What Is Internet Banking? Even those slow to warm up to technology are beginning to use internet banking. It is often more convenient than banks that do not have such services. Sooner or later, most people find it hard to resist. Yet some still do not know what internet banking is. There are two types of banks that do internet banking. Many brick and mortar banks or credit unions are now offering online services. This still allows customers of the bank the option of going to the building to do their transactions in person. Or, they can take advantage of internet banking services through a bank website. The other type of bank that does internet banking is a virtual bank. These banks do not have a location where you can go in person. They only do business over the internet. With banks like this, you do not have the option of visiting your local branch and making a deposit. These banks charge very little for internet banking. Their services may even be free. Virtual banks can afford to do this because, without a building to maintain, they have lower costs. They do not make their money by charging for standard transactions in most cases. Banks and credit unions also charge little for their online services. You can make a variety of transactions by way of internet banking. You can pay bills directly from your checking account. This saves you the cost of a stamp. It also gives you more leeway in how quickly you need to pay the bill. If you have to mail it, you have to send it out long ahead of time. Funds can be transferred from a checking account to a savings account, or vice versa. You can fill out loan applications for anything from signature loans to mortgages online. You can even use internet banking for investments. All these services are available at both types of banks. You can view your transactions whenever you want. If you have software for your computer, you can download the information from your internet banking account to your virtual check register, in Quicken for example, and reconcile automatically. You can access your internet banking account any time, day or night. As long as you have an internet connection of any kind, you are in business. You can do your banking from a laptop in a hotel room, or from the computer in your home. You will find it easy to get the information and do the transactions you want. Extra caution is taken when setting up internet banking systems. If you have an account online, you will have a complex password. The information will be encrypted. There might be security images you can choose from that no one would have a way of knowing. Furthermore, if you try to make risky transactions, you will be asked more security questions. Online banking is becoming more and more popular. You can do most of it without leaving your home, if you wish. Internet banking is a safe and convenient way to handle your money. Advantages of Internet Banking Is the nature of business forcing customers to use internet banking? Or, is there something in it for the customers? Indeed there are many advantages to doing internet banking. 1. It is easy to open an internet banking account. You sit, in the comfort of your home or office, and type in your answers to a few questions. You set up the security measures that will be used to access your account, like usernames, passwords, etc. Then, all you need to do is print off and sign a form to send in to complete the process. 2. Internet banking is cheaper. With the advantage of having no physical structure to keep up, virtual banks have low overhead. They can afford to cut you a break by offering higher interest rates on your savings. They will also offer lower overdraft fees. Even banks that are backed by physical buildings encourage online banking with free bill paying services. 3. Internet banking allows you to compare deals easily. You can go to different online banks and find out their interest rates and policies about checking and savings accounts. You can learn what credit cards they offer, and at what rates. You can compare loan terms. You can check with the FDIC to check the banks' credibility. 4. Internet banking customers can watch their daily balances. By going on the internet to the bank's website you can look at what is going on in your account any day or time. You can check your balance. You can find out if a particular check has cleared your account or see when automatic deposits are made. All these services make check bouncing nearly a thing of the past. 5. Your monthly statement can be reconciled by using your computer. You can download your bank data into a software program like Quicken or Microsoft Money. Then, with a few clicks of your mouse you can square up your account. Through your internet banking account, you can even see copies of checks you have written. 6. You have a better chance to catch fraudulent use if you have an internet banking account. When you check your debits and deposits, you will most likely notice if something is there that you did not do. If someone withdraws money from your account, you will know it as soon as you log on and look over your account. Then, you can work on correcting the situation long before you would even notice it with conventional banking. 