Forbes: Is Your Online Bank Account Safe?

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Is Your Online Bank Account Safe?

On The Cover/Top Stories
Asher Hawkins, 11.16.09

Like many small business owners, Marsha and Michael Shames-Yeakel didn’t see any need to build a wall between their personal and business accounts when they started banking online three years ago. Their commingling came back to haunt them a year later after computer hackers transferred nearly $27,000 to unknown points beyond the reach of the law.

Fall victim to a card scam and you’re on the hook for a maximum of $50. Have an online banking thief rip off your business and you could be out some big bucks.

Banks have thrown a lot of resources at online security. The problem is that whenever the good guys put sophisticated measures in place, the bad guys respond with even more sophisticated countermeasures that target bulge-bracket accounts. "Their strategy is not to hit a million accounts for $10 each but the other way around," says Donald Jackson, a director at SecureWorks, an Atlanta investigator of online financial crime.

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