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Thread: Online Banking help!

  1. #1
    AO's MMA Fanatic! Computernerd22's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Miami, FL

    Question Online Banking help!

    Hello Antionline members this is my first thread here at I would just like to inform the owner, and members if you see this I have yet to find a website with such wonderful help, and it seems everyone looks out for each other in different computer fields its nothing like other forums I've been to these members actually know there stuff. Now heres my question. I have some bank accounts setup with bank-of-america what I want to know is how safe is online banking? I have a good friend who does all her banking checking, savings, online and she says its excellent, and very secure, but she also dont know to much about computer security either. I want to really try online banking for my own convience, but I'm too parnoid about it, and I dont want some cracker(s) obtaining my banking information. I'm running windows ME with zonealarm v3.7 (not my computer its my uncles) on broadband connection I'm bug free no trojans, worms, viruses, etc... (that I know of) my operating system is kept uptodate with patches as well with all my software, browsers ETC.. do any of you people use online banking? and if so, can you give any advice thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    It really deppends on how reliable the service you've signed up with is and weather or not you have protection agianst trojans/spyware that could grab info when you attempt to checkup on your money. Might I suggest something like pestpatrol with a nice AV & FW to further support it agianst maleware... As for bank of america its their job to protect your personal data like that.... after all they are the ones holding all the info.

  3. #3
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Redondo Beach, CA
    I use online backing as well as online purchasing since .. oh.. about 1997-8 (can't remember exactly when). Never had any problems yet.

    Nothing is 100% secure. That said, quite honestly, it's hard to say how secure banking is (banks are not known for making public they are attacked.. at least not willfully). It depends on the location and how determined/paranoid the admin is with the data. I'd probably say it's as secure as you choose it to be. At minimum, your bank's online secure connection should be 128bits. Ideally higher. SSL, used by many banks, has been broken and can be broken fairly easily if they are on the same subnet as you.

    I think the key to using online banking is to be cautious. Either print out or record somewhere all transations and all transation information (#, date, time, from which account, to which account/payee). Your system is ok on security (ZA has one known vulnerability) but otherwise, as long as you are vigilant you should be fine.
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Is the bank you are with one of the major backs in the US? If they are there web apps and network systems will have been tested by an indendent security comany before they go live. The web site will almost be 100% secure apart from zero day vulnerabilites, but no one can protect them selfs from them.

    The biggest security risk is proberly you! aslong as you keep your passwords safe you should be fine.

    I\'m a SittingDuck, but the question is \"Is your web app a Sitting Duck?\"

  5. #5
    I am a Bank and Network Technology Administrator for a small bank - so i thought I would add my input on the issue. I agree with some of the above statements - we all no nothing is 100% safe - but at the same time - because of being in an online technological age - everyone wants to know if its secure. We have internet banking at our site - which I manage - and can tell you that - remembering we are a small bank - we've had no honest reports of fraud yet. We had one lady claiming fraud - but it ended up being she wanted a reversal of an ebay payment after receiving the goods - without going through ebay's complaint department - so she came to us and claimed that it was unauthorized - which I proved otherwise and had to refer her to ebay licensing agreement which states all disputes must go through them -

    What we tell everyone using internet banking - its 128 bit encrypted (most are) - but even that is not 100% safe - someone might be able to see the information you are transmitting as mentioned above because of worms and trojans and what not. Virus protection is a must - a firewall helps if you can afford it...but the best defense is yourself.

    What I mean by that is - nothing beats you yourself checking the integrity of your data daily. If you are going to use online banking - check balances daily. it only takes a minute to logon and look for suspicious activity daily. It's your account - so you know best what is authorized and what is not. Remember that as soon as you see something that might be fraudulous - call the bank immediately and report it. In most cases - banks are liable up to certain amounts depending on how fast you report it. Using online banking means you are telling them you have the ability to check daily - and in most cases - reduces the bank's liability down to two business days. This means - check daily and report fraud immediately. If you start the process right away on any fraud - it helps them track it down. Nothing is more frustrating to a financial institution than someone calling a month later - and then they have to go back through records to see it - and if authorities need to be involved - it becomes near impossible after a few days.

