Having access to your business bank account and funds online is a convenient way to manage your business finances, but it also poses a variety of risks. In order to keep your online funds secure from theft, security breaches, employee deceitful practices, or other online security issues, it is important to keep your online banking account and business funds protected from these potential risks. The following is a list of best practices for keeping your online funds secure for protection of associated online banking risks.
- Take online banking precautions – An important practice to keep in mind when accessing your online funds is to take some extra security precautions. Choose a strong password for your online banking account using a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, including upper-case letters if you are allowed this option. Keep your password private and never give it to anyone unless it is absolutely essential that an employee have access to it. Change your password on a regular basis for additional security protection.
When you access your online funds, the web address should include an additional letter “s” at the end of “http” which shows that the transactions are secure. Never access your bank account from a computer without anti-malware and anti-virus software installed and visit the bank’s website directly rather than from an external link such as in your email.
- Perform regular account reconciliations – Online banking gives you the option of maintaining account reconciliations on a regular basis in a secure environment. Keep up-to-date on the reconciliations of your online bank account in order to ensure the transactions being made from your online account are valid. This helps to reduce your risk of embezzlement as well as offering additional options such as having advanced notice about an unusual transaction taking place.
- Put check fraud prevention controls in place – Take advantage of fraud prevention controls that your banking institution offers for online banking customers. For example, your bank might have the option to flag certain check transactions that seemed unusual or put up a red flag for potential fraudulent activity. Many banks also allow you to process checks using a fund verifying service before the transaction is completed.
- Implement ACH protection – Automated Clearing House payments, also known as ACH payments, are a convenient way to have fast and efficient payment processing, but it also raises your risk of Internet fraud. By incorporating protection for your ACH payments, you can protect your online funds. For example, give your customers or clients a Universal Payment Identification Code that lets them send payments to your account without debiting your account. Your banking institution may also have additional filters to protect your account from ACH fraud.
Utilize a lockbox – Lockboxes can further secure your banking funds by allowing the bank to process checks immediately and avoid check fraud. Check with your local post office to see if they have lockboxes for banking access.
- Be cautious with credit cards – Credit cards pose a variety of security risks in terms of your online banking account, so it helps to take extra precautions. For starters, be wary of credit cards you lend to employees or other individuals. Keep a close eye on the billing statements and online transactions to ensure the usage is legitimate. When accepting credit cards as payment, keep a close eye on the transactions and check with the merchant services department of your banking institution to add additional security measures.
- Educate your employees – Inform your employees of the potential security risks associated with online banking both to educate them on proper practices, as well as letting them know that you are being watchful of any type of fraud. Avoid having one employee having complete access to your finances and online funds by training more than one employee to take care of banking for you. Review your banking records on a regular basis to be sure everything is running smoothly.
Utilizing online banking can be beneficial for your business as it more convenient and efficient than traditional banking practices. However, you should be aware of the potential security and fraudulent risks and utilize best practices for keeping your online funds secure in order to take steps towards protecting your accounts.