Build up your financial fitness by discovering new ways to make banking work for you. To learn more about your banking needs, check out the following questions and answers specific to the safety of online banking, credit report freezes, and the difference between stocks and bonds. Our questions come from people like you who want to learn more about best banking practices with answers written by our expert banker, Alex. If you have a question about your banking needs, please email Alex at email@example.com. Relevant questions will be posted on our website, and all questions will be answered by Alex in a timely manner.
Question: How safe is online banking?
Asked by: Gabe from Laguna Hills, California
Answer: It depends on how much the financial institution invests in their cybersecurity. The most secure online banking platforms will utilize several digital security features like firewalls, anti-virus protection, multi-factor authentication, website encryption, fraud prevention monitoring, and automatic logout. These features are used to prevent cybercriminals from hacking into the user’s accounts and accessing their funds. There are several ways for the public to protect their personal and financial information when accessing their accounts online. First, by using long and unique passwords that include a mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters. Second, by enabling multifactor authentication. This requires the user to present two or more verification factors to gain access to their online banking profile. These factors can include entering a username, password, special code, and by answering a personal security question. Finally, by being cautious of phishing scams. This type of online scam is used by hackers to trick the consumer into providing confidential information by appearing to be a trustworthy source.
Question: I want to apply for an auto loan, but I have a freeze on my credit report. What should I do?
Asked by: Carly from Davenport, Iowa.
Answer: A credit freeze restricts access to an individual’s credit report. This prevents fraudsters from illegally applying for and obtaining new credit products under their victim’s name. If you wish to place a credit freeze, it is recommended to do it for all three credit reporting bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). Once that happens, if you want to apply for a new loan, contact all three credit bureaus to temporarily unfreeze your credit reports. This can be done either online, through the mail or by telephone. After the credit freeze has been lifted, simply apply for the auto loan. The lender will then be able to successfully pull your credit report to make a decision. Don’t forget to have your credit reports refrozen afterwards.
Question: What is the difference between stocks and bonds?
Asked by: Dante from Mount Vernon, New York.
Answer: A stock is a type of security that gives the holder a share of ownership in a company. Stocks are bought and sold through a stock market exchange. Public companies will issue stocks to investors to raise capital, pay off debts, develop new products, and expand business operations. People who purchase stocks in a company are called shareholders. They hope the company will succeed, because if it does, they share in the profits and the value of the stock goes up. On the other hand, a bond is a loan to a government, agency, or company that is repaid in full at the maturity date with interest. There are several types of bonds including treasury, agency, municipal, corporate, and high-yield bonds. They can be purchased through an online broker, exchange-traded fund, or directly through the U.S. government. Bonds tend to be more stable and secure, but stocks tend to have a higher rate of return.
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Written by: Alex Sanchez, Branch Manager
Important: For your specific questions about banking, contact your banking expert, Alex, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex has been in banking for almost 20 years. He has worked for such notable banks as Bank of America, US Bank, and Chase. Alex has his bachelor’s degree in Business Economic from the University of California Riverside.
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