As technology continues to improve and pervade more areas of our lives, it's no surprise that many people have taken to online banking. It's quick and relatively easy, stress free, and enables you to keep a close eye on your finances 24/7, without having to leave the comfort of your own house. However, as the number of people using online banking has increased, so too has online fraud.
Advantages of Online Banking
- Comfort - access from wherever you want, in the living room, the kitchen, or in bed!
- 24 hour access - even at weekends and bank holidays.
- Speed of access - no more queuing!
- Speed of transactions - payments and balance transfers etc can be made instantly via the internet, whereas paying cheques in/out of your account can take time to process and to appear in your account activity.
- Some banks offer better interest rates on accounts if you open them solely via online banking, so make sure to take notice of such incentives.
Disadvantages of Online Banking
- It can be an intimidating process - especially for those not used to using the internet.
- One wrong click, or the internet crashing can lead to financial losses.
- No direct contact when issues arise and the need to take your own proof of transactions in order to get things resolved.
- Increased risk of fraudulent activity.
- It can take time to set up online banking accounts, especially if you did not already have an account with the bank in question.
Online Banking Tips
Here are a few simple tips to help keep you safe if you choose to take advantage of online banking:
- The obvious first - do not choose a password that could be easily guessed and never write passwords/IDs/login details down.
- Try not to have to send bank details out by email for any reason - emails can be easily intercepted.
- Always access your account by going to your banks' homepage first. Never click short cut links to online banking.
- Before entering your details and passwords, always verify that you are logging in to a trustworthy link by checking the web address in the top address bar.
- Be extremely wary of any emails relating to your account. Banks will never ask for you to confirm details by email. If an email looks suspicious, do not open it and delete it straight away. If you open an email that then you think may be fraudulent, report it to your bank as soon as possible. Do not click on any links within these emails.
- Always screen shot and/or print transactions receipts to prove your payments etc have been made.
- Once you have completed any transactions you wish to make, log out and then close that window/tab to ensure no one else can get access to your account.