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Safe Internet Banking

Here we provide an overview of information published by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC, www.fdic.gov) to help you bank safely online. However, if you have a security concern about your online accounts, contact your bank immediately.

Confirm that an online bank is legitimate and that your deposits are federally insured

Be sure you are not on a fraudulent website posing as a real financial institution. Always check that you have typed your bank’s correct website address before you conduct a transaction. Read the bank’s website for key information in About Us and confirm the details of its FDIC insurance coverage. Look for the FDIC logo and the words "Member FDIC" or "FDIC Insured."

Also, check that the bank is in the FDIC's online database of FDIC-insured institutions in the Bank Find section of the FDIC’s website. If your bank is not on this list, contact the FDIC.

Note: Not all banks operating on the Internet are FDIC insured; some are chartered overseas. If you choose to use a bank chartered overseas, the FDIC may not insure your deposits. Check with your bank or the FDIC if you are uncertain.

Some FDIC-insured banks may use different names for online services and physical locations

Using different names for different business channels is common and does not mean you are dealing with separate banks. To determine your maximum FDIC insurance coverage, your deposits at the parent bank will be added to those of affiliates and are insured up to the maximum amount covered for one bank. Remember that nonfinancial websites linked to your bank’s site are not FDIC-insured.

Get the facts about FDIC insurance coverage amounts

Generally the FDIC insurance limit for one depositor’s combined accounts at one FDIC-insured bank is $250,000. If your accounts total $250,000 or more, contact your bank to learn how FDIC insurance applies to you.

If you have questions about an institution’s legitimacy or insurance of your deposits, call the FDIC's Division of Compliance and Consumer Affairs at 1-877-275-3342 or e-mail via the FDIC's online Customer Assistance page. The FDIC website also has an interactive service called EDIE (Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator) that can help you determine the amount of your insurance coverage. You can also read the online deposit insurance brochure Your Insured Deposits.

Note: Only deposits at FDIC-insured institutions are protected by the FDIC. Nondeposit investment and insurance products (e.g., mutual funds, stocks, annuities, life insurance policies) are not FDIC-insured, not guaranteed by the bank, and may lose value.

Protect your privacy

Banks may want to share information about you with affiliates to help them offer you products specific to your needs. If you do not wish the bank to share your information for this purpose, you may "opt out" of this type of information sharing. Also, find out if your bank tracks your browsing habits if this is of concern to you.

Familiarize yourself with your bank’s security practices

Here are some basic security features you should look for:

  • Encryption helps prevent unauthorized access to your information. Look for a small "lock" or "key" icon on your screen before you conduct transactions online. Avoid sending sensitive information such as account numbers via unsecured e-mail.
  • Use passwords or personal identification numbers (PINs) when accessing an account online. Your password should be unique to you and you should change it regularly; do not use birthdates or anything that may be easy for others to guess. Do not share your passwords.
  • Use virus protection and physical access controls on your personal computer. Be sure you have the latest security updates from your hardware and software suppliers and Internet service provider.

Confirm the legitimacy on all sites you make transactions

Confirm the legitimacy of online merchants and other organizations to which you provide your credit and debit card numbers. Never provide the number unless you initiated the transaction.

Additional Resources

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
550 17thStreet, NW
Washington, DC 20429
(877) 275-3342 or (877) ASK-FDIC
For the hearing impaired (800) 925-4618 or (703) 562-2289 from the Washington, D.C. area
http://www.fdic.gov

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
20th and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20551
(202) 452-3693
http://www.federalreserve.gov

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Customer Assistance Group
1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3710
Houston, Texas 77010-3031
(800) 613-6743
http://www.occ.treas.gov