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Safety of multiple accounts?

Regular Contributor

Safety of multiple accounts?

I want to move away from a single Discover savings account where I have all my savings deposited into. Is it safer having a couple other accounts with other banks? In case of a breech like having all your eggs in one basket kind of thing? Or is it possible for someone to clean house even with multiple banks and logins.

 

I have the "feels safe" feeling having CCs with Chase, Discover, Amex for the same reason but does it work with actual money accounts.

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Regular Contributor

Re: Safety of multiple accounts?

I have 3 online savings accounts for this very reason. Each one has a different login and password and 'hopefully' if one is sullied the other two will remain untouched. 

 

Anything is possible though... I monitor all accounts I have at least daily using Mint to look for anomalies. 

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Regular Contributor

Re: Safety of multiple accounts?

While it's certainly prudent to have multiple savings accounts (I use some of mine as accounts to segregate savings for specific purposes - a new computer, car repairs, emergency funds, next vacation), I think the concerns about security is probably a bit less critical for savings accounts. 

 

Don't get me wrong, you should absolutely use different passwords, possibly different recover emails, and enable the highest authentication methods possible. Those are just standard best practices for online security. But In my experience, it's not as easy to drain savings accounts because they are generally not linked with debit cards or even physical check books, they are usually limited to 6 withdrawals a month, and ACH transfers take a few days and usually generate alert emails giving you plenty of time to stop them. 

 

Of course, attackers can always reroute alert emails and if you have a checking account with the same institution linked, transfers are sometimes instant like my checking/savings at Capital One. But in those cases I almost never leave a large amount of funds there and usually log in frequently anyway. Those accounts are less like "cold storage" for my money but rather a "hot spare" where access times matter but I don't need it right this minute. 

 

So long story short, if this is your main stash of money, I'd find 1-2 savings accounts where access is limited (even to you), nothing fancy like debit cards/check books/linked accounts and just park your money there and check it every month or so. 

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Valued Contributor

Re: Safety of multiple accounts?


SkyCommander wrote:

I want to move away from a single Discover savings account where I have all my savings deposited into. Is it safer having a couple other accounts with other banks? In case of a breech like having all your eggs in one basket kind of thing? Or is it possible for someone to clean house even with multiple banks and logins.

 

I have the "feels safe" feeling having CCs with Chase, Discover, Amex for the same reason but does it work with actual money accounts.


You should be fine with just one savings account as long as it isn't used as overdraft protection. 

 

Checking accounts are usually "hacked' because someone dumpster dove for one of your checks, hacked your debit card information, or hacked a merchant that has either your debit or account info. Since people don't pay bills or use a debit card attached to a savings account, this problem shouldn't exist. 

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Message 4 of 5
Super Contributor

Re: Safety of multiple accounts?

SkyCommander there is an old saying abount not putting all your eggs in one basket. To me it is like I carry a Visa and MasterCard when I go out of town just in case some bank gets a "case of the hips" or the system goes down (have no recall that Visa or MasterCard has gone down but ...?). So it may be what feels right and you are most comfortable with. What if Discover goes down? Some long while back I remember Chase and believe it was Citi had on line issues (may have been a couple of years ago) so it is like hedging your bet. Will it happen? Remember a motto of a group I was in that went "always be prepared" so you define that.
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