Internet Banking is the most popular financial management method

Whether you want to open a checking account online, get updates on your balances or transfer funds, you are among many Americans who like to do all their banking through the Internet.

According to a recent study of 3,001 U.S. adults by Mercator Group, 84 percent of U.S. citizens use their home computers or mobile devices to manage their bank accounts via the Web. Of that majority, only 69 percent rely on their home computers instead of a smartphone or tablet. Not only does banking online provide the convenience of instant account updates on the go, but it also can provide you with alerts for fraudulent activity, processed payments and daily balances.

More Americans have an online checking account, and this method of banking - along with Mobile Banking - is seeing faster adoption than other account management options. This is evidenced by the fact that only 26 percent of consumers preferred to receive notifications in person. Meanwhile, 53 percent favored electronic notifications, and 36 percent preferred email alerts.

"Consumers want the convenience of having their digital 'branch' be available wherever they are, at any time, at home and by mobile, as more banking activities shift to mobile platforms," said Karen Augustine, manager of Primary Data Services at Mercator Advisory Group and author of the report.

A need for Internet and Mobile Banking security
While it is convenient to receive checking account updates to your smartphone, computer or tablet, you have to make certain that you're protecting your information. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are creating innovative ways to get your data and your money, so you have to be aware of current threats.

Recently, there has been global increase in ransomware cyberattacks. Using malicious software, hackers gain access to your device and lock its functions. Then, an alert, which sometimes appears to come from law enforcement, requests payment of a fee via an online transaction service or else the device and all its sensitive data will not be unlocked. While there are some solutions besides acquiescing to hackers, many options require the deletion of all data on your device.

When using computers or other devices to bank online, remember to avoid opening suspicious emails and downloads, create strong passwords and log out of the website or application when you're finished managing your accounts.

For more tips and updates on the latest in banking technology, contact Landmark Bank.

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