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Guide to Safe Online Banking
5 Jun 2018

A Step by Step Guide to Safe Online Banking

Are you worried about switching to online banking because you don’t think it’s legitimate? Maybe you want to switch, but don’t really know how safe it is?

Those sound like good reasons to stay away…but what if I told you that you were wrong?

It’s true that there were 1,579 data breaches in the USA during 2017. But safe online banking is entirely possible – in fact, this type of banking is one of the safest and smartest ways to manage your personal funds.

In fact, online banks come with some securities and benefits that traditional banks don’t.

Got you hooked? Then read on. We’ll clear up a couple things for you and show you that online banking is not so bad after all.

Traditional and Online Banking Basically Work the Same Way

The main difference between traditional banking and online banking is that online banks don’t have main branches.

In these modern times, everything is handled on a computer. Having online access means that companies can create their own online presence and manage all of their files – and by extent, their patrons – Without all the unnecessary paperwork.

In fact, even traditional banks manage the majority of their files on computers. The thing is, there are just way too many patrons along with other aspects of their business to take care of without the aid of technology, so why fight what works?

When you look at it that way, traditional banking really just becomes online banking under another name. Shocker, right?

Online Banks Follow the Same Rules and Regulations as Traditional Banks

An online bank is, frankly, still a bank, which means they still have to go by all the rules and regulations that every other traditional bank must follow.

This means that when it comes to the safety and distribution of your money, as well as the general conduct of the bank as a whole, the online banks are required to follow any and all banking laws currently in place

This makes them every bit as legit as the bank you’re with now.

And here’s another thing: online banks tend to offer better interest on your savings, as well as lower account fees than traditional banks. These are often called high yield savings accounts, and can provide you with a nice level of growth for your deposited funds.

Why? They don’t have to pay to keep branch offices open…because they don’t have any. So, more savings for them means more savings for you.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, doesn’t it?

How to Practice Safe Online Banking

So now the real question is, “how safe is online banking, and what can I do to make sure I’m okay?”

This step by step guide will tell you all the necessary things you can do to make sure you’re covered and your online finances are good to go.

Make Sure It’s FDIC Insured

Even though online banking is secure, just like with any other online service, you have to watch out for scams.

The most important thing you need to look for is that they’re certified by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Both traditional and online banks have to be certified by the FDIC in order to legally function in the United States, so if you don’t see the official seal on the webpage, you need to give that bank a hard pass.

If you need to find out whether or not an online bank is certified, you can use the FDIC’s BankFind Tool. It’s simple to use and gives you accurate results in seconds.

Best of all, it’ll protect you from what could be a disastrous scam.

Don’t Do Banking on a Public Internet

This really shouldn’t have to be mentioned, but too many people make this mistake to omit this.

The public internet is good to use for a lot of things, but online banking is not one of them.

Public networks are completely open, and therefore completely defenseless. Any online snoop has a good chance of cracking and hacking into your account.

Most public computers also log the history of the web pages that you visit, so even if you log out, the next user could check the browser history and make their way back into your account.

Your best bet is to check your account at home on a private network. If you’re out and about, you can still have a look at your account using the data on your cell phone plan.

No matter what you do, just remember to stay away from public networks. You’ll be glad you did.

Never Forget the Power of the Password

You’ve heard before that passwords are important to any online account, yet you still continue to use the same password you made in high school for every account you make.

That stops today.

Your money is really, really important, and logging in with an easy password or one that you continuously use not only shows that you don’t care about your money, but makes it easier for online hackers to steal your funds.

Make your password challenging for anyone trying to take your money. Always use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters.

Also, make sure you have your password memorized. It’s not a good idea to walk around with your password written down on a piece of paper in your wallet (you know who you are).

Oh, and one more thing: if you ever get an email, text, or popup from ‘your’ bank, ignore it.

These messages are not from your bank at all. They’re actually hackers trying to get into your account by making you change your password. That way, they know what your password is, and they have easy access to your money.

Your bank will never make you change your password. In fact, you’ll get notifications from them whenever your password is changed or some other activity happens in your account, just to make sure you’re safe.

Trust us, your bank cares every bit about your money as you do.

Contact Us

We teach about safe online banking because we want you to be able to bank with confidence. We want you to have that same confidence when you partner with us.

At Bonsai Finance, your monetary safety is our mission. We specialize in offering personal, student, and online installment loans to those in need of a little extra financial help, as well as tips on how to handle your money like a pro.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions, or if you want to learn more about what we do. We’ll be happy to help you in any way we can.

We look forward to hearing from you.