Online banking can be an easy and convenient way to manage your money. Nowadays most banks and other financial institutions have mobile apps and offer their customers a way to access accounts and services online. Because of all the data breaches in the past couple of years many people may be wondering whether or not online banking is safe. Online banking can be pretty safe as there are precautions that banks take to protect the accounts and identities of their customers. Furthermore, there are some safety precautions that only the customer can take when banking online.
The Measures that Banks Take To Protect Their Customers Who Bank Online
When banking there is a lot of important information that is exchanged. Reputable banks know this and take thorough security measures to protect their customers. Here a few ways that banks control the flow and safety of personal information:
- Data Encryption– Encrypting data makes it so it is extremely hard for it to be hacked- think of it as a second line of defense for important information. To find out if a bank uses data encryption on their website, just check the URL. It should have either a closed lock symbol or begin with “https” (the s in here is the important part -as it indicates a website who data in encrypted).
- Banking Alerts– Many banks have alerts set up anytime your account is accessed online. These alerts are sent instantly to a phone or an email to help notify a person just in case they are not the ones using their account.
- Additional Login Requirements– Banks who offer online or mobile banking may make it so there are personal questions in addition to the a username and password while logging in. These questions are set up when a person first begins online banking and make the process even safer. When picking the questions and the answers- it is important to choose ones that only you know the answer to. Additionally make sure the answers aren’t available through your social media accounts or somewhere else online.
Why The Safety of Banking Online is Similar to the Safety of Banking in Person
When it comes to banking online or in person they are surprising similar when it comes to the risk and safety. When dealing with banking in person there are still important documents involved that -even though are on paper- can still get into the wrong hands. In addition to this nowadays many banks – even if you go in person- will have all of their information stored through their computer systems.
Things You Can Do to Be Safe While Banking Online
There are many ways the customers themselves can jeopardize their account or important personal information. Even though a bank can take safety measures there are things that only you the customer can control. Here are a few ways to be safe when banking online (or when doing anything financial online):
- Access Financial Accounts Only through Trusted Hardware and Networks– When accessing any financial accounts or any important personal information it is extremely important to use a trusted computer and a secure Wi-Fi network. Many people find that using their own network at home and their personal computer is the best way to bank and shop online.
- When Shopping Online Use Your Credit Cards- By using credit cards for purchases instead of their bank/debit card a person can protect their bank account information- so hackers do not have you primary account information if you re hacked. Furthermore, credit card companies can relatively easily reimburse you for any money lost or stolen.
- Use Official Banking Apps if Available– Instead of using a browser to access your online banking information it may be more secure to use an official app. This is because these apps are directly connected to a bank’s financial account- and so safer.
- Check Your Credit Report Often- This an important tool to use to monitor your credit information. On top of monitoring spending/credit usage, checking a credit report can show the first signs of identity and account theft.
When banking online through any kind of bank, it is important to understand the risks and safety that surrounds the topic. This is especially true for those who use online banking often. Banks who offer their services online do take a wide amount of security measures to protect their customers. There are precautions that a customer themselves can take to protect themselves when banking online. Before choosing a bank it is important to read up and ask about the security measures that company takes to protect its customers.
How Do You Know When Your Identity Has Been Stolen?
When you go out on a date or even just drive around for some groceries there are certain risks that are taken that could result in a stolen identity. If your identity has been stolen, the one thing that you should consider is whether it certainly is the case.
So how do you know when your identity has been stolen? Here are some indicators or hints that may make you the victim of identity theft.
- Withdrawals or purchases on your bank account you do not remember making.
- Missing bills over the mail that you may had been expecting.
- If certain sales merchants refuse checks from you.
- Debt collectors are contacting you about debts you were not aware of.
- Medical provider bills are sent out to your mailbox that you are not aware of.
- Your health plan rejects a medical claim because your benefits had already reached its limit.
- You are notified by the IRS that more than one tax return was filed under your name, or for income under an employer you do not work for.
- A notice is given to you that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company you work for or have an account with.
If any of these indicators could not be addressed or answered by logical means based on your financial record-keeping, then there is a high chance that your identity has been stolen. With many people every year dealing with identity theft, how could you out of the hundreds of people around the country have been made a target.
