No one wants to become a victim of fraud, but when you are a business owner and your livelihood is on the line, it’s especially important to take preventative measures to protect yourself. We’ve compiled a short list of suggestions and tips to ensure when you utilize online banking for your business, your information is safe and sound:
Have a dedicated computer: Using a dedicated (hardened) computer specifically for conducting online financial transactions can drastically reduce the risk of becoming a target for fraud. Once you establish your dedicated computer, protect the computer with a firewall and antivirus software. Using the computer solely for financial transactions and nothing else will also reduce your risk as most viruses are passed through email or links clicked during web searches.
Consider a bootable operating system: As an alternative to using a dedicated computer to access the business online banking system, you may decide to use a bootable read-only operating system to conduct financial transactions online. The operating system is written to a read-only USB flash drive. The bootable system should be configured with only the services and applications needed to perform financial transactions. When you need to access the online banking system to initiate electronic funds transfers, you would boot the read-only USB flash drive on your existing computer, or the dedicated computer established for this purpose. Any malware that exists on the computer would not impact you from using the bootable flash drive.
Additional ways to reduce risk:
- Install real-time antivirus protection and allow for automatic updates and scanning
- Utilize a desktop firewall
- Do not respond to or open attachments or click on links in unsolicited email
- Use strong passwords for online banking
- Disable auto play to prevent the launching of executable files
- Disable file sharing if it is not needed
- Install security updates to operating systems and all applications as they become available
- Do not use computers accessible to the public to conduct transactions online
- Use the dual control feature offered that prevents one employee from entering and authorizing outgoing transfers (wires and ACH credits).