7. Internet banking is much more convenient than traditional banking. You do not have to wait for the bank to open its doors. You do not have to drive to get there. If you are using internet banking for your office, you will not have to waste valuable time going to the bank. You can manage your funds anywhere, any time. Internet banking is growing for a reason. People are getting accustomed to transacting business over the internet. They are enjoying the convenience and the control over their money that internet banking gives them. How to Start Using Internet Banking Perhaps you have decided that internet banking is for you. Now, you have to get set up so that you can start using online services. Depending on which kind of Internet Company you are going to use, there are different ways to start using internet banking. If you want to register for internet banking with your bricks and mortar bank, or "clicks to bricks" as it is called, you will find the process simple. You can call the bank and ask to register for their online banking services. They will send you the information you need. You will receive an instruction sheet in the mail. It will explain how to log on to the internet banking website. It will also give you a unique username. Usually, this username will not change. The letter will also advise you on security issues with internet banking. It will explain requirements, such as that you have 128-bit encryption on your computer. It will tell you how to enter your username on the bank's website. It might counsel you to type in the bank's URL carefully to avoid phony websites that are set up to get your information. The next letter you will get will be one with your temporary password. It will give you instructions on how to change your password. It will tell about the various security tokens you have to choose, such as images and captions. Then it will tell you how to sign on to the bank's site and begin internet banking. If you are using a virtual bank, the process is a little different. To begin, you must first open an internet banking account with the virtual bank. You can start by choosing the virtual bank you will use for your personal or company's business. Many considerations are the same as with bricks and mortar banks. You want to make sure they are FDIC insured. You will be interested in their interest rates on savings accounts, loans, and certain checking accounts. It might be necessary to know the bank's overdraft fees. You will also be wise to read any information they have on their rules and procedures. It may be dull reading, but it can be important to you. You need to know what your rights are and what the bank expects of you. You will be asked to agree to these terms. If you are doing your internet banking with a virtual bank, print off this information. Once you choose a virtual bank, you will set up your account. You can do this by starting at the bank's website. Make sure it is the reputable virtual bank you have investigated before you give your personal information or send any money. The virtual bank will let you choose a username and password, within certain parameters. Then, you can get down to the business of starting your internet banking account. This will start with some input from you. You will give all the usual information that you would give to any bank where you set up an account. Common questions are your name, your address, your phone number, your social security number, and your place of employment. Then, you will send the virtual internet banking company some form of deposit to get the ball rolling. When you have yourself all set up to do internet banking, you can start making transactions with the click of your mouse. It is fairly simple, whether you are doing internet banking by clicks to bricks or virtual banks. Problems with Internet Banking Most people who have accounts with traditional banks do some internet banking now. Some are hesitant because of problems they see in the industry. While there are some disadvantages to internet banking, many of the problems start with the consumer. For example, there are still quite a few people who do not use internet banking because of their own lack of knowledge. They may be resistant to technology. They may feel that it is too difficult to learn. Because young people are exposed to computers at an early age, people who have this problem are usually older. Some of the same people also fear using the internet. Others who will use computers offline will not use them to go on the internet. They fear for the loss of their privacy. Many of these people have exaggerated fears in their minds. For them, internet banking will be impossible, unless they come to terms with their fears. Certain people just do not have proper equipment to go on the internet. If does not take an extremely advanced computer to do internet banking transactions. However, you do need the basic modern computer equipment with modem. Most banks now expect you to have a 128-bit encryption browser. You will also be better off if you have a faster internet connection than dial-up. Security is a problem for many users of internet banking, as well. The user names and passwords are often complex. This is good, for the most part, because no one else would guess them. However, it can be a problem if you cannot remember them. You might not be able to access your account when you want to, without going through an intense security procedure. What is even worse, many people who know they will have trouble remembering their user names and passwords for internet banking will write them down and keep them near their computers. This makes it easy for thieves to get in and steal money from their accounts. Then, there are disadvantages that are really only to do with the internet banking more than the customers. One problem happens when the bank's computer system has an extremely high volume. Your transactions may not be made in a timely manner. There can be other failures in the communications of banks that will cause errors or lags. If a computer virus ever got into the bank's computers, it could be a real problem. Clearing up the chaos might