Online Banking Gets a Safety Check
New rules to thwart ID thieves are in place. Hint: Don't try wiring cash to Nigeria.
(MONEY Magazine) – Many banks have beefed up security measures for online customers to comply with new federal guidelines in effect for 2007 that are designed to ward off identity theft. What to expect? You may now be asked to select an icon or phrase that will appear every time you log on, confirming that you're at the bank's site, not a look-alike one run by con artists. Banks are also monitoring your online behavior for breaks in your normal pattern. If you log on from a computer in Alaska but actually live and work in New Jersey, say, or you try transferring a large sum of money to Nigeria, the bank will send you a preselected challenge question or even call you to confirm your identity. But don't assume the extra security is automatic: In some cases, you have to enroll online for the additional protection.
SAVINGS NOTES AND SOURCES: CD and money-market account data as of Nov. 14 from 100 Highest Yields, a publication of Bankrate.com ($124 for 52 issues; 800-327-7717, ext. 11410); all have a minimum investment of $10,000 or less. Average tax-exempt and taxable money-market fund yields for the week ended Nov. 14 from Money Fund Report (imoneynet.com); all have a minimum investment of $10,000 or less and assets of $25 million or more. Average bond fund yields for the month ended Oct. 31 from Lipper; all are medium- and high-quality funds without sales loads and with average maturities of three years or less. Manager absorbed all or some operating expenses. CREDIT NOTES AND SOURCES: All rates subject to change. Credit-card rates are for standard cards as of Nov. 14 from Bankrate.com and are variable unless otherwise indicated. Survey does not include Internet-only cards or AmEx Blue. Fixed rate. Visa only. Platinum and gold cards.