EA - Tips for Securing Your Business Financial Information

Tips for Securing Your Business Financial Information

Technology has made it an amazing time to be a small business owner. There are many options to improve your business by leveraging the use of software, computers, the internet and more. Computers and software programs can make your daily tasks easier. You can automate transactions and organize information related to the management of your company. It is obvious that digital business management makes things easier for you and your customers.

Many business owners use online budgeting tools, payment processing systems, websites, mobile apps and more. These tools are great to reduce the time that is required on busy work such as banking, accounting, and bookkeeping. At the same time, you might be putting yourself at risk due to databases that aren’t secure.

With the benefits of technology comes potential risks as well. Since we live in a digital world, there are many scammers and hackers looking for ways to exploit information that can be accessed online. As a result, it is important that you are proactive to secure your business financial information to protect your company and your customer information

Risks of Financial Exploitation

Why does it matter if you have the right security systems in place? If your financial information is hacked, then it could be a devastating problem for you and your company. Not only can the hackers steal your information, but you could lose money and time as a result of the stolen information.

In some situations, you know about the problems immediately. For example, you might find unexplained charges on your credit card. Or, a hack could cause your bank account to be drained. But, there are other times when the exploitation isn’t noticed until the issue has grown into a bigger problem, such as identity theft. These serious scams could cost thousands of dollars to correct the problem.

Tips to Protect Yourself and Your Company

Just because there is a risk to your business financial information, doesn’t mean that you need to stay in the stone-ages and use paper and pencil to track your business accounting. Instead, you can implement a few effective tips to protect yourself and your business finances. Here are some of the essentials that should be considered by every business owner:

  • Set a Schedule: It is important to change passwords regularly, especially on your sensitive financial accounts. But, many people don’t think to change the passwords until it is too late. Mark your calendar so that these passwords are changed Even though it takes a little time to update the information, it is worth the time investment so that you can protect your company.
  • Use a Password Manager: Storing your passwords on a notepad in your desk drawer is one of the biggest mistakes that could cost your company money. Even though you assume that you can trust everyone in the office, there is a possibility that someone might make a poor decision when they find an easy opportunity. You shouldn’t keep your passwords in printed or written form without putting those papers under lock and key. If you have hard copies of this information, then they should be stored in a safe or locked filing cabinet. Better yet, choose a good password management system such as Roboform or Lastpass so that you can keep all of your passwords in one digital location. These password managers have great reputations and offer the encryption and security that is needed to protect your financial interests.
  • Manage Your Computer: If you open up a bank account or other financial account on your computer, make sure to log out and clear the cookies after you are done with the session. Leaving your online banking data open in the browser could increase the likelihood that someone will access your information. Also, consider adding a password to access your computer so that you can protect the offline files that are stored on your hard drive.
  • Choose Reputable Software Companies: Don’t make the mistake of trying to save a few bucks by choosing a new software company. The best solution is to pick a software program with a great reputation in the industry. You can rest assured to know that your information is protected when the software program offers the encryptions that are needed to avoid hackers and information theft.
  • Set Up Notifications: Do you know when someone accesses your bank accounts? It can be helpful to set up notifications so that you are alerted when someone is trying to access your information. Also, consider adding transaction limits or transaction notifications. For example, choose a dollar amount that would be an unusual transaction so that you are notified immediately if anything looks suspicious in your account.
  • Check Your Bank Account Regularly: Are you aware of the financial transactions that are moving through your bank account and credit cards? Regularly monitoring of these accounts can be helpful so that you can quickly catch any issues if something comes up. Consider utilizing the services of an outsourced accounting team so that you have regular audits of your financial accounts. These services are essential to detect potential fraud and scams.
  • PCI Level 1 Compliance: If you receive credit card transactions from your customers or clients, then you need to be sure that you are keeping up with PCI Level 1 compliance. Most business owners don’t understand the ins and outs of these compliance requirements. So, the easiest solution is to choose a reputable merchant processing company that ensures the details of the compliance requirements that need to be met. For example, your payment processing service can take care of encryption and good stewardship of all of the data.
  • Two Factor Authentication: When someone accesses the password to your bank account or email account, then they can do a lot of damage in a short time. Make it hard for hackers to access these accounts by adding two-factor authentications on your accounts. This means that you need to enter a password when accessing the account. Then, you will receive a text message or email with a one-time use access code. Most of the time this access code is only good for 60 minutes, helping to lock down the time that you can access the account.
  • Turn on Activity Tracking: Some software programs allow you to turn on tracking activity. For example, on your email account or accounting software, you can view an activity log that shows all of the logins and the activities that are completed. This information helps with the audit trail so that you can see the source of problems if things aren’t adding up.
  • Update Your Software: All software programs need to stay updated at all times. Sometimes, hackers find weak points in the software code that can be used to access information. So, software updates are designed to patch the identified issues. Not only do you need to maintain updated software on your computer and cell phone, but also keep the software updated on your websites, accounting software programs, and anything else that might provide access to sensitive information.
  • Use Cloud-Based Services: If something happens to your office or computer, then it can be a tragedy to lose all of the information that was stored on the hard drive. Use a cloud-based accounting software so that you can still access the relevant information in case your hard drive fails or your computer is stolen. These cloud-based programs are encrypted to secure your information. Plus, you can provide secure access to trusted, remote service providers, such as your accountant.
  • Check Your Credit Report: A regular review of your credit report can be helpful to ensure that your credit hasn’t been tampered with. Look at this information a few times a year to see if any unexpected credit lines have been opened. If you find any errors or suspicious activity, then you can file a dispute with the reporting company as soon as possible to clear up the mess. Also, consider the benefits of credit monitoring services. Sometimes, you can find package deals that include credit reporting information and credit monitoring. Each time activity happens on your credit report; then you will receive an alert notifying you of the activity.
  • Be Careful about Social Networks: Most people use social networks on a daily basis, but you need to be careful about the information that is posted on these sites. Quizzes and fun games are designed to pull information that might be related to security questions, such as your mother’s maiden name, phone number, birthdate, or your pet’s name

Other Tips to Protect and Improve Your Business Financial Information

The best thing that you can do to protect your business finances is to tap into the services offered by an experienced accounting team. At Easier Accounting, we’re here to support the financial health of your company. If you are looking for support to improve your business systems, then we encourage you to call us right away to learn more about how we can help. Contact us at: (888) 620-0770

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *