Is online banking safe?

Just the facts

Online banking continues to be an increasing method of choice for conducting business, purchasing, and paying bills. According to a recent Pew report, fifty-one percent of U.S. adults, or 61% of internet users, bank online. Thirty-two percent of U.S. adults, or 35% of cell phone owners, bank using their mobile phones. The graph below shows  the gradual increase since the year 2000.

Online and mobile banking

The only thing to fear is fear itself

Despite the fear most have of being hacked online and having their sensitive information compromised, there is a growing use of online banking transactions. Most of the increase can be due to the fact that it does make life easier and more manageable when it comes to paying bills, making online purchases, keeping up with credit card balances, and conducting general banking tasks. 

There has also been a trend for banks and other financial institutions to nudge us toward doing business online, because it makes their life easier also. Additionally, if you like making purchases on Amazon, EBay, and other online retailers then performing financial transactions online is necessary.

A majority of internet users have overcome the fear of entering sensitive information online and this is, in no small part, due to the programmers who have written code and developed applications that give the average internet user a more secure feeling of entering that information. From secure protocols to redundant verification steps and encryption technology, internet programmers and standards compliance procedures have propelled online banking to the upward spiral of usage we see today and will continue to see increase into the future.

But is it really safe? 

There will always be the possibility of someone gaining access to your device or computer, just as there is the possibility of someone setting up a card reader on the next terminal you swipe your card at. Life is full of uncertainties and online banking transactions will always be an uncertain venture. The reality is, for most internet banking transactions, you will be safe as long as you are prudent with your internet use. Being careful and vigilant is just as important, if not more, as any other banking transaction you conduct away from the internet. 

Most banks have protection against fraudulent use of your information and will replace any funds that are taken by fraudulent means. Additionally, many online retailers offer protection from fraudulent activity. The overwhelming evidence that online banking can be safe is by looking at the number of folks that use the internet every day for online transactions without any side effects, except for the added benefits of doing so. 

I would not be surprised at all if I woke up 100 years from now and found that the only way to conduct banking transactions was online; I would have to scratch my head when someone told me the date.

by Jim Atkins 'thedosmann'

Memphis Web Programming

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