On the heals of the story that broke last week about How Hackers Took as Much as $1 Billion from Banks, it’s positive to note that the victim of the theft was the banks, not the consumers.
I have been teaching classes on how to “Tame the Internet” and am surprised by how many attendees have never used online banking. If you fall into this category, or are concerned, you should know that:
- Make sure you are using an American bank that is insured against theft by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The insurance applies to any sum up to $250,000 in checking, a savings account or a certificate of deposit at a U.S. bank.
- Be vigilant about monitoring your transactions and respond to alerts from your bank if a charge or withdrawal appears to be suspicious.
- Never respond to emails from your bank or click on an attachment. Because of the amount of fraud, banks aren’t using email to communicate more than a basic alert or a sales notice to their customers. If you are concerned, contact your bank by phone or in person (but don’t use information included in the email you received), or for those of you with online banking, log in and check to see if there is a message posted in the online portal.
Online banking has many benefits, from a simple way to set up bill payments to a historical portal to your banking statements. As the primary family caregiver to my parents when they could no longer manage for themselves, I have found online banking an incredible time and effort saver for me.