Welcome to the new digital world, where you’re just a few clicks or screen presses away from handling your finances from the comfort of your couch.

With more and more people relying on the internet for their banking needs, the question arises: which device should we trust with our sensitive data and hard-earned money?

In this article, we’ll explore the realm of Chromebooks and their suitability (or lack thereof) for managing your finances.

Are Chromebooks Good for Banking?

A man using his Chromebook for banking

In today’s digital banking landscape, Chromebooks are a good choice and have emerged as a strong contender. Their affordability, built-in security features, relatively small user base and user-friendly design make them ideal for most who like to bank online.

Chromebooks come with built-in antivirus protection as standard and automatic system updates to ensure all the latest security features are running and up to date on your machine.

Chromebooks also rely heavily on the cloud (online storage) to keep your saved files and to run programs. This means you’re not storing as much of your critical information locally on your device as you otherwise would on a traditional laptop. This reduces the risk of your sensitive data falling into the wrong hands if your Chromebook is ever left behind somewhere or stolen.  

Another thing that makes Chromebooks a good choice for banking is the fact that they have a tiny pool of users compared to traditional laptops. And many of those users are students or people who bought a Chromebook because they don’t have much money to spend on a more expensive laptop.

Because of this type of small user base, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for cybercriminals to target ChromeOS, the operating system Chromebooks run on.  

Hackers would have to create malware specifically for those devices and since you can’t run executable files on ChromeOS, it makes it that much more complicated for would-be thieves.

All of this offers very little incentive for criminals while Windows and Mac have the vast majority of the market share.

The Advantages of Chromebooks for Banking 

First, let’s dig into the reasons why Chromebooks might just be the perfect device for all your banking escapades.

They Update Automatically

Like a punctual Swiss train, Chromebooks keep themselves updated with the latest security patches. And you won’t even notice, as these updates happen in the background while you’re busy with your banking, or perhaps sharing that hilarious cat video with friends.

Chromebooks Stop the Spread of Malware Through Sandboxing

Don’t be fooled by the innocent name. Sandboxing is like having a burley digital bouncer at the door of your Chromebook. Each app and website runs in its own confined space, so if any sort of malware raises its ugly head, it won’t spread around your Chromebook like wildfire.

Verified Boot

Chromebooks have a type of built-in bodyguard called Verified Boot, which ensures that your device only runs the official Chrome OS and no other type of imitation software. If anything seems fishy, it’ll fix the issue faster than you can say, “Chromebook, secure my savings!”

With these security features, Cheomebooks have security in their middle name.

They are Affordable

When considering if a laptop is good for banking, pricing should also be factored in.

Many rock-bottom budget Windows laptops simply don’t ship with enough memory or processing power to be able to handle Windows OS, be viable for banking or even function as a laptop should. 

Chromebook software can run well on lightweight and inexpensive hardware and that makes them a great banking device for anybody who’s on a budget.

They come in a variety of price ranges, which means you can find a device that fits your budget without sacrificing your monthly latte allowance.

Chromebooks are Easy to Use

Chromebooks have a mobile-like, user-friendly interface that makes them the perfect choice for banking newbies and technophobes alike. With a straightforward setup process and intuitive design, there’s little to the learning curve and you’ll be managing your accounts like a pro in no time.

The Disadvantages of Banking With a Chromebook

While Chromebooks have their merits, there are a few drawbacks that may leave you questioning their suitability for your banking needs.

They Rely Heavily on Cloud Storage

Our favourite little budget laptop, the Chromebook, loves living in the cloud. It’s easy and always accessible (as long as you have an internet connection). However, this carefree lifestyle also means that it saves almost everything in the cloud – including your precious banking information.

Should you really trust your money to a device that’s constantly daydreaming in the clouds?

There can be Significant Risks with Third-Party Apps

In the land of Chromebooks, third-party apps and extensions reign supreme. While some of these apps are loyal companions, others may not have our best interests at heart, causing security vulnerabilities and potentially compromising your online banking experience.

Chromebooks Depend Almost Solely on Google

Let’s face it, from where we go to what we search for online, Google knows pretty much everything about us. From our favorite cat videos to our late-night searches for “how to make friends with dolphins” – Google has the goods on us. 

When you use a Chromebook to bank, you’re tying in even more to that Google ecosystem and entrusting them with your banking data. Though Google’s security measures are generally top-notch, it’s still a case of putting all your digital eggs in one basket.

Related Article: The Hidden Costs of Owning a Chromebook: Is it Really Worth It?

Who Should Buy a Chromebook for Banking?

Chromebooks are a solid choice for banking but if you can afford to splash out five or six hundred dollars on a Windows laptop or even more on a MacBook, you should probably give the Chromebook a miss.

