Insured' on the web site. You can search for an institution by going to the FDIC's home page and selecting 'Is My Bank Insured?'.

How do I Protect My Privacy?

By reviewing the banks privacy policy you can learn what information the bank keeps about you, and what information, if any, it shares with other companies. You will want to choose a bank that:

  • Provides a clear method to 'opt out' of certain types of information sharing
  • Does not enable outside companies to track your browsing habits
  • Provides Two-factor Authentication for verifying a user's identity, requiring two pieces of identifying information before access is enabled.

What other steps can I take to keep my transactions secure?

Take advantage of security features. Some examples are:

  • Encryption: the process of scrambling private information to prevent unauthorized access Some browsers display a small icon on your screen that looks like a lock or key whenever you conduct secure transactions online.
  • Passwords or personal identification numbers (PINs) should be used when accessing an account online. It should be unique to you, you should change it regularly, and keep it secret
  • Personal firewalls to prevent hackers from getting into your computer, anti-virus software to prevent viruses from infecting your computer, and anti-spyware software to prevent spyware from collecting your sensitive data.


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