Way back in 1798, three men accomplished the first known bank robbery. A porter named Thomas Cunningham stayed at the Bank of Pennsylvania after his shift was finished, and ran off with $162,821 in cash during the night. The scheme didn’t last long, though, because his accomplice Isaac Davis later attempted to deposit that very same cash into the very same bank. These guys might not have been too clever, but they earned their spot in history as the first known bank robbers.
Over the years, bank robberies have evolved. No longer could a crook simply sleep in the bank after his shift; he had to walk in armed and masked, and demand money from a terrified teller. Nowadays, the tide has shifted yet again, due to new technology. Why risk your life, and risk getting caught, when you can just commit a bank robbery over the internet?
Last year hackers ripped off Bangladesh’s central bank to the tune of $101 million dollars, and smaller heists are reported on a regular basis. Often, it’s not even a matter of your entire bank being robbed. Sometimes individual accounts are hacked and drained of funds.
So, is your money safe if you use online banking? A bank vault is not safe unless it is locked correctly. Likewise, your money is safe online if you use the proper protocol.
First, make sure you’re banking with an FDIC-insured bank. Individual accounts are insured for up to $250,000, and most banks will credit your account when you report unauthorized charges or transfers.
With online banking, the real danger might come from failure to notice the event. If you use online banking, remember to log in and check on your account every few days, and review your statements each month for suspicious activity. In addition, utilize these safeguards when logging into your account:
- Log in from a secure network (your home or office wifi), not from a public connection (hotels, coffee shops, etc)
- If you receive an email from your bank, don’t click any provided links. They could be fake. Open a separate tab and proceed to your bank’s known web address.
- Choose a password that is complex and hard to guess.
- Store your password in a secure location.
- When shopping online, only give your credit card information to trusted online retailers. Credit is better than debit, because it’s easier to dispute charges and your bank account is not linked to the card.
Give us a call if you have questions about keeping your money safe. We can help you with all aspects of financial planning, and offer advice on keeping your money secure.
Pinnacle Private Wealth and LPL Financial do not provide banking services. The investment products sold through LPL Financial are not FDIC insured. These products are not obligations of the a bank and are not endorsed, recommended or guaranteed by a bank or any government agency. The value of the investment may fluctuate, the return on the investment is not guaranteed, and loss of principal is possible.