Because they are speedy devices on cheap, low-powered hardware, Chromebooks offer excellent value as budget laptops.

A $300 or less Windows laptop won’t come with enough memory or processing power to run the Windows operating system and still be fast. Even if it seems okay at first, it will soon become bogged down, sluggish and a nightmare to use.

On a couple of occasions in the past I have bought the cheapest Windows laptop I could find and always regretted it.

The last one I bought came with only 30GB of storage. It quickly filled to the brim and there was no storage left to install updates or save so much as a video.

The machine was just constantly stuck on updates, which resulted in it becoming so slow that it was practically unusable.

A Chromebook, on the other hand, can be a very speedy device at around the $300 price point.

Even the cheapest new Chromebook you can find that’s from a reputable manufacturer should still perform well for basic tasks including banking.

Windows and Apple laptops are far more versatile than Chromebooks and roughly about as safe for banking, so if you can afford a decent one of those, that’s what you should go for.

If you’re on a very tight budget, go with the Chromebook.

How to Bank Safely on a Chromebook

If you’ve decided that a Chromebook is the right choice for you, here are some helpful tips and tricks to ensure a secure and smooth banking experience:

Bookmark Your Bank’s Website

Make it easy to access your bank’s online banking portal by bookmarking the website in your browser. This way, you’ll always have a direct link to your account without having to search for it and you’ll be less likely to end up on a cybercriminal’s fake version of your bank’s website.

Always make sure that there is a lock symbol in the address bar or that your bank’s URL begins with ‘https’.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

It’s not too difficult to set up this extra layer of security and you should definitely take the time to do it.

This will require you to use your fingerprint or enter a unique code sent to your phone each time you log in, making it more difficult for unauthorized users to get into your bank account.

Use a Password Manager

The last thing you want is to have a simple password or a password that’s similar to your other passwords for your online bank account.

A password manager can help you create a strong, unique password for your online banking account and other important online services.

By using a password manager, you won’t have to write your password down and can ensure that your login information is securely stored and easily accessible when needed.

Stay Organized with Financial Apps

While some banking apps may not be available or optimized for Chromebooks, there are plenty of other financial apps you can use to stay organized. Look for budgeting, expense tracking, and investment apps to help manage your finances on your Chromebook.

The better you know your own finances the more on top of things you’re going to be.

Regularly Review Your Account Activity

Continuing with the theme of staying on top of your finances, It’s essential to keep a close eye on your account activity to identify any suspicious transactions or discrepancies.

Make it a habit to check your account statements and set up alerts for any unusual activity.

Use a VPN When Banking on Your Chromebook 

To add one more extra layer of security, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connected to your bank account. A VPN will encrypt your internet connection and make it more difficult for hackers to intercept your data.

Keep Your Chromebook Updated

Make sure to keep your Chromebook’s software up to date to protect it from security vulnerabilities.

While Chromebooks do update automatically, it’s still not a bad idea to check for available updates. This will ensure you’re running the latest versions of software on your system.

Sometimes an update may be waiting until your Chromebook is not in use before it instals. If you see a notification alerting you to this, you’d be better off to install the update straight away.

Use a Secure Wi-Fi Connection

It’s safest to avoid using public Wi-Fi networks when accessing your online bank account, as they are certainly less secure and you never know who could be on the network with you.

Instead, try to leave your banking until you are home and on a trusted, password-protected Wi-Fi network.

Don’t Click on Suspicious Links

Be extremely cautious about clicking on suspicious links in emails or text messages, especially if they claim to be from your bank or any company requesting a payment.

These could well be phishing attempts designed to steal your login information. If in any doubt whatsoever, look up your bank’s number yourself and contact them to verify the authenticity of the message. Do not trust any contact number on the message itself.

Log Out From Your Bank Account When You’re Done

Always log out of your online banking account when you’ve finished your session, especially if you’re using a shared device or public Wi-Fi network.

By following these best banking practices and leveraging the security features built into your Chromebook, your bank account will already be at far less risk than the vast majority of internet bankers.

What Does the Future Hold for Chromebook Banking

The future of banking on Chromebooks is definitely looking bright. As Chromebooks continue to evolve and gain popularity, it’s likely that we’ll see them becoming more compatible with third-party software and this will lead to improvements in their banking capabilities.

And with the growing adoption of web-based and Android apps, the gap between Chromebooks and competing laptops will shrink, making them an even more attractive option for doing business and managing your finances.

Moreover, as the digital world becomes more and more connected and the need for secure online banking solutions grows, Chromebooks could even become the go-to choice for users who prioritize security and simplicity.

Chromebooks can be a good choice for banking, thanks to their strong security features, affordability, and ease of use. 

However, if you don’t make an effort to take precautions about how you bank online, the links you click on and to who you offer your banking details, it won’t really matter what device you use to bank on.