Online Financial Management: Is It Safe?
There is so much skepticism among people today about the safety of managing their finances online with third party companies in fear that computer hackers may obtain access to their information and be able to steal money form their accounts. This legitimate concern is the single greatest obstacle for financial service providers to overcome. So of course they are going to tell you it’s safe and secure, but is that really the case?
Many financial management companies have qualities to their service that may be of great benefit to their clients such as anonymity with each account. This means that even if someone gains access to your information, they cannot place a name with the account, which reduces the risk of identity theft. Another feature includes the accounts being “read-only” meaning that the funds cannot be accessed and withdrawn. Essentially, the service is designed to give you a projection of how your money is being spent without the ability to manage it through the site.
According to Aaron Patzer, CEO of Mint.com, their company (owned by Intuit) has bank level data security with the same level of encryption. Also their physical location is in an unmarked building with seven layers of security including guards, biometric readers, security cameras, encrypted systems, and more. Patzer also states that Mint.com can provide more security than your own bank because they more closely monitor the different accounts that you work with so that inconsistencies are more easily spotted between your accounts.
Javelin Strategy and Research indicates that 90% of fraud happens offline, not on the Internet. The latest data shows in recent years, overall fraud has actually decreased by 3.5% while more and more people are utilizing the Internet to manage their financial information. This could possibly indicate that there is more security on the web than the credit cards you may have laying around. This obviously doesn’t mean that people should carelessly expose their finances anywhere they please online; hackers are still out there trying to gain access to valuable information.
Identity theft has been one of the biggest problems among fraudulent activities. It is important to take the time to do your research about a company before you give them access to your financial or personal information, especially if you use merchant account services. It is important to make sure your transactions are handled with the best company available so your focus is on business. Contact Skybank Financial for information on how to get started today!