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9 things NOT to do when managing your money online

Home Blog9 things NOT to do when managing your money online

Key takeaways:

  • While online money management allows automation of some tasks, it's important to know where your attention is required.
  • By taking advantage of monitoring your accounts closely online, you can quickly spot any problems that arise.
  •  Using online banking can help you more effectively manage your accounts including the amount in each account.

These days, you can quickly view your bank account on your phone, click a few buttons to find more information on a transaction and even set up automatic bill payments from your bank account. Because online money management offers a host of benefits including convenience, transparency, and automation it's easy to see why so many have enrolled. In fact, Statista forecasted that 161.6 million people in the United States will use online banking in 2019.

While online banking enables efficiencies that make it easier to manage your money, it comes with its own set of challenges. Cyber security, automation, simple mistakes – there’s a lot that could go wrong if you don’t pay attention. We’ve put together a list of 9 mistakes we’ve seen when managing money online. We’re hoping this will help you avoid these mistakes for an overall safer and more enjoyable experience.

  1. Don’t use the same password. With a bevy of passwords to remember, it can be tempting to use the same one for all your online accounts. We recommend avoiding this at all cost. That’s because if one company gets hacked, those hackers could easily gain access to your banking account. Use a unique username and password. For an even stronger password, use a combination of lower and uppercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  2. Don’t forget to update your password regularly. Change your unique password frequently to help keep it secure.
  3. Don’t ignore your accounts. The more frequently you monitor your accounts, the faster you can spot a purchase you didn’t make. Speed is crucial when it comes to flagging fraudulent activity on your account.
  4. Don’t forget to set up alerts. By enabling text and email alerts you can quickly understand if there is abnormal activity on your account.  
  5. Don’t complicate your bill payment screen. If you have companies that you used to regularly pay that you no longer do business with, remove them. You want to reduce the chance of making a mistake and accidentally paying businesses you no longer receive services from. 
  6. Don’t stop short when managing payments. Online banking is convenient, but it's easy to forget to click that final step that is necessary to actually pay your bill or schedule a payment. Remember to follow all the steps before closing the page.
  7. Don’t schedule bill payments after the deadline. Your utility company or cable company may not be understanding if you miss the deadline. If you choose to set up automatic payments, ensure they’re set to be paid prior to the bill’s deadline.
  8. Don’t multitask. When you’re managing your money online, it can be easy to multitask and end up making silly mistakes such as adding an extra “0” or misplacing the decimal. That’s why it’s important to give your full attention. Review your transactions and double check your accuracy before paying bills or transferring money.
  9. Don’t rely on second-hand apps. Use your bank’s mobile app to send and receive money from friends. The bank’s app often has more security than going online on your phone to make a transaction. MidWestOne has an official app that includes Zelle for easy payments with friends and family.

It’s important to handle your money with care, and that includes being careful when doing so online. If you have questions about online banking, visit your local MidWestOne branch.

MidWestOne Bank does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.