A stolen identity usually has an individual perpetrator, and here are some ways that your identity could be stolen:
Credit card theft: Like most people, you probably use credit cards to buy things from the supermarket, or the coffee shop. This means that of all the places you have swiped or have given your card to cashiers, there’s a chance they could have stolen your identity.
Unsecure Websites: Maybe you are more of an online shopper. Of course, there’s also a chance of identity theft that could happen during the transaction.
Phishing: The email-based scam that is also done via telephone is another way how an identity has been stolen. By posing as a company or service, they get the reader or caller to enter personal information
Hacking: Tech-savvy thieves hack can utilize their technological know-how to steal personal information and even account information from banks that could leave your financials ripe for the taking.
Shoulder surfing: A classic scheme when it comes to stolen identity, shoulder surfing is when a sneak thief may look over and steal your PIN at the line of an ATM.
Skimming: A much more sophisticated way of stealing information via ATM. Skimming is when a special card reader is attached to an ATM that allows the thief to read and take any credit card information from the victim.
Fraudulent credit reports: Credit report schemes use the manipulation of phishing to get a victim’s financial information in a much more direct and sinister way.
Pretexting: Instead of attempting to get information or steal funding through an individual, this type of identity theft method has a perpetrator call their banks. By calling banks, utility companies or other organizations under fall pretenses to get any account or personal information.
Dumpster diving: Bank statements, credit card information and even junk mail may have information that could easily be taken, even when it was thrown out. Dumpster divers will find any types of information that is not shredded that could lead to your stolen identity.
Mail theft: Instead of looking in your garbage, your mailbox could be ransacked and any information within those envelopes will belong to the thief for the taking.
Although there are other situations that may have resulted in a stolen identity, there’s plenty else to consider when you are a victim identity theft.
What do you do when your identity has been stolen?
As soon as you know that you are a victim of identity theft, you should take these steps immediately to avoid any further charges on your card or unauthorized actions under your name.
- Contact fraud alert departments: Things like your credit score could be impacted by identity theft and should be the first ones to contact to place a fraud alert on your credit report. This prevents any new accounts to be opened under your name, as well as ensure that any charges from your accounts will not impact your score from three credit score agencies.
- Contact other institutions under your name: Your bank, insurance company and other financial institutions should also be notified so they can ensure that whatever happens with your stolen identity will not be pitted out on you.
- File a police report: Filing a police report as soon as possible will allow for a faster recovery, especially if they are able to identify and find the culprit, which means paperwork and evidence that proves that your identity had been stolen.
- Get things fixed ASAP: Once every person had been called about your stolen identity, it’s time to work with your insurance company and bank to recover any funding taken or damages done. The sooner, the better!
After taking all the possible steps, expect plenty of phone calls and waiting during the process. Once the dust has settled, you will now know exactly what to do if it ever happens again. But what are some steps toward identity theft prevention?
How To Avoid Getting Your Identity Stolen
A stolen identity is no joke, and it could be hard to trust everyone and anything when it comes to using your credit card or giving out personal information. Here are some tips on what you can do to avoid identity theft.
- Don’t carry your social security card in your wallet or purse, where it could easily be lost or taken. Store it somewhere safe and be sure that any online sites that ask for your social security number should be kept on watch.
- Use secure passwords to protect any personal information and accounts from being accessed. Changing those passwords regularly also improves security against hackers.
- Avoid giving personal information to any websites that may be unsecured. For instance, a web page containing “https” in the address or that little padlock symbol next to the address field is a secure site.
- Invest in a firewall or spyware protection program on your computer. Be sure to update it regularly to continue that consistent protection on your personal information.
- Shred any documents or mail that has your personal or account information. Whether you shred it with a shredder or burn it over a fireplace, leave no trace of your information in the hands of dumpster divers.
- Keep organized and make a list of your credit card and bank account numbers along with the customer service lines for each. Keep it in a safe place if your identity has been stolen, so you are more prepared than ever.
Although these preventive measures may decrease the chances of identity theft, it’s always good to know what to do in the case of a stolen identity, and we hope we at LoanMart has you thinking of avoiding any habits that could lead you in that situation.
My Identity Has Been STOLEN, What do I do?
Identity theft can happen to anyone. Now, with so much information being stored online, thieves are developing more sophisticated ways to steal personal information. When a person’s identity is stolen it can be devastating, confusing, and scary all at the same time. However, there are steps that can be taken to lessen the blow of identity theft, and to protect yourself from further financial damage. Additionally there are things that can be done to prevent identity theft in the first place.
