Protect Yourself Online With A Firewall Bank Account

It’s one thing to protect your identity, weed out phish emails and shop safely, but if you *really* want to prevent a thief from stealing your account online…

Set up a buffer account! This cheezy graphic explains.

Create an online account with someone like ING Direct or WaMu. You only put money in it when you want to conduct a transaction.

This takes extra steps, but gives you extra security, so that if your account is compromised and sold to the Russian asshat black market, they’re only stealing zero dollars.

Of course, shopping with a credit card offers all sorts of fraud protection. But then again, an ounce of prevention… etc etc.

Setting Up Buffer / Firewall Bank Accounts [ My Money Blog via Blueprint for Financial Prosperity]


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    Thats the second time today I’ve seen the word “asshat.”
    Are you trying to coin a new word or am I just out of the touch?

  2. inzain says:

    Asshat is a perfectly cromulent word.

  3. diddly says:

    what kind of an asshat doesn’t know the word asshat?

  4. homerjay says:

    Oh please, Inzain. Don’t try to enbiggen yourself by belittling others. :)

  5. Banks and financial institutions are now adopting ‘site key’ type protections which add an extra level of safety.

    By the way I write about consumer and customer service issues when topics arise.


  6. FLConsumer says:

    MBNA has a similar type setup with their credit cards called SafeShop, which allows you to create virtual credit card #’s with the limits & expiration dates of your choosing. I’ve been using it for awhile and it seems to work well. I’m still wondering why credit card cos have started requiring PINs for credit cards like ATM accounts. Not the best solution as PINs can be stolen, but it could prevent the casual thief.

  7. TheChaz says:

    (Here’s hoping this doesn’t re-post – I waited 10 min. and haven’t seen my comment go up.)

    Another similar option is to use a prepaid debit card. Many banks (as well as check cashing stores) offer them. They’re a real Visa or Mastercard, but pre-loaded with the amount of money you specify. They work just like regular debit cards, but you’re protected from fraud or rebilling.

  8. timmus says:

    Does this really work? My concern is that the bank would pay the money anyway and stick you with a negative balance. Either way, you’re also going to get buried under overdraft fees if the account is charged… how do you dig your way out of that?

    Interestingly I do have my Paypal account hooked up through an empty account… to protect myself from Paypal. I did this after having heard stories about Paypal helping themself to money. Fortunately 3 years and 250 transactions later, they haven’t done anything sketchy, so I have yet to test the effectiveness of this buffer account.

  9. Mr. Gunn says:

    The buffer account is unnecessary. Use a self-destructing number, offered by many CC issuers. It’s just a number that’s an alias for your account, but ceases to work after one use.

    Re: asshat – I thought the word was coined by the asshats over at, but Something Awful’s enforcers of wikiality seem to disagree.

  10. comedian says:

    Who knew I was so cutting edge, I set this very thing up two years ago.

    GRADY – This isn’t about sending money, it’s about protecting money you receive.

  11. Chris H says:

    The best advice is not to use Paypal, and to never “get verified” through Paypal’s system!

  12. Homerjay, you really do remind me of Homer somes days.

    That’s a good thing.

    Asshat is the cousin of douchebag. In blog world, they can be used interchangeably.

  13. Dabo says:

    That is an asshat graphic, i must say…