take awhile. Fortunately, internet banking companies take many precautions to prevent this, so it is extremely unlikely to happen. If you do internet banking through a virtual bank, you might find problems in managing cash money. Depositing a paper check that someone gives you might not be as fast as it would be for a traditional bank. Virtual banks usually will not let you deposit through an ATM, so often your only choice is to mail it to them. While there are some problems with internet banking, most of them can be overcome with knowledge and caution. The other problems are challenges for the future of internet banking. Why Some People Fear Internet Banking Some people could not be happier with internet banking. Others fear it and want no part of it. Sometimes these people will give you reasons for their fears. Other times, they will just say they do not like it and leave it at that. Some people are simply shy. They do not want to even get on the internet, much less do internet banking. These people often see the internet as a vast community of people that do not know them. Perhaps this is more alarming to those who have grown up in tight-knit communities. At any rate, shy people will avoid internet banking because they feel embarrassed about what they are doing. It is not that they are doing anything wrong. It is just that they feel scrutinized by a larger group of people than they would at their local bank. If these people can understand that their internet banking transactions are their own private business, they will be less alarmed. If they can see that the internet is not a tool to make them feel embarrassed, they can begin to get comfortable with it. Some of these people eventually overcome their fears and become the most avid internet banking customers. Other people are afraid that using their computer for internet banking will lead them to obsess over money. They feel that if the information is available to them at all times, they will have a hard time ignoring it. They think they will be consumed about every little thing that is happening with their account. Some people may actually have this problem at first. The answer is to set limits on your internet banking time. Do not check over your account more than once a day unless you have a very good reason to do so. Take time to write out what those reasons would be limited to, and then stick to it. Eventually, the new will wear off and reasonable internet banking use will prevail. One fear is that internet banking will lead the person to deal in a paperless business environment. They fear that if they do not have written proof of transactions, they will lose the ability to prove anything. They want the control a piece of paper seems to give them. The truth is that internet banking does not have to be completely paperless. For those who want a paper trail, it is easy to construct one. You can print off transactions. You can keep ATM and debit receipts. You can print off a monthly statement. You can even print off a copy of a given check, in most cases. Most people have some fears about internet banking security. Indeed it is a difficult business keeping up with those who would break into the virtual vaults. However, with encryption, firewalls, and other forms of security, banks are making internet banking fairly secure. They are constantly working to better security too. It is good if fears about internet banking can be overcome. Internet banking is a useful tool to make life easier for those who employ it. If you are hesitating about starting an internet banking account, be courageous and give it a try. How to Deal with Cash when using Internet Banking There have to be special considerations for dealing with cash when you are using virtual internet banking. Doing online transactions is all well and good. When you want to make a manual deposit or withdraw money, though, you cannot do it directly through your computer. Online banks have set up ways for people to get money into them. If you are going to set up an internet banking account, you might transfer money from an existing account in a traditional bank. This is a simple procedure. However, the bank will probably charge you a fee for the transfer. What is more, you may not have a traditional bank account. You may have to open one just so that you can transfer your money into a virtual internet banking account. This seems to be a drastic measure, but some have done it nonetheless. Lately, though, internet banking companies have made deals with companies that own ATM's. Because of these deals, internet banking customers are allowed to make manual deposits into their teller machines. This makes it easier for people who receive a cash payment and want to put it into the bank to pay bills. You can set up direct deposit on everything from pensions to paychecks. Sometimes, though, you get a check handed to you in person. Maybe you did an odd job for your neighbor and they insist on paying you. Maybe you sold your co-worker your old car. Perhaps, you got a check for an anniversary present. How will you put the check into your virtual internet banking account? You can use the ATM's mentioned earlier, if your bank makes them available. Some banks offer check collection at Mail Boxes, Etc. You can just make a deposit there. Or, you can mail your check. In any case, you will wait some time before your check credits. If you have a traditional account as well as your virtual internet banking account, you can transfer money from your traditional account to your virtual account. This would allow you to put a check in your traditional account and then transfer the funds into your virtual account to pay bills. Getting