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4 costly banking mistakes you don't want to make

4 costly banking mistakes you don't want to make

Published 8/4/11  (Modified 8/10/11)

4 costly banking mistakes you don't want to make By Beth Orenstein

When was the last time you were in your bank? It was probably when you opened your accounts. Thanks to ATMs, online banking and your smart phone app, who needs a teller? You know the money is there when bills are due.

Because we're all so busy--with work and family and friends--it's easy to pay such little attention to our bank accounts. But you really shouldn't take a cavalier attitude about banking. Doing so could be costing you a lot of money.

Here are four of the most common mistakes when it comes to banking - and how to avoid them so that you're not losing money at a time when every penny counts.

1. Not checking your statements

Checking your accounts daily would be ideal, but since we don't live in a perfect world, the least you can do is check your monthly statements. These days, you probably get them via email--who doesn't want to help save paper and trees--but do you actually open the email and look at the statement?

It's a good idea to make sure all the deposits you made show up. Also, check that the withdrawals you made are for the correct amounts. Were you charged any fees on your savings account or checking account that you shouldn't have been? If you find a mistake, call it to your bank's attention immediately. If there's a mistake, it could be quite costly.

By law (Regulation E), banks are required to pay for any losses greater than $50 caused by Read the full article »

How banks and consumers protect themselves from credit card security breaches

Published 8/1/11  (Modified 11/17/11)

How banks and consumers protect themselves from credit card security breaches By Jim Sloan

With more than six companies being victimized by cyber attacks in recent months, it may seem like hackers are enjoying free access to our credit cards and bank account numbers. These security breaches, such as the one that compromised 200,000 Citigroup credit card customers and up to 100 million Sony Playstation customers, make many of us leery of doing any kind of online banking or shopping with valid credit card numbers.

But the truth is that there are many actions banks and companies are already doing to keep our valid credit card numbers safe. Consumers also have plenty of tools available to ensure that their accounts--from zero interest credit cards to 0 balance transfer credit cards--remain safe.

The size of the problem

Although the Citigroup hackers were able to get valid credit card numbers and contact information, the cyber crooks were not able to get those customers' Social Security numbers, birthdays and credit card security codes. That means the hackers won't be able to make direct charges...

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