What You Must Know Before Banking Over the Internet (part 2)

By , Posted on May 25, 2013
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Part 2 of 2 Continued from Part 1

Protect Your Privacy (continued)

Banks may want to share information about you to help them market products that they think you will be interested in. You have the right to not participate in the sharing of your information.

There are of course exceptions such as sharing your payment history or credit information with only specified institutions.  As of July 2001, your bank is required to offer a clear method for you to “opt out” of this type of information sharing.

Many companies track your web browsing habits while you are at their site in order to figure out what you are interested in and then market particular services or promotions to you. You can ask whether your bank tracks your browsing history if you are concerned about this kind of marketing.  Most likely you can block this type of activity with the web browser you are using.

Your bank and your internet provider are also good sources for more information on how to protect your privacy while you are online.

Keep Your Transactions Secure

Remember the Internet is a public network. So, it is important to learn how to safeguard your banking information, Social Security Number, credit card numbers and other personal data.

Take a look at your bank’s web site for information about how it keeps your information secure.  If you cannot find sufficient information on the site, you can always call and talk to someone at the bank directly.

Be Smart When Choosing Your Passwords

Passwords and/or personal identification numbers (PINs) are usually used when accessing an account online. Your password should be unique to you and you should really change it regularly.  Be security conscious when choosing your passwords and PIN. Never use birthdates or other numbers or words that may be easy for others to guess. Be very careful of who knows your passwords.

Your Own Security at Home

You can do a lot towards keeping your personal information personal, by taking simple measures at home.  Make sure your computer has virus protection and that it is up-to-date.  There are many free, well designed virus protection programs out there if you are concerned with the cost.  Many of these free programs are actually better than the big name programs, and are updated with the most recent virus and maleware protection.

If you think the security has been compromised between you and your bank, contact your bank to discuss possible problems and remedies.

…Keep in mind that nonfinancial web sites that are linked to your bank’s site are not FDIC-insured.

Just like in the everyday world, before you order a product or service online, make sure you are familiar with the company’s reputation.

For More Help

There are many regulations that provide consumer protection for both regular and online banking transactions. If you have any questions, first contact your bank and see if they can provide you the answers.  If after that, if you are still not satisfied, you can contact the appropriate federal regulator.

For a brief overview of the regulations, you can take a look at them on the FDIC web site.

Where to file a complaint

If you know who regulates your bank and you want to file a complaint, you can usually go to the regulator’s web site and file a complaint online. If you are not sure where to file your complaint, any of the agencies listed below should be able to direct you to the appropriate office.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (e-mail): customer.assistance@occ.treas.gov.

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Office of Thrift Supervision (e-mail): consumer.complaint@ots.treas.gov

 

Do You Know What to do When the Telemarketer Calls?
What You Must Know Before Banking Over the Internet (part 1)


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