Online Banking 101


If you go to open a checking account today, chances are your bank will offer to set up an online banking account.

If you are unfamiliar, new digital tools can be a bit intimidating, at any age. However, online banking is a safe, secure, and convenient way to manage your money. Plus, it’s almost always free.

Simply put, online banking makes it possible to make financial transactions via the internet. Customers create a username and password to log in to their banking platform through a web browser.

Mobile banking takes this a step further and allows you to transfer money, check your balance, or pay bills from an app on your smartphone or tablet.

Is Online Banking Safe?

Yes. Banks protect your information with powerful encryption tools that ensure client information remains private and secure. There are some things you can do to help deter hackers and scammers. We’ll touch on that later.

Whether you choose to manage your account through online banking (from your computer) or mobile banking (from your smart device) the bank can help you feel confident that your money and information are safe.

When & Where Can I Access Online Banking?

Online banking is always accessible. You can access your account day or night and even outside of normal banking hours. You can pay bills or complete online transactions from virtually anywhere using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. In just a few clicks, you can safely transfer funds completely hassle-free.

Most banks even offer mobile deposit. That means you can deposit a check by using your bank’s app to snap photos of the front and back of the check with your smartphone camera. There’s no need to drive to the bank or wait in line. 

Monitor Your Accounts Closely

Online banking makes budgeting and managing your account much simpler. You can log on instantly to see your balance and even sign up for alerts that will send you a message if your account balance goes under a certain limit. 

Some users choose to connect their accounts to budgeting tools that make it easy to allocate funds, plan their monthly expenses, and create savings goals.

Most importantly, you can view pending transactions in real-time just by logging in.


How Do I Keep My Accounts Safe?

In addition to the sophisticated tools banks and credit unions use to ensure your accounts remain secure, there are some steps you can take to deter hackers.

Create a Strong Password

A strong password can be memorable to you but nearly impossible for someone else to guess.

 Follow these tips to create your own:

  • Use a mix of letters and numbers
  • Mix uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Use a different password for each of your important accounts
  • Include symbols like !@%? 

Never Give Out Your Account Information

You can feel confident that your banking information is secure. But, every day, thousands of people willingly give criminals their banking information through phishing scams. Phishing is a type of scam where bad guys make fraudulent emails, phone calls, and texts that appear to come from a legitimate bank. 

Their goal is to trick you into providing confidential information (like account numbers, passwords, PINs, or birthdays) so they can gain access to your account.

Never give out your account information. Your bank will never request your username or password via email or text message. If you are in doubt that the communication is actually from your bank, call to confirm.

Do you know how to spot a scam? Take this quiz to find out.

Online banking can be a secure and convenient tool to manage your money. It’s easy to set up and easy to use once you learn a few tips and tricks.

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