Online Banking Safety: IRS Direct Deposits, Tax Returns, and More on Your Phone


Much of the world of banking and financial planning has completely moved to the internet. From simple things like buying groceries to complex financial tasks like investing in the stock market, more money changes hands online than through any other medium. In the modern era, it’s easy to get a checking account: apply online.

People using the safest mobile checking account apps are able to whip their phones out, check on their finances, and then go about their day. They don’t need to call the bank to make an inquiry or write paper checks that need to be mailed out.

In short, we live in the future. But how safe is online banking? Is it a security risk to set up a mobile phone connection to the bank account that the IRS uses to issue you a tax refund? Let’s take a look.

Safe Connections

Communications between your phone and the servers that receive its signals are encrypted. That means that someone trying to intercept the signal would find the message to be little more than scrambled gibberish. Without the other end of the encryption key, the messages are just noise. As such, your banking info is usually safe even when you’re banking on your cell phone.

However, this is assuming you’re using a secure connection. A secure connection is one like your home Wi-Fi router or a workplace connection that is password protected. Public Wi-Fi connections are generally less safe. If you’re on a Wi-Fi network that wasn’t password-protected and out in a public space, there is a chance that other people on that network could see your activity online. As such, don’t pull out your banking app when you’re on public Wi-Fi.

Prying Eyes

It’s also important to keep your personal information as safe as you keep your cash. Don’t write down the passwords for your mobile banking in places where strangers might find them. Leaving a note on your desk or in your wallet with your login info could be just as bad as dropping your credit card on the ground.

Generally speaking, mobile banking is safe and secure. Using your wireless carrier’s LTE or 5G network is an easy and fast way to check your bank account and pay your bills online. You can download your bank’s app today, or you can apply for an online checking account through a service like Chime. Whichever direction you happen to go, you’ll find yourself enjoying the convenience of banking from your smartphone.