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For Seniors: Do Your Banking Online

Banking online is convenient. Typically, your bank will allow you to make account transfers and check your balance through the Internet. Your online bank may even allow you to download your account activity to a program such as Quicken, where you can use the banking information to more easily manage your financial and tax records.

Before you jump online to do some banking, there are several things you might want to consider first.

  • Most online banks, such as Barclay’s in the United Kingdom, have very strong security measures in place; however, you should be sure that you’re using a secure Internet connection to go online.

    If you use a wireless hotspot in a hotel or airport that isn’t protected, for example, it’s possible for someone to tap in to your online transactions. If you work on a home network, you should have whoever sets up your network enable security features and a firewall.

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  • You might need to set things up with your bank so that you can access your account online and make transfers among your different accounts. Talk to your bank about what is required.

  • Be careful to choose strong passwords (random combinations of letters, numbers, and punctuation are best) for accessing your bank accounts. If you write the passwords down, put them someplace safe.

  • Be aware of your financial rights, such as how credit cards and bank accounts are protected by law. The FDIC web site offers lots of information about your banking and financial life. It’s specific to the United States, but some of the advice about online financial dangers is pertinent no matter where you live.

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