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Old 09-21-2015, 06:38 PM   #1
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Financial Security when away from Home

Hi Everyone !

Is there any " SAFE " way, to access your Financial accounts, Bank accounts, Credit card accounts,etc. while away from home ?? It looks like most places will be Wi Fi only. I am going to set up as many as possible with " Auto Pay ", But I will still need to access my accounts a couple times a month.

Purchases ..... Is it best to use " ALL PLASTIC ", or pull cash out of ATM's ??

Thank You
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:51 PM   #2
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Those using credit cards have better protection legally than using ATM's for day to day transactions. We just received our new style chip and pin credit card this week--just after returning from Europe where everyone uses them.
I'd suggest trying to paying bills and doing financial transactions on protected internet places--if at all possible. You don't want professional computer "eavesdroppers" in places like airports getting hold of your passwords, etc. You can always send paper checks to pay bills, too.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:56 PM   #3
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Do you have a smart phone or tablet with a data plan? It doesn't take much at all to check through their apps to determine if you have incurred the charges showing and/or paying the account. It should be much more secure than using an unsecured wi-fi. I usually make our tablet a hot spot - have a pretty long, multiple alpha, numeric, symbol-type password protected "wi-fi" through that.
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Old 09-21-2015, 07:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisgolden View Post
Hi Everyone !



Is there any " SAFE " way, to access your Financial accounts, Bank accounts, Credit card accounts,etc. while away from home ?? It looks like most places will be Wi Fi only. I am going to set up as many as possible with " Auto Pay ", But I will still need to access my accounts a couple times a month.



Purchases ..... Is it best to use " ALL PLASTIC ", or pull cash out of ATM's ??



Thank You

If you have an iPhone or iPad - use the cellular data plan - this is very secure.

If you are very paranoid or only have public wifi - then get a VPN app (virtual private network). Going through this VPN app encrypts everything very securely.

If you have a laptop computer - you can also download "open VPN" software for free.


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Old 09-21-2015, 09:21 PM   #5
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I do internet security as part of my job.

Your traffic should be https (secure) while on "wifi" - so even if snooped, no one can see what you're doing. There are specific attacks that can be done that would require "owning" the wifi network, but they're complex, and honestly it's simpler easier to get account information other ways. That is, it CAN be done, but it's it's like trying to break into a home with an alarm system when the neighbor doesn't have an alarm and left the front door open.

The value of a real credit card number on the internet isn't much. Why not? Because lots of them are hacked and generally CC providers are pretty good about catching "odd" purchases. Credit card info (hacked) is sold in bulk on the internet and it's relatively inexpensive to buy.. Like $5 per valid card number.


Consumers are protected against account fraud, at least in most cases. That's not true of businesses. That is, if someone gets in, eventually you'll be made whole again.. Although the loss can be inconvenient and stressful.

Do take great pains to protect your PC itself. Most hacks occur through email and that can open up everything you type to be seen.

Never connect to an "open" wifi network that you don't know.

If you've got a substantial bank balance - such as managing a retirement account, ask the bank if they offer an encoder or other "key" service. This is a device that has a rotating code that is only good for about 30 seconds. To get into your account, you need your password AND have the right code from the decoder. Without both, no account access. I know that Fidelity offers these devices... I HIGHLY recommend them for retirees, especially if you're not as tech savvy as you'd like to be. They are almost impossible to defeat.
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:57 PM   #6
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Your own connection to the internet is much safer than a park's Wifi.

Since you're doing AutoPay, use one credit card for that.

Use a separate credit card for store purchases, restuarants, fuel. Then if your card is compromised you won't have to go and change all your AutoPays. Using a credit card you won't be out any money. The card company should alert you immediately and then they'll cancel the card and re-issue another. You're not liable for any charges on the old one that you did not make.
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:17 AM   #7
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We've been full timing for over 5yrs. and we've been paperless most of that time. I use our secure Verizon for any financial transactions we might have to do like transferring funds. And of course ATM's for any cash needed. Haven't had any problems yet.
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:25 AM   #8
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Last year in FL I had a problem with my credit card number being stolen. It was done via the internet but instead at a restaurant since this is the only other place I had used it. There were 3 times that the CC left my site, the waiter took it to get my bill.

The CC company notified me to ask about suspicious purchases and then froze my account. All the charges were corrected and they sent me a new CC. Somewhat inconvenient since they will not send one to another place other then our residence, so I had to use another card.

I did go through the process of calling the 2 companies the bogus charges were from, I was surprised that the CC company had not contacted them, or at least the people I talked to indicated there were no flags on my name or purchases.

One thing you should do is notify the CC companies that you will be traveling and you destinations, that will alert them of the potential of charges away from home.
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:38 AM   #9
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Yes, the last time I had a card stolen, I called the retailer. This retailer had cameras. I had the purchase amount, exact date/time, and the transaction number.

All they wanted do was tell me to call my bank. I was trying to get them to call the local PD and turn over the video. They weren't interested.

The banks aren't interested. They have no funds at risk. The put it on the retailer.


As such, the US tends to continue to have the least secure CC payment system in the civilized world...
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:52 AM   #10
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We never access free wifi for financial matters. We always use our mifi devices that are secured with a password. We're full timers so that is our only internet access.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:08 AM   #11
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Since this is our first year RVing during the Internet age, we have traveled only in several western states and each of them had branches of my bank in their towns. If I needed to, we would stop in and take care of business.
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Old 09-30-2015, 09:25 AM   #12
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Credit cards

Las Vegas is one place i've seen enough of.The credit card fraud there is out of control. After a lunch with friends i gave the waiter my card and he swiped it in the machine. That is a BIG no no. The card was compromised and there were approx 8 computers purchased at one of the big box electronic stores. My bank quickly [ well after the deed was done ] identified this fraudulent pattern and killed my card. Thankfully i was reimbursed 100%. The woman i spoke with who works in fraud and security with my bank told me most cards have the chip now and NEVER EVER swipe. This is probably not breaking news to most of you , just a heads up.
Cheers and happy trails.
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Old 09-30-2015, 09:44 AM   #13
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On our way to Alaska last year, as we traveled through Canada, whenever we stopped at a restaurant, the wait staff brought a machine right to our table. They never took off with our credit card. Wish they did the same in the U.S.
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Old 09-30-2015, 02:25 PM   #14
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The woman i spoke with who works in fraud and security with my bank told me most cards have the chip now and NEVER EVER swipe.
Unfortunately, many places of business still aren't set up to accept the 'chip' method.
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