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Business accounts can be susceptible to fraud, giving thieves access to a company’s finances to make unauthorized transactions. Fraudulent transactions can include check fraud, transferring funds from the company, creating and adding new fake employees to payroll, and stealing sensitive customer information that may not be recoverable. Business First Bank offered these tips to help keep your small business safe.
Keep your business safe
1. Educate your employees. The first line of defense is a strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses to a suspected takeover are essential to protecting your company and customers.
2. Protect your online environment. It is important to protect your cyber environment just as you would your cash and physical location. Do not use unprotected internet connections. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated virus protections on your computer. Use complex passwords and change them periodically. You should also consider a dedicated computer for electronic bank access and transaction origination.
3. Partner with your bank to prevent unauthorized transactions. Talk to your banker about programs that safeguard you from unauthorized transactions. Positive Pay and other services offer call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes and batch limits to help protect you from fraud.
4. React quickly to suspicious activity. At a minimum, review your account transactions and bank statement monthly – look for any unusual transactions. Some examples of unusual activity are checks out of numerical order or higher in sequence, small unusual electronic transactions, unusual amount of withdrawals, etc. If fraud or suspicious activity is detected, immediately contact your financial institution and possibly local law officials. Keep records of what happened.
5. Understand your responsibilities and liabilities. The account agreement with your bank will detail what commercially reasonable security measures are required in your business. It is critical that you understand and implement the security safeguards in the agreement. Following the safeguards and the general security recommendations mentioned here, will help to reduce your liability and possible monetary losses should your business experience a fraud event. Talk to your banker if you have any questions about your responsibilities.