This article started some thinking. In it, the current FBI Director says he no longer banks online after nearly being fooled by a phishing email. (Yeah, my first reaction was that he shouldn’t really even be looking at emails like this, let alone almost falling for one…and the appropriate response is not to stop banking online but to stop reading those emails and clicking links on them. And by the way, if you say banking online is safe, but you don’t do it, and you’re an influential person…you’re confused and confusing. But hey, I’m glad it’s 2009 and our FBI Director experienced a “teaching moment” to the old issue of phishing emails…)
So, someone can still bank online if one does so strictly by following some guidelines, none of which ever requires you to even look twice at all the phishing (and legit!) email that may or may not come from your bank. Why is this? Because all of that is just bonus for doing your business online. You don’t *need* to read those emails. Ever.
At least…not yet.
Sadly, I think as more and more services go online (like the Twitter-enabled bank from the other week), I feel like someday we’ll look around and realize all these horribly insecure methods of communication will be not just relied upon, but the *only* ways to interact with things like your bank, short of driving to it and speaking to someone in person. It’ll happen someday (maybe not for decades yet), and to see it happen with our current set of technologies is a bit scary.