What To Do AFTER Your Identity has Been Stolen?
Here are a few steps to take immediately after finding out that identity has been stolen:
- Contacting Everyone Who Deals With Your Finances and Credit
This is the first step that a person should take as soon as they find out their personal information has been compromised. Here are a few places that most people contact:
- Credit Bureaus– All three of the major credit bureaus have fraud alert departments that can add security to credit accounts. This can prevent thieves from opening up new accounts with stolen information, and may take away any liability for fraudulent account activity.
- Credit Card Companies/Loan Lenders- It is important to contact any credit card company or loan lender about stolen identity as soon as you figure it out. Most financial lenders have fraud departments, and can do everything from closing an account to setting up alerts.
- Banks- It is important to contact any bank that business is done with- it can prevent even more damage. It may be reassuring to know that most reputable banks put in a lot of effort in security measures and are often prepared for these types of situations.
- Insurance Companies- Contacting insurance lenders can help prevent any claims that a thief may try to make, additionally it can protect even more personal information.
- Check Your Credit Report
A credit report has all of the information about any financial activity that exists for a single person. If your identity is stolen it is a very good idea to monitor your credit reports, from all three major credit bureaus. This will give a person a good idea of how long the thief has had their information and to what extent.
- File a Police Report
The bottom line is that identity theft is a very serious crime and should be treated as such. So the next step is to report stolen identity to the local police. This provides the victim with records (in case they need to prove the crime), it may even lead to finding the culprit, and protect others from becoming victims.
- Close Old Accounts and Open New Ones
Most financial institutions have this set up fairly easily, and can close and open a brand new account if an old one has been compromised. For those who need to continue to use their accounts – this is a great way to go about that.
- Increase Account Security
This step may be taken automatically by financial lenders when a customer calls them about identity theft. They will often add more login and security steps to access an account. For those who want to keep their old accounts this may be a good option.
Once these steps are taken, an individual has done almost everything they can do, to protect themselves from further victimization after identity theft.
Recovering From a Stolen Identity
Recovering from identity theft can take some time and requires some work. Here are the ways that a person can recover from identity theft;
- Replacing lost or stolen information.
- Consider a credit freeze- this essentially pauses any new or current credit activity.
- Diligently monitor credit reports yourself.
- Consider a credit monitoring service- These companies will do the important work of monitoring credit for you, and alert you right away about any new activity.
How to Protect Your Self from Identity Theft in the Future
There are many ways to go about protecting yourself from identity theft and for other financial emergencies. Taking the following precautions now could save your time, hassle, stress and money in the future:
- Precautions In Person
- Do not carry unnecessary personal information with you, such as a Social Security card.
- Collect mail right away, if leaving on a trip then place a hold on mail.
- Shred all documents that have personal information.
- Store important personal information in a safe place.
- Precautions Online
- Use trusted hardware and a secure Wi-Fi network when online.
- Use websites that offer the protection of encrypted data, when putting any personal information in online.
- Have a secure email and be aware of email phishing scams.
- Use secure passwords, and change them often.
- Precautions Over the Phone
- If a financial company contacts you- hang up and call them from an official authorized number.
- Never give out important personal information over the phone before knowing about the authenticity of the call and caller.
- Avoid making important financial calls in public.
If your identity is stolen it is important to take a few steps immediately after. These steps involve essentially getting everything/everyone financial on the same page. Taking these steps can prevent further damage to your credit, your financial standing, and may even help track down the culprit. Once those steps are taken a person can slowly begin to recover from identity theft and prevent it from happening in future.
Better Security When Borrowing Title Loans
In today’s world, a consumer can never be too careful when offering personal information to lenders. As hackers prey on unsuspecting consumers, we are focused on keeping personal information secure throughout an application for an Auto Title Loan with us.
With a Car Title Loan from LoanMart, a customer may turn a truck, van, SUV or car that is less than ten years old into the liquid funds they need to deal with emergencies. We place no restrictions on how the money is spend, and work hard to get the best situation possible.
Protecting Social Security Numbers
If a customer wants more information about online title loans, simply fill out the form on the website to get a phone call from a friendly representative. If a customer is uncomfortable providing a Social Security number online or over the phone, they may download the application and fax it to our secure fax line.
