While banks usually do a good job of making it as easy as possible to log into your bank account online, it’s never entirely perfect. There’s always going to be a time when there’s some technological reason why you can’t log in even though you’re using the right credentials. Yes, sometimes it’s the bank’s fault, but a good number of times it’s a problem at your own end, and it’s something that can be easily fixed.
Here’s a little checklist which you can follow step by step to make sure that it’s not an issue with your computer. If there is, these steps will hopefully help you resolve it. These steps can also be used for practically any other site you’re having login troubles with, and not just banks.
Update Your Browser
In order to get the best results, it’s important to keep your browser updated to the latest stable version. Newer versions can come with new security features, compatibility fixes, and plenty of other goodies that can enhance your browsing experience — and fix any browsing problems you might be having including login issues. Firefox and Chrome should update themselves automatically, and Internet Explorer can be updated through the Windows Update feature on your system.
For Linux systems, just run your system updates on a regular basis and you should be running the latest versions of important software.
Some banks like to use certain plugins to help facilitate their login system. Definitely check to see whether there are any new versions of common plugins such as Java and Flash. I know, it’s a weird request, but these newer versions can also come with fixes that might cause issues with logging into your bank. Plus, you might as well do it while you’re updating your browser in the first place.
Clear Your Cache
If updating the browser and plugins didn’t help, you should go into the Clear Browsing Data dialog for your browser and at least clear out all of the cache. For even better results, clear out your Login Preferences and Cookies as well. Note, however, that clearing these two latter items will log you out of every website that you’re logged into, so you’ll have to deal with the inconvenience of logging back into your favorite websites.
Clearing out these items could potentially help because your browser stores the cache data to remember that you’re logged in; plus, the cache helps to load page elements faster from your hard drive rather than retrieve them again from the Internet. However, sometimes page elements change and the browser refuses to download the new elements, instead using those stored in the cache. Sometimes, the browser refuses to correct a corrupted cookie that’s preventing you from logging in properly.
Try Incognito or Private Mode
If clearing those out still didn’t do the trick, try using Incognito or Private mode to log into your bank account. By using Incognito/Private mode, you’re basically using your regular browser with a clean slate. It’s the same reason why sites like Facebook or Google ask you to log in again in Incognito/Private mode even though you’re logged into them during regular browsing.
In other words, this is a more sure way of knowing that your browser is clean of any “impurities” (i.e. you are “cookie-proof”) when you try to log into your bank account.
Try A Different Browser
When you’re in Incognito/Private mode and it still doesn’t work, there’s only one more option left — switching to a different browser. Now, don’t worry, I’m not recommending that you switch permanently, but just use a different browser this time to see if using it works.
I’d recommend that you try either Firefox or Google Chrome if you’re using any other browser — otherwise, try Firefox if you’re using Chrome and try Chrome if you’re using Firefox.
Not all browsers are equally standards-compliant, and not all websites are equally standards-compliant. Therefore, sometimes a website works better in one browser than the other, which is why it’s worth trying out a different browser.
If you’re still not able to log into your bank account after performing all of these steps, then it’s more than likely your bank’s fault. Call up the bank’s helpdesk and notify them of the problem if it persists inspite of these corrective steps. Unless your system suddenly caught a virus that your anti-virus program didn’t catch (which you can test by trying to log into your bank account via a Linux live environment if you’re up for it), or your Internet connection is acting up, there’s virtually no other possible cause for problems. The one maxim to remember: always keep your computer malware free.
Stay safe when doing your banking online. Check out ways that hackers can access your bank account and so that you can protect yourself.
Image Credit: Mukumbura