About Ken Tumin

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Ally Bank Offering Free Security Software to Customers


Ally Bank announced last week in a press release that it’s offering security software free of charge to customers for downloading to protect their entire online experience. One of the important precautions to take if you bank online is to have the latest antivirus and anti-malware software installed on your computer. Ally Bank customers can now do this without any cost.

The security software is Webroot® SecureAnywhere. It’s not as well known as McAfee or Norton, but it has received good reviews at PCMag and PCWorld. According to Ally Bank’s overview of the software, Webroot SecureAnywhere does the following:

  • Blocks viruses, spyware, phishing attacks, and other threats
  • Continually updates itself so it's always current
  • Identifies unsafe links and search results before you click
  • Prevents malicious programs from changing your settings

One way hackers can break into your bank account is to steal your username and password by secretly installing keyloggers onto your computer. As you log into your bank account, the keylogger will record your username and password and send those to the thieves. Blocking spyware like keyloggers is one way a program like Webroot SecureAnywhere can protect you.

This service from Ally may not be helpful for some of us who already receive free security software from our internet access providers. For example, ATT provides McAfee free of charge to its U-verse customers. The only problem with this is that it makes it harder for you to change internet access providers. If you have the security software from Ally Bank, you can change providers without worrying about changing your security software. We just have to hope that Ally Bank will keep this service and keep it free for the long-term.

Another thing to keep in mind about online banking is that even if hackers are able to steal money from your personal account (not a business account), you will still be protected due to the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. Here’s what the FDIC says about this Act:

Suppose a thief obtains your ATM card and uses it at an automated teller machine to withdraw money from your bank account. Under the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, your losses are limited to $50 if you report your ATM card lost or stolen within two business days of discovering the loss. If you wait between two and 60 days of discovering the loss, you can be liable for up to $500 of what a thief withdraws. If you wait more than 60 days after receiving a bank statement that includes an unauthorized transfer, the law doesn’t require your bank to reimburse you for any losses. You’re not responsible, however, for any funds withdrawn after you notify your bank that the ATM card is lost or stolen.

At the top of Ally Bank’s security center, Ally lists its Online & Mobile Security Guarantee:

So if you have avoided online banking due to fears of hackers, it’s time to reconsider your fears. Online banking offers many advantages over depending on visits to brick-and-mortar branches, phone calls and paper transactions. If you take reasonable precautions like maintaining security software and regularly monitoring your accounts, there is nothing to fear.

Related Pages: Ally Bank

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  |     |   Comment #1
Thanks for your post Ken. Webroot® SecureAnywhere is an excellent security suite. Currently I'm using the free of charge Microsoft Security Essentials, which I've been very satisfied with. My ISP offers McAfee free of charge, but I've had issues with that program in the past and you are correct, "The only problem with this is that it makes it harder for you to change internet access providers". Meanwhile, kudos to Ally Bank for offering this service.
  |     |   Comment #2
Webroot Secure Anywhere is what I use but I pay yearly for it.  Webroot came free for the first 6 months when I purchased computer but now I pay a yearly fee for it.  If I ever get an account with Ally it will be nice to have it free.  It has been working fine for the past years for me and always does the daily scan.
  |     |   Comment #3
For those of us who need to buy a tax program, such as "H&R Block at Home" or "TurboTax" each year, a full suite of retail-packaged security software from McAfee or Norton (as well as others) is always available free after mail-in rebate.
  |     |   Comment #4
Webroot is pretty worthless. As a software developer I looked at whst it was doing/determining on my mom's computer and saw it was doing more harm than good. I looked at the PCMag review, and like most media people it's not very knowledgable about what the software is doing. If it was a car review then they're rating the car solely based on the looks of the car and how quickly the engine starts.
  |     |   Comment #5
I have read bad reviews of many of the others too.  I guess it is who is doing the article and what they personally prefere.  So far, I have not had any problems with my Webroot and I don't think Ally would be giving it to customers if they felt it was as bad as you post.  It is true it is not as popular, at this time, as some of the others but it seems to be doing what I am paying for it to do.
  |     |   Comment #6
"Last year Webroot took the bold step of completely junking their existing antivirus technology and replacing it with something completely different. The latest edition, Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus 2013, is still under 1 MB in size, but it does even more. In addition to excellent antivirus protection, it includes firewall-style program control, an antiphishing component, and powerful protection for your browser and your secure connections. It took top scores in PCMag's tests. It remains an Editors' Choice for antivirus protection."

