As I already said time and again, tracking your finances is the number one step to financial freedom. Once you know where all your money is going, you can then start cutting down your spending and increasing your savings. Using free tools like Personal Capital allows you to not only track your banking but all your investment accounts too. That’s where it gets interesting! 😛 Once you really see the aggregate of your financial life, you can start planning and invest in the proper allocation to maximize your returns over the long-run. Starting with Personal Capital will be an eye opener and the best thing is that it is completely free!
Having all my finances online allows me to plan better, transfer faster, and cut costs to a minimum, but one might ask, is this all safe?
I will say, yes, your information is safe. Thanks to a few technological breakthrough that has changed how we bank, we can now manage all of our finances online with minimal risks. Today I wanted to go over a few super interesting safety features that I found and please comment below if you have any others to share.
To begin, did you know that Bill Harris, the CEO of Personal Capital founded PassMark Security, which designed the online authentication system that is now used by most of the major banks in this country?When it comes to security, banking has come a long way to secure your information online. On top of the simple username and password combo, sites now use two-factor authentication which also checks from which computer you are signing in. If anyone gets your password and tries to log in from a different computer than yours, it will block your account. Data centers are also protected with numerous added security to prevent attacks and monitor for suspicious activity. On top of all this, banks now also encrypt your credentials and personal data with military-grade encryption algorithms to scramble the data into an unreadable mash.
Of course, you should still monitor all your accounts and credit cards, just in case. We use credit cards for all our purchases and there is always a slight chance of fraud even with today’s chip cards. Hundreds of millions of dollars are lost due to credit card fraud each year but big technological progress is cutting that number drastically.
Whenever you do a purchase online, you are asked the number, the expiration date, and a three-digit code printed at the back. This is semi-secure, it is supposed to ensure that you actually have the physical card in hand at the time of purchase but thieves are now getting the 3-digits even without the card in hand. Thankfully, the French have invented a card to prevent this and cut fraud drastically. The three digits on the back will change, every hour, for three years. Even if fraudsters do get your card information, it will not be long before the number changes on them.
MotionCode is exactly what you’re doing today – copying the three digits from the back of your card – but with a huge additional level of security. – Oliver Smith
This is ingenious and yet, so simple. I know that most of the cards in the US are still swipe cards and still lack the chip and PIN most of the world has been using for years but this technology would be a step even further in terms of safety. Both Société Générale and Groupe BPCE, two of France’s largest banking groups, will be giving these new MotionCode cards to all their customers this year and it will be rolling out in Poland, Mexico, and the UK soon.
Are you not annoyed by all those passwords and login to remember? Well, SecureKey is the startup for you! They made a really cool authentication platform that logs you in through the link of your consumer ID and your trusted devices. It eliminates the need to store passwords and works on multiple platforms. They are a Canadian company from Toronto and helped the government secure their websites through a multi-platform log in. I can now log in any government website with my online bank credentials, without the need to remember any new passwords or username. They are currently working with the US government and institutions to secure your online experience.
I think that this type of technology was greatly needed now that our whole world has gone online. There is so many passwords to remember that some people simply use the same password everywhere or writes down their passwords in an email or note software. Both of these greatly reduces your authentication security and can put you at risk.
Things like SSL encryption and HTTPS has been adopted by almost all banks now but these might not be enough to keep you safe. If someone gets hold of your password and your bank does not offer two-factor authentication, then fraudsters could log in your account.
Most of us blindly use these technologies every day but it is interesting to understand what is going on behind the screen sometimes. I admire companies like Personal Capital that innovated and launched a groundbreaking product in the midst of data breaches and online fraud. They were able to build a solid platform that allows over 1 million customers to easily, securely, aggregate their finances and better their financial future. If you do not use Personal Capital yet, I highly suggest you give it a try.