General Question

flo's avatar

What is the reason for not doings things like income tax, banking, petitions, online?

Asked by flo (7723 points ) July 31st, 2014

When it comes to things like I mentioned, some people don’t believe in doing them online. Why is that? I googled the question but I don’t see any result.

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30 Answers

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
elbanditoroso's avatar

Perception of safety is a big one.

I personally do banking and taxes and all of that online, but my parents (the WW2 generation) don’t. I don’t know that it’s rational – most online transactions are safer and faster than putting a piece of paper in the mail. But you’re not going to score points by forcing people into an avenue that they are not comfortable with.

The other issue is verifiability. (which is related to trust). If I write you a check, I have physical evidence (even if only a photo of my check) that I paid you. If I pay online, I might have some sort of a transaction number, but absolutely nothing that I could show in a court of law.

flo's avatar

@talljasperman The question is why not, not why. (Edited out question mark)
@elbanditoroso ”...I might have some sort of a transaction number, but absolutely nothing that I could show in a court of law.” Interesting.

johnpowell's avatar

It actually took me a while to get comfortable with it. I was just burned a lot of times in the dial-up days where the browser would just site there for ten minutes and I would either be billed twice for the transaction or it wouldn’t wouldn’t go through.

flo's avatar

But what is the reasoning of people who refuse to do it online? I can’t find any search result for it.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I do just about everything online, except my taxes. I had a couple of bad experiences – like having a page crash at the wrong moment. Also, I found it harder to tell whether there were lines missing because they weren’t in the original forms, or because the software didn’t think they applied to me. I like having as much information in front of me as I can. Probably in the next couple of years I’ll try again and see if things have improved.

flo's avatar

@johnpowell @dappled_leaves what do you think of not having any proof?
(@elbanditoroso‘s post)

dappled_leaves's avatar

@flo “what do you think of not having any proof?”

That’s never been a consideration for me. I assume it’s possible to either save or print a copy of the submitted file. That’s no worse proof than a paper copy that I keep in a file drawer. Both federal and provincial tax agencies keep all my records online whether I choose to consult them there or not (I do, on occasion).

I still find filing a physical copy to be more convenient for me… if that changes, I’ll move to filing online.

flo's avatar

Added:
It looks like you get the transaction number, not the copy of the submitted file. I remember another website (not banking taxes etc. but something important) you only get the transaction number of what you submitted which is really odd.

canidmajor's avatar

I mostly don’t do those things online, as I have much better awareness and memory of things if I engage more senses. I write checks to pay my bills, I file a paper copy of my taxes, I bank in person. It’s not from distrust of the cyber system, it’s because my cognitive functions are much more astute in a physical, hands on situation. I mostly prefer not to shop online as well, for the same reasons. I like a tactile, face to face life. I recognize that that’s not appropriate for all situations, but It suits me.

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

I have been told by people who refuse to do it that they think that the online method is insecure. Often they will cite some news report about a recent online attack. I remember specifically a client of mine mentioning the Target incident in which criminals stole credit-card information for more than 10000 accounts. This same person has no problem providing credit-card details over the telephone.

All this sounds quite reasonable to those who know nothing about the underlying technology. There aren’t a lot of news reports about telephone-banking fraud or mail fraud. A more familiar contact method feels safer than an unfamiliar one.

Parenthetically, that Target attack would not have worked over the phone; even if you could trick a phone rep into giving you 10000 credit card numbers, are you going to sit there and write them all down? Is a rep going to read out 10000 numbers in a familiar format without getting suspicious?

Buttonstc's avatar

I just don’t want any of my financiak information available online for any hacker who takes a notion to steal money.

It’s not something like the Target scenario that bothers me as much as the knowledge that there are sophisticated hackers over in countries like Russia who devote themselves 24/7 to cyber swindling banks.

Often they do it in relatively small amounts hoping them to go unnoticed. But you add up all those small amounts and that’s more than enough incentive to keep at it. And they are unreachable for prosecution.

I don’t want any of my financial info on my computer. There really is nothing I can’t do by phone. If someone succeeds in invading my computer system there really isn’t much for them to find and I intend to keep it that way.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
chyna's avatar

Because I just don’t want to. I really don’t have to make up a reason for anyone.

pleiades's avatar

I’d say they are probably mainly old school.

