Internet banking has been around for a little over 10 years and in the last 3-5 years has become a common feature with every major bank in the world!
With Internet Banking you can access your bank account(s) using the internet from the comfort of your own home. Most banks offer almost all the features that are available when you visit the bank. You can transfer money between accounts, pay money in/out. Apply for a loan or overdraft/credit buffer, or order a cheque book or a new credit/debit card and these are just some of the features.
Many banks actually offer a much higher interest rate if you open an Internet Savings Account. This reduces their administration costs and in turn they can pass some of those savings to the customer.
But for most people, the real benefit of internet banking is that it eliminates the need to get in the car, drive to the bank, find somewhere to park, (and usually have to pay for that too) and queue for 30 minutes just to pay in a cheque or perform a simple transaction. Or, even worse have to book an appointment!
So, is Internet Banking a little too easy? Can others access your details?
Providing you take certain precautions, there is no reason to be afraid of Internet Banking. By using approved technologies, (namely SSL and S-HTTP) all data sent and received during your “internet banking session” is encrypted.
Encrypted data is visible only to the person authorized to view it. In the unlikely event of your data being accessed by a third party, they will see only jumbled lines of code, rather than any usable information.
Millions of people everyday use Internet Banking and it is extremely rare for security to be of any real threat. However…..
There are plenty of scammers, crooks, and even large organised crime syndicates that target users of internet banking! The most common approach is through email. There are some very high-tech thieves that will go to great lengths to obtain your details. For example, setting up fake web-sites that imitate real internet banking websites. But, providing you take sensible precautions you should have no trouble keeping your details secure.