cash is a different story. Virtual internet banking companies do much of their business through ATM's. You can always go to an ATM and get money out to conduct cash business. Say you want to go to a football game and you want to bring cash to buy yourself a brat and a drink. You can get cash from your virtual internet banking establishment through an ATM. However, if your bank has not made special arrangements, you will likely pay ATM fees for the privilege of getting to your money. The only way to counter this is if you do have that traditional bank account. You can transfer money into it from your virtual internet banking account for just such occurrences. Otherwise, you will have to pay the ATM fees. Internet banking is not perfect. Virtual banking poses some interesting problems. Perhaps the best way to deal with them is to accept that certain transactions will take a little time, be a little inconvenient, or cost a little money in fees. It is nothing major to be concerned about. How to Confirm an Internet Banking Company is Legitimate When you set up your first internet banking account, you may have reservations about it. After all, anyone could set up a website, claim to be a bank, and fraudulently take your money. There are some precautions you can take to be sure your online bank is a legitimate one. Start by going to the bank's website. There, you can get the information the bank gives you about their banking credentials. The bank's official name should be listed. There may be articles describing the history of the bank, including their internet banking history. There should be an address where the headquarters can be found. There will be a base of operations somewhere, even if it is a virtual bank internet banking operation. If they are on the up-and-up, they will not be hesitant to tell you about their FDIC coverage. It is easy to check a bank's FDIC insurance. If you see the words "FDIC Insured" or "Member FDIC" or the FDIC logo, you might be on the right track. However, it is wise to go a step further. Go to the source to find out if the internet banking company is really affiliated with the federal insurer. The FDIC has its own data base that includes all of the banking institutions, including internet banking companies that are covered by FDIC insurance. Just go to their "Bank Find" site to find out if your bank is one of them. You can start your search with the name of the bank or its address. If your internet banking company is on that list, the FDIC will provide you with a whole list of helpful information. You will learn when the bank became insured, and the number on its insurance certificate. You will find out the location(s) of your bank and its official name. You will find out what government entity regulates that bank. If your internet banking company does not appear on the list, it is time to go directly to the FDIC. They will be concerned with the legitimacy and safety of that bank. It is probably not wise to put your money in an uninsured bank. At that point, it is better to look for another internet banking operation. Once you do sign up with an online bank, be cautious about how you use their internet banking website. Some unscrupulous people will use the internet to get your banking information. They will do this when you log onto your bank's website. The trick these dishonest people use is to set up a website that looks like your bank's website. They have a URL that is very similar to your bank's URL. Then, they sit back and wait for you or others to make a mistake typing in your bank's URL that will get you to them. From there, the fraudster will track all the information you type into the opening page. They will be able to get your user name, your password, and any other information you type. The best way to make sure you are dealing with your legitimate bank is by being very careful when typing in their site address. If you are to trust your internet banking company, you must take precautions to assure yourself that it is a respectable business. Once you do that, you can bank with ease. How Internet Banking Institutions Are Set Up Consider all the internet banking institutions available for business. Some are set up by large corporations and some are small companies. Although you may never want to set up an internet banking operation yourself, it is enlightening to take a look at the process. The first order of business is to gather a group of at least five people to organize the internet banking company. These people will be on the board of directors, and one of them should be the CEO of the bank. The five or more people will be intensely involved together to form working procedures of the bank. After the group is brought together, they must choose a name for their internet banking company. They have to be very picky when it comes to their name. They will want the name to be easy to remember. It should be catchy and have a nice ring to it. Another consideration with the name is making it original. Getting a name that can also be used as a domain name is preferable. Also, the name must pass strict guidelines as to its similarity to other banks and internet banking institutions if it is too similar, the bank founders will not be able to obtain a trademark for it. To get a name trademarked, they simply have to go to the US Patent and Trademark Office. There is just one form to fill out. They submit it with a fee and wait for approval. Sometimes, they have to make a case for their trademarked name. This is done through emails. If all goes well, the internet banking name will soon be theirs. The group of investors can now go to web-hosting services and set up a website that can be accessed