  |     |   Comment #7
I wouldn't let any ISP or bank's free subscription to antivirus software hold me hostage to them.  It's very easy to deinstall one type of software and install a different one.  I've done it several times on my PC.
  |     |   Comment #8
Notice how PCMag says "an" rather than "the" Editors' Choice. Apparently each editor gets to pick a different one. I wouldn't let the marketing department of any business (bank or otherwise) decide what software I install or use. Chances are they went with watever company decided to do a free cross-marketing agreement. My employeer bundles/distributes McAfee with their software, despite the low regard I have for it (which I've held for 20 years, back when it was a useless shareware program for DOS).
  |     |   Comment #9
I have Comcast and Norton 360 is free from Comcast with all downloads. They have it for regular computers as well as Apple Computers. My kids say you don't need anything protection with an Apple. They have used Apple procucts for many years and mine is less than a year old. 
  |     |   Comment #10
I am not sure about not needing any protection for your Apple computers. There are plenty of malware and spyware programs out there that have infected Apple computers Anyone have any recommendations for security software for a Mac.
  |     |   Comment #11
Basically I'm glad that Ally Bank offers free of charge security protection for their customers. Webroot® SecureAnywhere is a capable product. Some people need it and it's a worthy addition. For those that don't, use their choice of software.
  |     |   Comment #12
Thanks Lou,

I do have Norton 360 on this computer and that is suppose to cover everything. I have used Norton for many years when I had 3 Dell's. Not sure what my first computer was in 1978 but got it before Windows. It was 40 hard drive. We used Dos. So far as I know Norton has protected me. 
  |     |   Comment #13
Most infections or security issues these days happen via web browsers and email and that can happen with Mac or PC. An infected USB key might be more specific to PCs but it's still a matter of someone approving unknown software to run on the computer. Previously the Mac customer base was just too small for anyone to write malicious software/attacks for but that's changing over time. The guy I know whose accounts get compromised most often has only Apple equipment, so either his passwords are easy to guess or he visits too many adult websites.
  |     |   Comment #14
Nothing stops NSA, your comments are moot. The hackers know every anti virus software and how it operates, therefore, all of these anti virus softwares are just for your peace of mind.
  |     |   Comment #15
Wow! Great comments/feedback from everyone here. I have McAfee for free from BoA, but once that runs out I won't "renew," even at a discount. I am closing my account at BoA shortly.

I used to be able to "rely" on CNET for decent software downloads, but no more. When I was downloading a specific product, a ton of other sh*t would tag along onto my laptop, causing all sorts of issues. I no longer even visit the website, regardless of the recommendations from CNET's editors.

So, that said, can any of you blokes or gals recommend a product along the lines of System Mechanic? I currently have iobit installed, but I am not happy with this software. My laptop (it's two years old) is slower than ever. I've removed all unnecessary extensions, add-ons and plug-ins, which is the biggest culprit.

Thanks in advance. And, apologies to Ken from kinda bringing this off-topic post into the conversation....kinda. :-P  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and please be safe if you're traveling.
  |     |   Comment #16
#15  I would not consider this info off-topic because if we can't get into our computers, we can't read DA and keep on top of the latest with the financial info we need.  I'm always willing to learn more about how to keep my computer up and running.  Thanks to all and a Happy Thansgiving.
  |     |   Comment #17
Re: Gaelicwench - #15, Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 7:23 AM

1. If you have a PC (Windows), first make sure you don't have a virus or malware by running a scan with your current security software or the free of charge Microsoft Security Essentials.
2. You can go to Control Panel> System and Security> Action Center>Troubleshooting>Check for Performance Issues.
3. You can go to Control Panel>System and Security>Administrative Tools>Free Up Disk Space and Defragment Your Hard Drive.

Often it's a trial and error process with some of these issues. Software conflicts and registry errors can exist. Many of these quick-fix deals like System Mechanic don't accomplish anything at all. Try what I recommended above and see if it helps. You didn't mention what browser you are utilizing so that could be a factor also. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving to you.
  |     |   Comment #18
I'll probably get some feed back on this but I've used AVG Anti Virus Free for years and have never had a problem. It does sometimes want you to get their full paid version, but not in a intrusive way.
  |     |   Comment #28
Ally bank offering free antivirus software to their customer so that their online experience will better. You can get this from https://antivirussupport.org/bitdefender-error-1020/ this is free and provide you secure online bank surfing and keep your data confidential.
  |     |   Comment #32
Looking at this thread and reading a recent account in connection Mr Wood’s unfortunate incident in California, who has experience with the recording computers/device on cars... reread your car manual “disclosures” on this device. Recording critical metrics on the car that are triggered by airbag deployment. Some think this was devised by RR industry to prove “what really happened” when train/car collide at an road/rail intersection.

But who owns the data on that computer? Who can consent to release of same? The car owner? The lessor/insurer?  If no coll/comp?   Is a warrant needed...especially if nothing criminal alleged? How does one deactivate same?

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