Internet banking is convenient, but can be dangerous

Written by Mike

Topics: Finance, Investing

Every consumer must learn to protect himself

For those who know how to use it, Internet banking is a great convenience. There’s free online bill payment, next day bank-to-bank funds transfer and much more. It all makes our lives so much easier.
But all this bliss could mean trouble. One of the worst things that could happen to you is someone stealing your personal information and using it to obtain loans, credit cards and even commit crimes. This is called identity theft.

A thief only needs two pieces of information to impersonate you: your Social Security number and your date of birth. These are the keys to your bank accounts, credit files, credit cards and health information. No matter how foolproof banking may seem these days, each and every consumer is at risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. But there are some steps you can take to prevent it.

Don’t write checks to people you don’t know. Give them a money order, bank draft or cash instead. Anyone can use the information on your check to pull funds from your account via the Internet.

Before dumping your bank statements in the garbage, remember that hackers don’t have access to your home, but they can easily get into your trash. Buy a shredder and use it. Destroy any and all documentation that contains your personal and banking information. You may want to consider signing up for online statements, rather than receiving them in the mail.

Destroy your expired credit and debit cards. Be sure to sign the back of these cards. You may even wish to place a piece of transparent tape over the signature so that it can’t be tampered with.

Don’t use public computers, such as in libraries or at your workplace. Be sure to shut off your home computer when it’s not in use to prevent hackers from gaining access.

The bottom line is that you should use common sense when it comes to protecting your most personal information. Make it hard for a criminal to steal our identity.

This article is courtesy of They offer online loan solutions for consumers nationwide.

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