    So my suggestion is - its fairly safe - but if you are going to use it - use it daily - and report any problems immediately.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Hello computernerd22

    Eager to make full use of my new computer's capabilities, I asked a customer-service representative at my bank if they offered online banking.
    'Certainly,' she stated matter-of-factly, pointing to a crowd of people near the teller windows. 'The line starts over there.'
    I've used Internet banking for five years now. I was a trialler in England for my bank and while it's had it's problems, they are rarely to do with security. I had more problems with traditional banking because I was slack about reading statements.

    You do have to remember to be vigilent and remember to log out, not use the same password as you use for everything else etc. but this is all just common sense.

    One problem I did have regarding some security software I had locally installed which played silly devils with the bank's security systems. This got resolved (as I say, I was in the trial so there were a few bugs when I first went in).

    I don't know what the laws are where you are exactly, but in this country, if someone uses your credit card details without your knowledge and you have been reasonably careful (ie you didn't broadcast them over the radio or paint them on a toilet wall), then the merchant, not you, is liable for the transaction. It's a bit different with direct bank transfers and you are responsible for checking and notifying of anything weird going on, but a bit of vigilance goes a long way.

    I'm also really enthusiastic about *not* getting paper statements anymore. Each month I'd get a statement with one thing on it and have to shred them recycle it. Now I just download them, compress them and periodically delete them.

    (still demob happy and packing)
    668 - the neighbor of the beast

  7. #7
    Senior Member tampabay420's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Hey -
    I'm a bit paranoid myself (you have to be these days) just make sure that before you buy anything online- that the Site is secure SSL, etc...

    as to keeping your banking info secret, you shouldn't have any problems, just make sure to trash the Virtual memory, and Temporary internet files...

    another suggestion, if you are going to keep any sort of important data on your hard drive (zip disk is best, because it is removable/physicaally secure) make sure to encrypt everything (i would suggest PGP, or Blowfish (if you don't want to bother with a public key ring)) anyway- i hope this info helps...

    i do online banking myself, never had a glitch!
    yeah, I\'m gonna need that by friday...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Zonewalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    evening all

    I've also used i-net bank... for about 5 years. I've never had a problem with security but like Englishgirl have experienced minor glitches - again usually to do with non security issues. The only thing I would add to everyone elses comments (as no one else seems to have mentioned it) is apart from using a password and username only for the purpose of banking, never, ever access your account online at a computer other than the one in your own house. In other words do not use computers at cyber cafe's, library's, work, school etc. The reasons for this should be obvious to most people here.. but in case it isn't I'll just say 'temporary internet cache'

    take care

    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    An interesting alternative to the common Internetbanking via Web-Browser is HBCI (Home Banking Computer Interface).

    Ooops! I just did a Google search to find a link with more information for you but unfortunately I discovered that up to now it seems to be rarely available outside of Germany. Nevertheless I'll talk about it because it might be an interesting information for you. Have a look here:

    The fact that GnuCash already supports HBCI lets hope that it will be available in other countries in the near future too.

    My experiences with online-banking began in 1995 with BTX (Sorry, but again a service which has been available in Germany only. Meanwhile it has been shut down.)

    I have been using the common Internetbanking for several years and I never had any problems. Be cautious, watch your accounts regularly and follow the advices given in the other posts before. Especially delete the browser-cache on public computers. You soon won't miss online-banking any more.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    one thing we seem to be overlooking here is your unccle. what about him? is he a security risk not in that he would steel from you but is he security minded. you can be as on top of things as possibe and along comes someone who just open email attachments because they look like fun. as long as he's as cautious as you and no one else accesses the problem.
    Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”

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