Keep your banking info safe

Identity fraud is on the rise and there is no easier way to hijack your information than online.  Many consumers utilize online banking software from their banks and while the banks do everything they can to prevent fraudulent cases you should also take  responsibility to keep your information safe.  Just following a few simple precautions can save a world of headache.

This article written by the Better Business Bureau has some good tips for not only small business but also can be applied to consumers as well. Thanks BBB!

Five Steps To Secure Online Banking

BBB Advises Small Businesses To Guard Against Hackers

Small business owners need to make sure their online bank accounts are secure to prevent hackers from gaining access to their accounts.

Visa Inc. says that 85 percent of data breaches occur at small businesses. Some owners are ill prepared to defend customer or employee information in the face of an attack. Symantic Corp., a maker of anti-virus software, estimates that a third of small businesses lack software to block viruses and malware.

“Small business owners might feel that they are flying under the radar of data thieves and hackers, but they are actually in the crosshairs,” said Michelle L. Corey, BBB president and CEO, “That’s why the BBB partnered with leading security experts to show small business owners that implementing a strong data security strategy doesn’t have to take a lot of time or resources.”

BBB and partners Symantec Corporation, Visa Inc., Kroll’s Fraud Solutions and NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association created Data Security–Made Simpler, an online resource to help small businesses implement key data security policies and practices.

Data Security-Made Simpler tackles key topics of small business data security. The initiative advises small business owners to take the following steps to ensure security of online banking transactions:

Initiate a dual-control payment process with your bank and employees. Allow payments to be initiated from bank accounts only after the authorization by two employees. One employee should authorize creation of the payment file, and a second employee should be responsible for authorizing release of the file. This process should be in place regardless of the type of payment being initiated, whether by checks, wire transfer, fund transfer, payroll file, ACH payment, etc.

Have dedicated workstations. Restrict online banking and payments to certain workstations and laptops, if possible, and prohibit Web browsing or social networking on those computers.

Use robust authentication methods and vendors. Make sure your financial service providers allow for “multi-factor authentication.” This means that you need more than just a user name and password to access your account.

Update virus protection and security software. Ensure that all anti-spyware, anti-malware, and security software and mechanisms are robust and up-to-date for all computer workstations and laptops used for online banking and payments. Implement a process to periodically confirm they remain up-to-date. Security patches are often available via automatic updates.

Reconcile accounts daily. Monitor credits and withdrawals. If you see any kind of unexpected activity on your account, notify your financial institution immediately.

Read the full article here…

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