Archive for the 'Online Banking' Category

Is Online Banking Safe?

Posted in Online Banking on May 3rd, 2007

Today, people are aware of the concept of online banking offered by several banks, of which some are newly opened banks and some are expansions of a well-established banking company. But one question remains to be answered, is Online Banking safe?

Despite the cut-rate deals offered by most Online Banks, numerous customers are questioning themselves about the safety of Online Banking. Most of the newly established online banks inform their customer that they have the advanced and secure technology to insure their client’s accounts with total confidence and give the assurance that their security is the one that you can trust.

Despite of all these assurances given by these Online Banks, most customers are still worrying, because their confidence is already shaken by computer viruses and hackers. Even a very established bank suffers online security malfunctions. The very reason why customers fear online is because if, in fact, their account was compromised, it could be a life-altering virtual nightmare of stolen identity and depleted funds.

As the years pass, these incidents are rarely reported and have not reached a big epidemic. Unfortunately, the few occurrences have received a lot of press. For example, in May of 1999 the online bank Egg upgraded its website, and with unexpected turn of events, the newly installed security measures scrambled the online session protocols which allowed users to view banking details of other customers. Also in November of 1999, the Halifax banks had to suspend all online banking services due to the bug that backfired while it was being fixed, and customers were also able to view the accounts of other customers, a total invasion of privacy.

The Barclays, which claimed to be the largest online bank in the United Kingdom, had to shut down their website at the end of July 1999 because their customers were serving bank statements by other clients. These incidents seems to have one thing in common, their advanced and secure technology opened up when they were upgrading the software. Here is a big problem to be considered in online operations, complex e-banking or online banking’s test on its reliability and security are mostly done on live websites or should we say, in the wild.

As these banks rush to be able to get online, they rarely test for the worst thing that may happen, as thousands of customers try to log on and at the same time, numerous crackers and hackers test the defenses of the web site. Here is one more thing to be considered, who will pay for the emptied accounts which were raided by fraudsters? Most banks rely on a small print that tells the users they are responsible for their data and money unless they alerted the bank for any problems. Most customers were not satisfied with this policy, so most online banks gave a word that they will pay up the lost money unless the customer gives a fraudulent report regarding their accounts and negligence of customer.

Of all the given incidents, now it’s up to you to judge on the safety of online banking. You have to think twice before you start saving or investing you money on online banking services.