publicly. To make the website, professionals are needed. The website is, as far as the consumer is concerned, the heart of the internet banking business. The professional website designer should design an internet banking site with the highest level of security. This includes such features as 128-bit encryption, secure socket layering, and adequate firewalls. For the consumer's preference in use, there are other considerations in making an internet banking website as well. It should be eye-catching to bring in the most customers. It should also be easy to get around the website. Another consideration is copyright infringement. It must be ascertained that nothing is directly copied onto the website. The group now forms its charter. It must apply for an internet banking charter through the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC). This is a lengthy process and involves a huge amount of paperwork and information. Another way is to take over stock in an existing bank and put in a change of charter with the OCC. In any case, the OCC will give the board of directors advice on how to best submit their application for the charter of their internet banking operation. The OCC evaluates all the information the internet banking partners have put together about their financial situation and their proposed banking policies. Then, if the OCC grants a charter, the bank is ready to open its virtual doors. Getting Loans through Internet Banking There are many advantages of getting loans through internet banking. You may never have tried this avenue for financing before. However, it bears considering, especially if you are already using other internet banking services. One of the biggest advantages of getting loans through internet banking is that interest rates are generally much lower. With overhead at a minimum, virtual banks can offer a savings to the consumer. When your money costs less, you might get more upfront. Or, you might simply see lower payments or shorter term loans. Another great advantage is that it is easy to comparison shop for loans. You could go into five different traditional banks and asked there terms and interest rates for loans. If you did, you would probably be under a certain amount of pressure to get a loan at each bank you entered. However, if you are shopping for a loan through internet banking, you can check with as many different lending banks as you wish. You can get their information about loan policies and procedures. The most you will get in response if you choose not to get a loan will be an email you can easily delete. If you apply for a loan through a clicks to bricks internet banking company, you can get even more consideration. They may know you very well. If you have used their services for a long time, you may be minutes away from a loan. All you have to do is click on a few buttons and the bank will review your history with them. The decision will be swift. Virtual internet banking companies also have quick application processes. They also take your credit history at their bank into consideration. So, if you want to ask your internet banking establishment for a loan in the future, keep your account well now. Another advantage is that, with internet banking in place, it is easy to get your loan money. In traditional settings, loan paperwork is filled out, a decision is made, a contract is signed, and a check is cut. Then you have to get the check cashed. If it is a large check, your bank might put a hold on it for up to two weeks. In the meantime, all you can do is wait. You may have a genuine need for the money sooner, but the old system does not work any faster. With internet banking, though, the application procedure is shorter. Then, the money is often deposited directly into your account. It is available for immediate use. This is especially true if your loan is with the internet banking company where you usually bank. Then, internet banking companies make it easy for you to set up automatic payments to be deducted from your internet banking account. Of course, this is in their best interests. Yet, it also helps you to get in the habit of having that money coming out every month. Getting loans through internet banking is easy and convenient. It is also usually cheaper. All in all, it can be a much better way of financing life's needs than going through a traditional bank. Getting Insurance through Internet Banking Institutions Internet banking institutions offer insurance products along with their many other services. It is a fast and easy way to set up coverage for all your needs. This is because internet banking companies offer several different types of insurance. Car insurance is one kind of insurance you cannot do without unless you do not have a car at all. Insurance is a legal requirement that you cannot escape. Most people, in fact, prefer to have more than the basic required levels of insurance. They want to know they will not lose everything if something goes wrong. Internet banking offers this option. You can go to internet banking websites and click on the insurance tab to get information. You can also sign up online. Because you will be entering personal information, you will need to sign up with the internet banking institution first. Then, you will give your name, address, and other pertinent information. You will be asked questions about your car: its make, model, condition, etc. You will then be rated according to your driving record, your car's information, and your area. Internet banking makes it possible for you to do this from the comfort of your own home. Another insurance product offered by internet banking sources is travel insurance. Many international