With a smartphone, a customer can also access the loan application form from the LoanMart Mobile App. Speak to a customer service representative from LoanMart with any questions about how to apply for a loan.
Security is Our Business
We take security very seriously, and know that every customer should be able to trust us when providing us with confidential information. Information is never stored on our Web server computers, and we use SSL encryption to protect information as it is transmitted from one place to another.
We work hard to earn trust, and want our customers to feel comfortable providing us with the information we need when applying for an online title loan.
Paying Off an Online Title Loan with LoanMart
Do you need more information on how to go about paying off an online title loan? We are here to explain the whole process to you and pass on some advice on how best to go about repaying the loan. Remember that we can speak about how it works for LoanMart’s customers but not all companies offer as may options as we do.
When you are considering paying off your online title loan or any title loan, you should always ask for a “payoff” letter. This is sometimes known as a “10-day payoff letter” which means that the amount they say you owe is valid for 10 days from the date the letter was written; however, keep in mind that during those 10 days, daily interest charges may continue until you pay it off completely.
With LoanMart, you will have access to your account information via a login through the main LoanMart site. This will keep you up to date with where you are with your payments and amounts still due on the loan. We even have a MOBILE APP for Google Play and ITunes! You can have the ease of knowing about your loan at any time 24 hours a day 7 days a week! Download it for Android or from the ITunes App Store on your phone.
We strive to make the application process simple and offer a variety of payment options to make it easy to make payments on time each and every month. One of our biggest goals is to make sure that the repayment of the Auto Title Loan is as simple and pain-free of a process as possible. Once the application is complete and if a loan is approved, payment amounts will be amortized and paid back over a period of 12-36 months, depending on the terms of the loan. The amount borrowed is based on the current equity in the vehicle, the value of the vehicle, the ability of the borrower to repay the loan, and the law of each state, but we’ll do our best to ensure that the best deal is obtainable from a valuable investment.
With LoanMart, paying off an online title loan can be extremely easy because there are no prepayment penalties so the borrower can pay off the loan as early as they would like. If the borrower pays the lender back early then there will be significantly less interest accrued. The payments on an Auto Title Loan are amortized which means that when a borrower is paying off the title loan they are paying down both the interest and the principle. This means that no balloon payments are involved.
Monthly Billing Statements
An Auto Title Loan Online is similar to any other loan in the fact that monthly billing statements are sent from LoanMart. However, paying off an online title loan is made significantly easier with the utilization of technology. We make the process exceedingly more convenient by making your current balance and payment history available online. The billing statement includes important information about the loan.
- Payment History
- Basic Account Information
- Billing Information
- Payment Methods
- Important Messages
By having all the information of the loan constantly available to the borrower, it is far less likely that a default will occur on the loan; increasing the likelihood that the online title loan will be paid off in a timely fashion.
We offer several convenient payment methods to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all of our customers. There are several different ways to go about paying off your online title loan and the borrower is permitted to choose whichever way is most beneficial for them. Our customers do not need to have a bank account to obtain an Auto Title Loan from LoanMart unless the funds need to be wired or transferred. Therefore, there are several ways to pay off the online title loan that do not include the use of an actual bank account.
Monthly payments can be made each month in one of the following ways:
- Mail payments to the payment center
- Pay by phone with a credit card or a check
- Monthly automatic electronic payments from any checking account
- Pay online by using the MyAccount tab
- Visit a payment location in person
*Fees may apply.
Tips for Paying Off Your Online Title Loan
- Budget the loan payments into your monthly budget
- When you have the resources, pay more than the required payment
- Keep up to date with all your billing statements
- Check in with us on a regular basis to feel more secure
- Whenever you have questions, don’t hesitate to call us
- Calculate your interest and make your own payment plan if you wish to pay off the title loan earlier than agreed-upon date
And remember, if you ever need any help or advice about paying off your online title loan then simply give us a call. We make you our number one priority and are eager to answer any questions that you may have.
Borrowing Made Easy
Here at 800LoanMart, we want the borrowing process to be easier than ever before. We are here to help customers understand the process each and every step of the way. We want our customers to know exactly what is expected of them along with what they can expect of us. Call us today at LoanMart to see if we can help start the journey towards a brighter financial future.