Banking Online - A Great Internet Tool
Save Time - Save Money
Sliced bread was a great breakthrough, but online banking has got it beat. If I were asked what is the single biggest time saver for me in the past 25 years I would have to go with online banking. It's a great way to keep on top of your money, but it's a lot more than that.
Some Tips to Bank Online the Right Way
What is online banking?
Anyone who knows how to operate a computer probably knows the answer to that question. But online banking is really broken down into two major functions: accessing your bank account from your computer and paying your bills online. According to the Internet consulting firm Forrester, 47% of Americans pay bills online. Of those who don't, 41% cite security concerns as the major reason they avoid it. This article is aimed at the 53% who don't pay bills online.
The Benefits of Online Banking, Including Bill Paying
1. You're never in the dark about your bank account(s). If you account goes below a money threshold that you have chosen, an alert gets sent to you smart phone. This can save money and embarrassment. Couples often work from the same bank account. If one spouse writes a few checks and forgets to tell the other, the account can be overdrawn. Online banking won't put money into your account, but it enables you to make transfers from other accounts, such as a credit card account or a line of credit, with the click of a mouse.
2. Is online banking secure? Yes it is but you should take some common sense precautions.
· Don't click on a hyperlink in an email unless you are certain that the email is from a trusted source. NEVER click on a link in a message that says it's from your financial institution asking you to verify some data. Financial institutions never ask you to do this.
· Identity theft protection is often free with credit cards. If you see a transaction you don't recognize, verify it or dispute it.
A Good Pet But a Bad Password
· Passwords. Dogs and cats are for petting and playing with, not for naming passwords after. People communicate the names of their pets on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and other media. If you use the name of your pet in a password it makes life easier for an identity thief. The best advice is to use one or two complex passwords and change them at regular intervals. This way you only have to memorize a couple of passwords.
· Do not give your social security number when buying something online. There is no reason for a merchant to need it, and it's probably a scam.
· Act fast. if you think your account has been hacked, call your bank immediately. This will limit your financial exposure.
· Use common sense. You lock your doors at night, yes? Think of your financial identity as a door. Lock it. Online banking is great, but some simple precautions are necessary.
3. Paying Your Bills Online. Almost all major banks provide for online bill paying. You can either use the services your bank provides or the functionality of software like Quicken or Quickbooks. With Quickenbillpay, for example all of the online checks that you write are coordinated with your bank account after you have set it up. The incredible time-saving aspect of online bill paying becomes obvious when you enter payments that are the same every month, such as a lease or auto loan payment. In Quicken, when you begin to enter a payee, the name automatically appears on the check. If it's a regular payment, say $359 to EYZ Auto Finance, all of that information appears and all you have to do is hit "record check." This beats opening an envelope every month, writing out the check, putting it in the envelope, putting a stamp on it and mailing it. Factor this into dozens of checks that you write regularly and you can see how you have bought yourself a huge amount of time.
Online banking is one of the greatest benefits of the PC revolution. By following a few simple precautions it can make your life a lot easier.