internet banking companies offer this. They offer coverage for medical expenses when you are out of your home country. You will not have to pay cancellation fees if you have this coverage. It will address such issues as lost luggage and theft of travel documents. It is a good insurance to have if you can get it by internet banking. Many internet banking operations provide life insurance. You can pay for term insurance with a simple automatic deduction from your internet banking account if you choose to do so. You will have to fill out an online information form about yourself. It will include basic demographic facts about you such as age, race, and area of residence. Then, it will get to personal questions about your health. All this will be used to determine where the internet banking service will set your rate. They will get back to you in short order with an offer of a particular rate and policy. Some internet banking companies go so far as offering health insurance. Health insurance is usually a costly business for anyone buying an individual policy. The internet banking company will set you up with this insurance for a competitive fee. However, do not expect it to be cheap. That is just the nature of the product. Bonding insurance is a seldom offered, but important insurance for some internet banking customers. This is the insurance for the liability of people who are put in a position of trust of the money or valuables of others. For example, a locksmith must be bonded. A few internet banking operations make this insurance available. CEO's of internet banking institutions are constantly on the lookout for ways to make their services more appealing to the consumer. If offering a multitude of insurance options will help bring customers to their website, then that is what they will do. Using Quicken for Internet Banking Many people use quicken to keep track of their internet banking. It is a way to make transaction details more clear. It also allows you to keep your personal or business records on your computer, and at the same time, use the services of internet banking. Quicken is a software program for managing money. Other examples of such programs are Microsoft Money and Quick Books. Quicken and these other programs make your record-keeping more detailed and accurate. They can also be used in conjunction with internet banking. The first thing you can do before doing internet banking is to set up an electronic check register. This is similar to the traditional check register, with a few distinctions. For one thing, the information you put into the electronic check register can be more detailed than you can put on a line or two of a paper register. You can put the check number or transaction type, the date, the payee, and the amount. These are essentially the data you would put into a paper register. On Quicken, however, you can categorize the entries. You can use preset categories or make up your own. Your internet banking transactions may have special categories. For example, transfer of funds from one account to another through internet banking would be in a different category than other deposits in most cases. You can also get creative with your categories. If you are a musician, you might have a category for guitar equipment, for example. There are two ways to get the information from your internet banking website into Quicken. One way is to set up your account on Quicken. You will need to type in all your personal information that needs to be provided to access your account. This includes name, account number, username, and even password. This information will be stored on your computer in the Quicken program until you tell Quicken to download the latest transactions from your internet banking account. It will do this automatically. It will log on, download the transactions and log off of your internet banking website. This is not a very secure method, since all your information is easily accessible to anyone who gets their hands on your computer. There is a different means to do this. This takes a little more effort, but it pays off in tighter security. You go to the internet banking website and view your statement online. The internet banking set-up will give you the option of downloading transaction data to your computer. Use the drop down menu to select the program to put it in, such as Quicken. Once your internet banking transactions are successfully loaded into Quicken, you can reconcile your account. Quicken will check your electronic register against the information from your internet banking account. If they do not match, you will be alerted. You will then be given the option to correct individual transactions or to correct all discrepancies. This way you can keep up with your internet banking account regularly and with precision. You will know when you make mistakes or fraud has occurred. Using Quicken with internet banking is a good way to understand and manage your finances. Transferring Funds through Internet Banking Internet banking offers consumers the ability to transfer funds between accounts. This is an important service as the world becomes a smaller place. There are many places people want to transfer money and many reasons to do so. People often want to transfer money from one account to another. For instance, they may want to transfer funds from their traditional account to their internet banking account. This could be a means of getting money into the account they normally use to pay bills. Another use of internet banking to transfer funds is to move money from checking accounts to savings accounts. Money can be transferred from investment accounts as well. Any accounts you have