Adagio's avatar

I’m sure the arguments against Internet banking involve security but for me Internet banking is essential, I could not do banking any other way, it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

JLeslie's avatar

Fear of identity theft and Big Brother are the biggest reasons I think.

Other reasons are the person might not be very comfortable on computers or might not own a computer to begin with.

livelaughlove21's avatar

There is a petition out there for a reunion movie for a show I love that ended in 2005. I’m part of some online communities that still exist for fans of the show, and I saw that quite a few people refused to sign it, not because they don’t want to see a reunion movie, but because they refused to put their address on the petition. I thought it was really stupid, but whatever. I think @elbanditoroso nailed it with the perception of safety. I feel that way with people online who are adamant not to reveal the tiniest personal information to maintain their anonymity. Anonymity on the Internet – HA!

I don’t spend too much time worrying about such things. If a website is listed as secure, I’ll put in my information. I definitely signed the aforementioned petition and I also do all of my banking and tax filings online.

jca's avatar

For me, it’s fear of identity theft and fear of hackers. I figure the less places that my information is available on, the less chances of having problems.

canidmajor's avatar

Just curious, and a bit off-topic I guess, but some posters here seem to be somewhat derisive in their attitude about why some of us choose not to do everything online. Are you as judgmental about people who still drive a stick shift instead of an automatic?

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have a high functioning developmentally disabled relative. She reads and write well. She had a computer for a little while and it was a disaster. Every [phishing scheme in the book worked.
If she got an email that said her bank or email provider needed to verify her password she would tell them. Disaster.
She does not do anything on line now.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor I’m not one of the judgmental ones, although I do use online for some things, but just to be on your side, when I was a realtor several years ago a lot of my buyers thought, “they couldn’t lose” in the housing market. I see the computer as the same, some people like to believe nothing can go wrong.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I can think of another reason. It is easy to find your old records if you have paper copies stored in a file cabinet with folders. I can go back and retrieve tax records in seconds. The ones I did online I have to go and find the file. Which pc did I use in 2007? What was the password? Now where did I write that…. Darn! That PC is the one with the broken hard drive that I didn’t back up. I’ll have a new password sent . Arrgh!!! I no longer have that AOL account and email address. And so it goes.
Meanwhile,... back at the file cabinet… You want my tax records from 1991? Certainly. I can retrieve them in 15 seconds. So can anyone else it the need arises.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I can tell you why I do not sign online petitions. Most require an email address. Despite disclaimers to the contrary you will be placed on a mailing list whether you want it or not.

Try an experiment. Today, open a free, junk email account at mail .com and keep it in reserve. Monitor it periodically for spam. The next time you “sign” something use that address. Watch how the volume of spam increases.
The politician or the organization likely are not aware of the situation. They outsourced their IT to another company and one of the employees has a cousin in India who sells verified mailing lists to spammers on Tor.

flo's avatar

Thank you all.

Can you get over that you have no proof to use in a court of law, if you do x,y, z online. That you sent an email to so and so site, yes, but not the content. Boggles my mind to no end!

elbanditoroso's avatar

@LuckyGuy – I also don’t sign petitions online, but for a totally different reason. Petitions are beyond worthless. They’re only the expression of a small minority of a small minority of people that care about something. And they are largely – if not 98% ineffective.

The only petitions that mean anything are those which are required by law (i.e. a state or local document that requires X number of signatures in a particular county).

Everything else (petition to grow corn without GMO, petition to have the Koch brothers divest their holdings, petition to paint road lines mauve – they’re just chest-beating).

JLeslie's avatar

@flo You can print the page.

flo's avatar

Which page @JLeslie? The page just before “Submit“ing? That is no proof.

JLeslie's avatar

@flo I’ve never done my taxes online, but my accountant does them online for me. Then he prints everything out and I sign it all.

I do my aunts banking online, and I certainly could print the page that shows all the pending payments and also any transactions that have gone through if I wanted to.

When I buy my flights online or book hotels I get a confirmation email, and also look up the reservation online and print it.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@JLeslie I do this, too – but I print to a pdf and save it, rather than making a paper copy. Harder to lose that way. ;)

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