A browser is a software program whose primary purpose is to access the internet. All major computers, tablets, and mobile phones include built-in browsers, and the user can typically install alternative browsers in addition to the system’s default. Online banking is an increasingly popular method of making transactions and credit card processing, and web browsers are a necessary component of its use.
Different systems and devices are built with different browsers. Internet Explorer, or Edge, is built into Windows computers. Safari is built into Macs, and mobile versions of Safari are built into touch-screen Apple devices. Chrome is built into Google’s Android devices. Mozilla Firefox is another popular browser which the user can choose to install. Despite different names and appearances, all browsers share the same essential functions.
When using a browser on a mobile device, such as a phone or tablet, websites may appear differently than they would on a desktop or notebook computer. Mobile banking websites generally focus on a few common tasks, such as checking statements or credit card processing, and advanced features may be absent. Users may have to use a laptop or desktop computer to fully utilize all of their bank’s features.
All users must be aware of risks inherent to banking through a browser. To prevent account theft, the first step is to verify that they are visiting their bank’s secure website. Each browser will have a green “lock” icon near the website’s address to indicate that the website is verified and secure. Due to the insecurities of public wifi networks, users should always be certain that they are visiting a secure website. If a secure connection cannot be verified, then the user should check that they are accessing the correct website, or they should contact the bank instead. If on a public or shared computer, then users should make sure to log out of the browser at the end of their banking session.
Online banking requires a set of the user’s log-in credentials. These credentials are typically different than the same credentials the user would need at a physical bank branch or over the phone. If unsure about their online credentials, a user can sometimes find this information through a billing statement, or also by calling their bank. With all of this information, banking through a browser can be fast and easy experience for the user.