There are some common fears and concerns when it comes to using the internet to manage your finances. Your computer security could be breached, and your passwords could be taken. Your bank’s system could be infiltrated by hackers, thus exposing tons of data to people that are not intending to do any good. However, these problems are rare, and the same problems exist when managing your finances offline, as well. For instance, your mail could be intercepted on the way to its destination. Your credit cards and checkbook could get stolen even by someone you may know. However, the odds of those things happening are low, and you continue banking every day, don’t you?
So why not take advantage of online banking and same time and effort immediately?
If you are worried about security when it comes to online banking, there are some precautions you can take. Make sure you don’t access your banking institute from a public computer or your work. Change your password monthly and make sure it has not only numbers and letters but also symbols. Don’t use common phrases for your password or your last name or anything that could be easily found by anyone who was looking. Not only do you change your password with your bank, but if you want to be extra safe, you can change it for the email address which is associated with your bank account. If you ever think your account has been breached then stop what you are doing and call the number to your bank and talk to a representative. They can look up the most recently used IP addresses which have accessed your information.
How you can Benefit from Online Banking
Once you get past the common fears associated with the internet, there are a lot of benefits to be gained by using online banking. Managing your finances is a lot quicker, and it is easier to see what is coming and going out of your accounts. You don’t have to wait on the phone listening to each transaction. You can just log in to your bank account and see for yourself what exactly is going on. Normally online banking is free with the bank that you are using. However, you will want to read the fine print because every bank is different and their policies may change.
You can save the environment with online banking because you will be using a lot less paper. Not only does this cut down on the number of trees needing to be used for the paper, but it will also cut down on clutter in your house which you will be thankful for when spring cleaning time comes around. The energy costs used in the amount of time that it takes you to send your payments and check your account are far less than the amount of energy it costs to produce the paper, the printing of the automated monthly statements and policy updates, and the fuel costs to have it delivered to your mailbox.
You can perform account transfers easily between your accounts within 2 minutes, and you can pay your bills with online banking. All you have to do is set up your payee information, and you can choose to automate this monthly or to manually go in there and pay each month whatever the amount is that you owe or wish to pay. Plus, when you pay your bills this way they get there much faster than if they were going through the postal service. You can apply for loans and upgrade your account with most banks if this is something you ever feel like doing. Any policy changes will be emailed to you so that you are notified right away instead of waiting for them to come to your house or post office.
Software to make Online Banking even Easier
There are financial software packages you can use like Quicken or Microsoft Money where you can have more control over managing your finances. You can import the data from your bank account to these programs so that you never have to balance a checkbook again. This is great for reducing the chances of mathematical error or just if you hate doing the math. Some of these programs are also great tools for budgeting because they help you identify where your expenses are going by categorizing them for you. With these categories, it is much easier to recognize the areas where you spend the most money which will help you determine where you can cut back the most. Quicken will even let you import data into turbo tax which cuts back on the amount of time you have to spend doing your taxes. They will remind you when bills are due so that you can never have a late payment again.
Having these types of tools will truly make it easier for you to set financial goals and follow through with them because it makes the whole process much less frustrating to deal with.