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Simple ways to banking online more safely

Dos and don'ts for smoothly navigating the most convenient and popular banking method.

Banking from the comfort and privacy of your own home, at any time of the day or night, is a major benefit of online banking. It's America's most popular banking method, with a 2016 survey by the American Bankers Association finding 55% of bank customers preferring to manage their accounts online (and another 18% preferring mobile banking).

However, the convenience of online banking is negated if your actions put your finances at risk. The following simple dos and don'ts could help keep your money safe.

Don't pay substantial fees

Oftentimes, banks offer online services for free. If there is a fee, it should be minimal — or you may want to consider negotiating it away or switching your accounts to another bank.

Do choose your password carefully

Online banking is simple: You access your account by logging onto your bank's website with your user ID and a password.

It should go without saying that you should choose your password as carefully as you choose your ATM card's personal identification number, and that you should make sure your connection is secure.

Don't put your online access at risk

If you access your bank account from a public computer, like at a public library, be sure to sign out of your account before logging off. As long as you're logged on, your bank doesn't know that it's not you managing — or mismanaging — your accounts.

Do investigate Internet banks

Internet-based banks, which have only cyber addresses, are a growing banking alternative. They offer many of the same services as traditional banks, such as checking, savings, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit. The fees at online banks are often low, so they may be a good option if you're comfortable banking exclusively online.

When choosing an online bank, make sure it is legitimate. It should be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, just like a brick-and-mortar bank. Look for the FDIC logo, and double-check that the bank is insured by checking the FDIC website.

The convenience of online shopping and banking is negated if your actions put your finances at risk. By following simple tips to bank online safely and protect your data in the cloud, you can help mitigate the identity theft risk. To take it a step further, contact a State Farm® agent to talk about identity restoration insurance and make the recovery process easier, faster, and less expensive if your identity is stolen.

State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites hyperlinked from this page. State Farm has no discretion to alter, update, or control the content on the hyperlinked, third party site. Access to third party sites is at the user's own risk, is being provided for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any of the products which may be referenced on such third party sites.


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