Why Online Banking is Safer Than You Think
As long as customers take the necessary steps to protect their information, online banks are just as secure as traditional banks.
5 min read
When you think of a bank, does your mind immediately go to an 8-inch thick steel safe with an oversized handle from a heist movie? Well, you’re probably not the only one.
But banking has changed quite a bit since those heist movies were released – brands like N26 offer a ton of customer-friendly benefits that help you take control of your finances. That’s great news for people who like added perks – so, everyone – but what does that mean for security? Are digital alternatives riskier than traditional brick and mortar banks?
Good question. Since we’re digital-only, and we don’t exactly have a big ol’ vault in the back, we figured we’re qualified to tell you that the answer is a resounding no. The best online bank accounts are just as safe as traditional banks.
What about if I’m using my mobile phone for banking? Are online banks safe for that? Usually, yes. As long as the online bank is federally insured (or partnering with a FDIC-insured bank) and customers take the necessary steps to protect their information, your safety and security aren’t in jeopardy.
In other words, the things that protect customers at traditional banks can also protect online banking customers.
So what is federal insurance, and why does it assure safety?
You’ve probably heard of the FDIC before – Federal Deposit Insurance Commission – and it’s not just an acronym you’ve heard in a bunch of commercials. The FDIC is an independent agency created by Congress that protects the money you deposit with its partner banks. If a bank has FDIC insurance coverage, it means that you won't lose any of your money even if the bank fails. So, what does the FDIC do?
Examines and supervises financial institutions for safety, soundness, and consumer protection
It makes large and complex financial institutions resolvable
What additional steps can I take to protect my information?
So, the FDIC insures your deposits, but how safe is online banking beyond the FDIC protection? Generally pretty safe, however, if you want additional peace of mind, there are some additional steps you can take to protect your information and your money.
Be wary of public Wi-Fi and your surroundings. An important tip is always to use a secure Wi-Fi connection. It doesn't matter whether you're using a computer or a phone to log into your online account; what's vital is the network's security.
Thinking of doing some online banking over your local coffee shop’s unsecured public WiFi network? Try using mobile data instead, since it can be a lot more secure.
Always use your bank's official app. Avoid browser-based phishing scams by using your bank's official app. Often, these scams aim to replicate your bank's look and feel and collect your user data.
Protect your devices. It's all about the passcodes. Protect all devices you use for online banking with reasonably complex passwords. Add lock screens for your computer and phone and passcodes for websites and applications. We recommend adding a lock code or password to any device you use to access your N26 account, and avoid using the same passcode for multiple accounts or devices. If you’re the type of person who can’t remember 17 different passwords, find a password management app that you can trust, or have your phone generate/store a secure password whenever possible.
Store passwords safely. Sticky notes are fun, but never use them to keep passwords, usernames, or PINs. Same goes for your notes app on your phone or computer; if you lose your device or fall prey to malware, having easy-to-find passwords poses a pretty big security risk.
Practice a good password regimen. Although this can be tedious, it is crucial. Try varying your passwords across devices and websites, and don’t just use letters and numbers, throw some ampersands and parentheses in there, spice it up a little bit.
Update your software. Software updates, although a pain, can be essential with regard to security. Manufacturers frequently issue updates to protect against new safety defects. It’s tempting to keep hitting that “remind me tomorrow” button, but we know you can resist the urge.
How we keep your money safe at N26
Your security and privacy are N26's top priorities. If you're feeling a bit nervous about taking the leap and trying online banking, rest assured N26 will keep your money safe. We are a reliable and convenient option for those taking this big step – and we’ve put a lot of effort into creating a secure experience for our customers.
You know those old school banks with the big vaults in the back we talked about above? We’re governed by the exact same regulations and guidelines that they are – and we’ve invested heavily in making sure our platform is just as secure as any.
Are N26 accounts FDIC-insured?
Absolutely. Your deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 through our partner bank, Axos Bank®, Member FDIC. You can breathe easily with an N26 account because your money is fully secure.
N26's smart features that protect your account include:
Log in with a two-step authentication process, which includes fingerprint or face recognition.
Pairing your phone with the N26 app helps assure only your smartphone can access your account.
N26 customers are protected from fraudulent purchases with Visa's Zero Liability* policy so that you can spend with peace of mind.
Control your account permissions, restrictions, and access with customizable settings. That means you can lock or unlock your card if it's lost, change your PIN, and enable or disable online and international payments whenever you need to.
Get instant push notifications on purchases, withdrawals, and all account activity in real-time so you can see what's happening with your money at any time.
Activate discreet mode to blur out sensitive data from nearby prying eyes.
N26 puts security at your fingertips
Wondering whether banking with N26 is safe? Don't worry, we've got your back. Learn more about security at N26 for more details on how we keep your information safe.
Sign up now and try safe, secure mobile banking the world loves.
*Visa’s Zero Liability Policy covers U.S.-issued cards only and does not apply to certain commercial card transactions or transactions not processed by Visa. You must notify your card issuer immediately of any unauthorized use. For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, please consult your issuer.
The N26 account is offered by Axos Bank®, Member FDIC. N26 Inc. is a service provider of Axos Bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at Axos Bank are combined and insured under the same FDIC Certificate 35546. All deposit accounts through Axos Bank brands are not separately insured by the FDIC from other deposit accounts held with the same ownership and/or vesting at Axos Bank. The N26 Visa® Debit Card is issued by Axos Bank pursuant to a license by Visa U.S.A. Inc. The N26 Visa Debit Card may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
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