How important is security for online bank accounts?

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Security and online bank accounts

Security is one of the biggest concerns about banking online, and this concern is shared by all parties involved. The first step consumers should take prior to starting any online banking relationship is to ensure that the bank is a legitimate bank, and that deposits are secured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Not all virtual, or Internet-only banks, are based in the U.S. or insured by the FDIC.

Usernames, PINs and passwords are ways banks provide secure access to online bank accounts. Online account holders should create passwords that are easy for the consumer to remember, but difficult for anyone else to figure out. Before entering this information online, consumers should ensure they’re visiting the proper website.

Banks never email or call consumers and ask for account numbers, user names, or passwords. If someone calls or emails, asking for any information, consumers should call or email the bank directly – using the contact information provided when the account was opened – to find out if the request is legitimate and inform them of the scam.

Online banking can be a very secure form of banking. Banks and regulators work constantly to improve security, but consumers also need to be vigilant and think about the security of their online bank accounts.

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