Internet banking is a huge step forward in terms of convenience and safety in the banking world. Most banks have website and most of these web sites have areas for online banking customers. Though it cannot take care of every type of transaction for you, it does provide a great deal of ease for tedious tasks that would require you to go to the bank frequently. These sites are safe as long as you keep your information private. It is easy to set up; just follow the prompts on the site.
They will need a few days to confirm the bank account, usually by putting a small amount of money in your account (under a dollar). You will then have to go in person to the bank, prove your identity, find out how much they put in your account, and type the number in online. This is not the same for every bank, but this is the standard practice for many.
Though it is not the same as going to a bank in person (you can do nothing with cash), it is mostly just for easing the tedious monitoring of your account. Instead of waiting for your monthly statement and then trying to balance a month's worth of credits and debits, you can just follow along online every day. It makes balancing your checkbook so much easier, since you get just a couple of transactions within a few days of their occurrence.
Bills can be paid through this site, since most major companies (especially for utilities, credit cards, and cable) have similar online areas for bill payment. In this way, you can pay the bill knowing for certain that you have enough money. You will also never worry about the mail being delayed or lost.
People with many accounts find this is a great relief to see all of them together and transfer money with more ease. You can look back at what has happened in the accounts for the past thirty days. Any longer than that and you will have to go into the bank. Thankfully, since people can check up as often as they like, there is less need for going into the bank to sort out complications.
Since you are capable of viewing your transactions every day, it really increases the chances of fraud reduction. People no longer will forget if they have written a check or not, or find out three weeks later that they have been ripped off. If you see a check of yours was cashed yesterday, you will have a much higher chance of recognizing if it was actually written by you and catching the person who cashed it.
It helps because they photocopy the fronts of the checks and post them online under a check number link. You can see if it is even your hand writing. This is something they would normally have to print out for you at a bank, but here it is all at your fingertips.
There are tons of preferences to suit your needs on these sites. You can even do a stop payment transaction on a check. Read the site's literature to make sure you understand how to avoid fraud and properly use the site.