Does Online Banking Put Your Money at Risk?

Banking online is becoming increasingly common. You can track balances, check purchases and deposits and even pay bills through your bank’s website. Banks use layers of security for online activity, but you’re not entirely safe, as the threat may come from somewhere else.

Scam Target

Online banking customers have become targets for scams designed to get sensitive account information. One common method aimed at those using online banking involves “phishing” for information through email and cell phone texts.

Phishing involves the use of fake emails, websites and text alerts to unsuspecting customers. The scammers pose as your bank and ask you to visit a website or call a number to verify account information. Any information you give is then used by the scammers to gain access to your account.

A bank will not text you or email you asking for sensitive information because of the security risk. Always call the number you have for your bank and confirm information requests before you give any data out.


If you’re banking online, you can help to protect your account and your information by taking some simple steps. Use a password that’s a mix of upper and lowercase letters and numbers.

Don’t use obvious letter combinations in your password, such as your middle name, or repeating numbers in a row. Although using the same password across different accounts is convenient, if one account is hacked, the thief can use the password to access other accounts as well.

Confirm you’re on your bank’s actual website before logging in if you’re not sure or the website looks different. Some fake webpages are very sophisticated and you might not be able to tell if the website is phony at first glance.

Check the website’s authenticity by verifying the security certificate. Visit the official website of your internet browser to find out how to check security certificates, as the procedure is different for each browser.

If you’re unable to determine a website’s authenticity, get the actual website address for your bank and type it directly into your address bar. You can get the address from your bank or usually by checking your bank card or statement.

Don’t store your password on your computer or on your bank’s website. If you lose your computer or an unauthorized person gains access to it, your password will be compromised.

Another common mistake people make is storing passwords on a cell phone. If you lose your cell phone, the person who finds it will have access to the passwords stored on your phone.

While you might not have the bank the password belongs to identified on your cell phone, there may be other clues to the bank’s identity on there. For example, if you called the bank recently, the phone number is probably still stored in your call log.