While many people still use banks with physical branches, more and more people are switching to a digital or online-only bank. The appeal of digital services has only increased as the world adjusts to life during the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. Avoiding in-person errands and being able to handle transactions exclusively via the internet or by phone is becoming increasingly popular with consumers, especially those who have little need for the services traditionally offered by a traditional bank branch. If you’re one of the people considering the switch to an online bank, or if you’ve recently transitioned to using one, keep reading for six simple online banking tips for new members.
- Change your password frequently.
Most experts recommend changing your password at least once every three months. You should also ensure that you use a combination that cannot be easily guessed. This means avoiding common words or phrases, dates, and places that can be associated with you, or patterns of numbers or letters that are easily recognizable. The longer the better, consider using at least 14 characters.
- Use and update your anti-virus software.
No matter which operating system you use, you’ll want to make sure you keep your system software and anti-virus software regularly updated. While it’s easy to ignore the pop-up box asking if you’d like to install updates, it’s important that you set aside time to do so. The easiest way to handle it is to allow your computer to alert you to check for any available patches and updates every weekend, though you should download updates yourself rather than installing them automatically to avoid malware and viruses.
- Don’t use email links to access your bank.
No matter how trustworthy the sender may seem, don’t log into any of your accounts using a link from an email. Phishing scams, which can steal your account information and the contents of your account, are becoming more commonplace. Even experts can struggle to tell the difference between a legitimate link and a fake one. Retype the URL yourself if you want to be sure that you’re using the authentic login page.
- Do research to understand all your options.
With a number of online-only banks popping up, it can be tricky to decide which one is best for you. Simplii financial online is a popular option among Canadians. Despite not having physical branches, Simplii Financial is a Schedule 1 Bank and is fully insured by the CDIC, available everywhere in the country besides Quebec. One of the major advantages to using Simplii is that they don’t charge fees for using their daily banking services. They also offer low interest rates for borrowers and a number of useful financial products.
If anyone understands the importance of adopting modern financial technology, it’s Will Johnson of The Harris Poll. He’s written extensively on developments within the cryptocurrency sector and how the pandemic is changing the way we approach business. As Johnson has written, Americans are coming around to the idea of big tech, and online banking is one example of how modern technology can intersect with our day-to-day lives.
Digital banking is new to a lot of people, but it’s becoming popular with consumers who prioritize convenience and accessibility. While it can be an adjustment to those who have only used traditional bank services before, there are plenty of advantages to switching to a digital bank. However, it’s important that you understand how to safeguard your information and keep your data secure, especially if you aren’t used to managing your money online. Updating your password and anti-virus software regularly and using only trusted links to access your account are essential internet security basics. Take the time to consider your options and reach out to an expert for help if you need it. As long as you stick to these safety tips, your transition to online banking is likely to be a smooth one.