Internet banking is now as familiar to some as high street branches or cash machines. But when it comes to accessing your current account online, there are a range of benefits that others may not have considered.

In all parts of our daily lives, it can often seem as if the web continues to change the way we do things. Whether it is shopping online, communicating with others or conducting business, the internet has made things easier in a number of ways. However, for some, there are concerns about how secure online bank account actually are, but these people should also keep in mind the many facilities they are missing out on.

The most obvious benefit of internet banking is the fact that it offers you fast, convenient access to your account 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can use the option to view or download statements, check your balance in real time, manage your standing orders and Direct Debits, or transfer money to service providers or other accounts. If you are one of the consumers that are apprehensive about having their financial details connected to an online facility, you should take some comfort in the knowledge that the service can be very secure if you adhere to some simple rules.

As many experts have already pointed out, online bank accounts are now usually well equipped with all the latest functions to make using them as safe as possible. In fact, Bank Safe Online, a site set up by the UK Payments Administration, advises people that there is really no reason to fear the web as a means to manage your money. It states the web is both "safe and convenient" for users and actively encourages people to use it with confidence.

However, it also states that common sense should always prevail when you use your online facilities and provides some tips on how to do this. The first of these is guarding against any unsolicited emails that might be sent to you and being on the lookout for ways in which criminals might attempt to get you to offer up your bank account details. It recommends taking basic steps in keeping your computer safe, such as keeping anti-virus software as up-to-date as possible, routinely checking for malicious files and installing a personal firewall. In addition, it recommends you make sure your web browser displays the locked padlock or unbroken key symbol when using your provider's site and checking it's address begins with 'https'. This means the connection is more secure and proves it has been accessed directly rather than through a third party link.

So, in general, common sense and keeping your computer equipped with the latest software, could be all you need to make sure your online banking experience is safe and without worry. Once this is all in place and you are happy to sign up to the service, you could find paying bills, applying for credit cards, setting up a savings account and shopping for loans is even easier.

Author's Bio: 

Noel Mellor is a writer, editor and podcaster from Manchester, England. Having produced and revised copy for a number of major financial institutions, he is highly experienced across a range of economic matters including personal banking and business banking topics.