can be accessed through internet banking to do this. They also may want to transfer money from an account in one location to an account in another. This would be useful for someone who lives a bicoastal existence for example. When they are spending part of the year on the East Coast, they can have their money in an East Coast bank. Then, they put it in the West Coast bank while they live there. This can be done through internet banking by using a traditional bank with internet banking capabilities. You can send the money to your other account almost instantly by using your keyboard and mouse. In fact, if you do it often and have it set up, you might only need your mouse once you get logged on. Another reason to use internet banking accounts to transfer funds is to send money to someone else's account. This could be done to help someone in your family. For instance, you might get a call from your daughter, a young adult. She may need money to cover an emergency car repair so that she can get to work. With internet banking funds transfer, you can have the money in her account in no time. Some people contract jobs from out-of-country workers. These people need some way to send payment to their workers. Internet banking funds transfers allow them to put the workers' paychecks into their accounts without hassle. Overseas products are often imported by businesses or even, on a smaller scale, by individuals. Internet banking provides a means to carry out these purchases by means of funds transfers. To transfer money to another of your accounts, you can log onto your internet banking website. There should be a tab for "funds transfer." Click on this and you will be given options. Usually, you will set up the different financial establishments where you have accounts. Then they will be ready if and when you want to transfer funds. When you want to send money to another person's account, there is usually a different procedure to do this. You may have a different tab to select, such as "pay person." This will help you set up the funds transfer to another person's account through internet banking. In either case, you can set it up for one time only, or for recurring transfers. This is handy if you have an elderly relative on a fixed income that always needs help. Using internet banking to accomplish funds transfers is an effective way to approach many problems. If you are ever wondering how to get money from one place to another, log on to your internet banking site and check out funds transfer details. Security Measures Taken by Internet Banking Companies You cannot do business online if you do not trust your internet banking company. There are always unscrupulous people trying to access bank information. It is just a modern version of the old-fashioned bank robbery. However, internet banking companies go to great lengths to avoid this. Internet banking should be done only through secure connections. There are two ways to make sure you have one. One is to look near the line where you type in URL's. If you have a secure connection, there should be a closed padlock there. Also, the web address should say https://" The "s" signifies a secure connection for your internet banking. Encryption is the first line of defense for internet banking security. Banks have 128-bit security and require you to have it on the browser you use. Encryption is basically just a formula that puts your information into a code. That code is indecipherable without a key. Many banks use the Secured Socket Layer encryption for consumers' internet banking transactions. This is a special form of encryption. The system will use a different master key to put each transaction into code and then that code will not be used for other transactions. Banks also pay considerable attention to their firewalls. They want to be assured that their internet banking system is protected from attacks over the internet. So, they are not connected directly to the web. Their connection is made through a firewall which blocks unwanted activity on the server. Special consultants are hired by internet banking companies to help with security, too. They do this by trying to hack into the bank's secure server. Once they do, they know how it can be done. Then, they come up with ways to prevent it from happening. One system that has come from using such consultants in internet banking is the use of two factor authentication. With this form of security, an access number will be sent to you over your cell phone to use with your other identifying information. With all this information together, you can access your account. This is more secure. Most internet banking institutions will also protect you from yourself in some ways. If you are using your computer to go online and do internet banking transactions, you cannot let the computer sit idle. If you do not use it for a certain period of time, the bank will end your session and your will have to do a secure log-in all over again. This prevents anyone from finding your account page open and using it without your consent. Clicks to bricks banks will often give you a username and a temporary password. You will then choose your personal password and other security features. Virtual banks will allow you to choose both your password and your username. They will never have access to this information. This means that it is secure for you to use. Internet banking is a difficult pill for many people to swallow. Especially for those who did not grow up with computers, it may seem a little unreal to manage your money online. However, internet banking security makes everyone breathe a little easier.
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