The internet can be a scary place. Stories of identity theft and account breaches are enough to make many consumers pause before logging into their online accounts. But, despite the risks of managing finances online, it still provides a safer option than the alternative.
When you combine the robust encryption software used by most federally insured financial institutions with simple and effective measures to protect your data, there may be no safer way to manage your finances.
Here’s why you shouldn’t fear using digital banking tools to manage your finances.
Unlike paper money, electronic funds are recoverable. If someone steals cash from your wallet, it’s likely gone – for good. But when someone attempts to steal funds from an online account, the financial institution can take swift action to stop a cybercriminal from draining your account. It’s also possible to recover the stolen funds.
Identity theft is preventable. Crooks look for opportunities to steal your personal information wherever they can find it. This includes offline sources like trash bins and home burglaries. When you keep your banking statements and other personal information printed, thieves either use the stolen data themselves or sell it on the black market to the highest bidder.
Paychecks are no longer stolen or misplaced. Digital banking tools allow users to have their paychecks deposited directly into their account of choice without the need to visit a branch location. And for the occasional check received through U.S. mail, account holders can deposit it the same day using the financial institution’s mobile app and the camera on their device.
Funds are safe from fire or other disasters. While you might feel confident keeping large sums of cash on hand, a natural disaster or home accident could destroy your hard-earned cash. Flames, water, and animals are common culprits. Even burying currency can damage it, making it difficult to replace. The U.S. Department of Treasury may deny requests to replace damaged money when 50% or less of a note is identifiable as U.S. currency.
Sign up for account alerts and stop fraudulent activity in its tracks. If your physical checkbook falls into the wrong hands, it could take a while before you realize it’s missing. It might take even longer before you realize someone has been writing checks against your account. When you manage your finances online, you can receive electronic alerts for any checking account transaction.
You can take simple steps to keep your account safe. A degree in information technology isn’t needed to learn how to protect your data. When accessing your account using a computer or mobile device, remember to avoid using public Wi-Fi networks or Bluetooth, ensure you’ve set up strong passwords, and if possible, use a biometric login, such as facial recognition or a fingerprint. Online and mobile banking is not only safe, but it’s also convenient. Pay bills, transfer money between accounts, view transactions, and much more on-the-go or from the comfort of your home. Contact a CMCU team member at (888) 330-8482 or visit a local branch to sign up for a digital banking account today!