Online Banking & The FDIC
Online Banking is a terrific way to deal with many of your general banking needs without even leaving home, but you still need to make sure that the bank you choose is safe and secure, both from an internet point of view (your online bank website should be safe and secure) and from a banking point of view. It’s not quite the same as walking into your local bank and withdrawing or depositing cash which you can see, it’s all done by buttons these days.
It’s also important that the online bank you choose is insured by the FDIC, that way you’ll know that your deposits are covered no matter what happens to the individual bank, well, up to $250,000 per investor per insured bank anyway (that’s the maximum). Finding out is not as difficult as you might think. The FDIC can tell you whether your bank is insured and the primary regulator as well as who you should complain to if you ever feel the need.
The FDIC can also help you to keep your online information safe. Fraudulent “phishing” emails really can look very convincing but it’s important that you never divulge any passwords or account information (or click onto links which are in these emails). The emails might look like they’ve been sent by the FDIC but that’s just want they want you to think, if you tell them any of your private details they can hack into your account and empty it of your hard-earned cash, if you click on a link it can infect your computer with malicious spyware and possibly gather the information in the future. The FDIC will not send out these unsolicited emails so don’t click on anything and report it as spam.
The FDIC really is your eyes and ears in the banking industry so it’s up to you to use them. They can tell you:
- if your chosen bank is insured and your money covered
- where to complain if necessary
- lots of data and reports about many individual banks
- lots of data on the US banking industry in general
- information on failed banks
- if your deposits are insured (if your bank has failed)
- plus lots more useful online banking information