Online and mobile banking lowers your risk of identity theft resulting from stolen mail.
With the constantly increasing delivery of goods ranging from groceries to clothing to tech gadgets, it’s no surprise that doorstep thieves are on the rise. This has become so commonplace that videos have gone viral on social media of residents leaving booby traps like “sparkle bombs” or decoy packages with cameras embedded to catch the thieves, or at least seek a little revenge. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has said criminals are getting more brash, raiding mailboxes outside of well-lit municipal buildings or post offices. Criminals may even break mailboxes open, or finagle tools tampered with sticky substances to wheedle out whatever they can.
While some companies will refund or reimburse customers for goods stolen off their doorstep, the issue brings to light the danger of having not only goods, but personal information readily available to thieves, who can reach into a mailbox mid-day and retrieve a target’s mail.
Receiving bank statements through the mail risks your personal financial information, and switching to online statements is one of the easiest ways you can help protect your information. Also, with paper statements, there is the potential risk that your statement may be mistakenly delivered to a wrong address.
Online banking uses sophisticated security measures to protect your information.
Your account information and online statements are password-protected, and your bank’s online banking system uses strong encryption to protect your data when accessing your account. Banks use a combination of sophisticated technology and industry best practices to safeguard your personal and financial information.
For example, we use 128-bit encryption to protect your personal information such as your user name, password and account information when it travels over the internet.
Below are some of other examples of security measures and tools banks implement to help protect your information from unauthorized use or access.
- Anti-virus and anti-malware protection: These programs help spot and avert viruses and malicious software. Banks implement advanced programs to remove malware and prevent viruses from spreading.
- Firewalls: Firewalls evaluate data entering and exiting computer networks, prohibiting unauthorized access and ceasing traffic from dangerous internet sources.
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption: SSL encryption establishes a secure connection with your browser when you log in to online banking and use its services. Make sure that SSL encryption is active on the page you’re using. Simply look for “https://” at the beginning of the page’s URL/web address.
- Cookies: Cookies store bits of information about your interactions with the website. This allows banks to recognize your computer when you log in to your account. If you use a new computer to log in to your account, you will need to enter additional information to confirm your identity and access your account.
- Credential Confidentiality: Banks do not share your usernames or passwords with anyone.
- Multi-factor authentication: This is an authentication method that requires two or three different authentication factors to verify a user’s identity.
- Biometric authentication: Biometric security measures include methods like fingerprint authentication, facial recognition and voice recognition. These authentication methods are difficult for criminals to replicate. Some banks, mobile apps and smartphones may offer these features for users.
- Automatic logout: Banks will automatically log you out of your secure session after a specified time of inactivity to stop others from viewing or using your online accounts.
Additionally, your emailed online statements never show your full credit card or bank account information. So even if a scammer hacks your email inbox, they would still need to hack into your online account to access your account information.
Online Banking can help you prevent fraud faster.
When you check your accounts on a regular basis, you can notify your bank immediately if you find anything that does not seem right. Those who monitor their accounts online frequently detect fraud earlier than those who rely solely on paper statements.
Mobile Banking offers security benefits too.
Mobile banking helps guarantee that the login is coming from the device you own. When you use your mobile banking app regularly, frequent logins to your account make your banking more secure. This is why every time you log in to your Online Banking account from a new device, you’re required to provide another form of authentication to verify the login is coming from you.
Smartphones are embedded with a special security chip. This secure chip functions on its own operating system, completely isolated from everything else on your device. It has its own processors and areas of memory, separate from the main System-on-Chip (SoC).
- The secure chip stores very sensitive data, like encryption keys and payment information. Apps on your phone can also store their keys in the secure chip for extra security.
- The secure chip regulates access to your device. If someone has your device and replaces its operating system with a compromised one, the secure chip won’t let them guess several PINs or passcodes in a short amount of time. It will slow the process and lock your device.
- The main SoC itself cannot directly access data stored in the secure chip. Even if malware makes its way onto your smartphone, it couldn’t access the data stored in the secure chip.
You can sign up for online statements through Online Banking. Besides helping protect you from identity theft or fraud, online statements are more eco-friendly and allow you to keep your financial information all in one spot without you having to worry about keeping files. This is just another way to remain on the defense against fraudsters!