When’s the last time you stepped foot in a bank? More Americans than ever are using online banking. If you’re banking via your computer or phone, do it the smart way. Assume you will be hacked and take steps to make sure your money is safe. Watch out for the biggest mistake people make when they deposit checks from their phones.

Watch for checks that haven't cleared

It’s tempting just to upload your check, then shred it or toss it out. Not so fast. Your check will take some time to clear. Of course, there are a few different factors to consider:

  • The check amount
  • How long you’ve been with the bank
  • The status of the payer’s account

Usually, checks clear pretty quickly. But you want to leave yourself enough time to make sure you get your money. That’s why we recommend waiting for two weeks until you trash a check.

Set a reminder for 14 days from now

Once you’ve deposited a check through your banking app, head to whichever app you use to set reminders. Pick the date two weeks from the day you uploaded the check. Now, it’s time to stow your check in a safe place. Why go through the extra steps? Imagine you get a check for $500. You upload it to your app and throw the hard copy away when you’re done. In a worst-case scenario, the check bounces, and you have no way to prove the money should be there. That’s where that handy reminder comes in. After two weeks, you’ll get a digital nudge to see if the check has gone through.

Make sure to shred the check once you’re done

Now that more Americans are using online banking than ever before, you’ve got to watch your money like a hawk. 91% of Americans banked virtually in July, according to a recent study from DepositAccounts. Unfortunately, cybercriminals know that and there are more threats than ever when it comes to your money. Here are a few final words of advice:

  •  Always use two-factor authentication. This step adds an extra layer of protection between your account and someone looking to break in. Set this up in your banking app.
  • Never set up auto logins on your banking apps. Set your app to require your password, fingerprint, or another login method every time you open it.
  • Secure your phone with a strong password. This is a no-brainer and the easiest way to protect everything on your phone from thieves and snoops.
  • Never bank on public Wi-Fi. You never know who could be looking in. Your best bet if you’re banking away from home is using a VPN.

Nowadays, we’re all trying to stay safe — physically and financially. A few extra steps are well worth the effort if it means protecting your wallet.

From Fox News

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