RE: Banking on-line
by extech101 - 12/17/11 6:42 AM
In Reply to: (NT) Banking On-line by extech101
For some reason the submit box was shaded so I will reply here. I have been in the technology industry for nearly thirty five years and started on-line banking back then before it was fashionable. Fortunately for me I started with a company called Digital Equipment Corporation, whose networked computer systems ran the likes of NASDAQ, Department of defense, etc. One felt "secure" because the architecture was "closed" and the networking protocol proprietary.
Today with the advent of open systems, common protocols (Internet), cloud computing, and true client/server applications, banking, on-line, trading etc, has never been easier but a few things to remember. First, you must make sure your home network is secure, preferably with 128 bit encryption. Keep the pass key for that network in a secure location. Should you take a laptop with you remotely make sure that network is secure and just don't go in a coffee shop and use their wi-fi. The second is to pick out a financial institution that does not charge any fees for bill paying. I have been with the same credit union DEC started and though they have changed third party bill paying services several times they have never charged fees. You want to choose a browser that supports 128 bit encryption (most do) but some financial communities are tuned to a particular browser thus, you don't have to run it in compatibility mode.
Each GUI (graphical user interface) may be a little different but they are basically the same IE:, add a payee, schedule a payment, set up an electronic payment, set up a reminder, receive an electronic bill etc. The latter is nice but each third party bill payer has agreements with individual vendors for this service. As someone pointed out, each vendor may prefer you do it with them but managing it is like always having a messy desk and having to clean it up. Setting up an electronic bill (paperless billing) requires you to provide the user name and password to the individual vendor site. This can take up to several billing periods to activate but well worth it if available.
Setting it up is the hard part initially. It is just data entry. You will need a bill that has address, acct #, phone # etc. The server (banks computer whether it be in the cloud or central) will store all the information so should your pc get fried no need to worry except the current info you are putting in should it happen while you are typing. One thing to note is banks usually only store a certain time frame of information (mine is two years) before they back it up on microfiche. If you need records before that, they might charge you. I don't even print them out because I don't want to use the ink in the darn printer, but that is an option. One thing I do do and you will want to check with your bank if they provide it is the ability to export the file (.xls for example) to any spreadsheet (excel) if you want to use any budgeting software that shows you what your spending and where.
In the thirty five years I have been doing it I have never had any breach in security. You want to make sure you always use a good security program (i use symc) you should never have to disable it for any on-line transaction (this is not a p2p, program and if anybody tells you it is they are lying). I regularly use a system utility to clean cache, delete temp files, history, active x (glary is a favorite)- to keep things running smoothly, and defrag. Just like a car, you change the oil to keep the engine running smoothly.
Do these things and you will never have a late bill (oh yes if the error is not yours and a bill arrives late the financial institution will pay any late charges and make sure they write a letter on your behalf to the vendor articulating it was not your fault, has only happened once in my case). With bill paying my credit union offers a free monitoring of my fico score just in case I see any spike which would indicate something is wrong, again never has happened. Good luck it is well worth a "clean desk" and peace of mind!
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