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Online Banking for Small Business: How to Protect Yourself

Online Banking for Small Business Protect Yourself

If you’re a small business owner, you’ll want to make sure you’re protecting your company’s assets and funds. Whether you’re the one doing the book work or have someone else doing your finances, you need to be using best practices when performing online banking for your small business or any other financial work online.

If you’re not the one doing the book work, make sure those who do are trained and understand what they should and shouldn’t be doing.

When it comes to your small business you want to take as many steps as possible to protect your business from theft or fraud.

Use a Clean Computer

When performing business-related online banking, be positive that you’re using a clean computer that is only meant to be used for the purpose of financial work. By clean, I mean a computer you are truly positive has not been tampered with or could possibly be infected with malware that you’re unaware of.

Don’t use this computer for normal internet surfing or personal email use. Use it strictly for accessing legitimate financial websites and software. If you’re not sure who’s been accessing the computer or for what activities, be careful just assuming it being “clean.”

Don’t Install Unnecessary Software

This includes toolbars, or plug-ins, that aren’t needed for accessing your online banking sites. Java is a prime example of a plugin that is extensively exploited and targeted for vulnerabilities. If your online banking sites don’t require something like Java to work, then there is no need to have it installed on the computer.

Whatever software you do have and need on your financial use computer, make sure you keep them all updated on a regular basis. Some of the most commonly exploited software are (just to name a few):

  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Reader
  • Adobe Air
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Java
  • Internet Explorer
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox

If you have such software installed on your banking computer, configure the software to allow automatic updates.

Same goes with your Operating System. If using Microsoft Windows, make sure you have automatic updates turned on and allow for automatic installation. A majority of updates made available for software serve to patch vulnerabilities and security issues that are found.

Remember, if the company is patching their software due to a security issue, more than likely cybercriminals are exploiting that weakness, hoping to find outdated programs. The longer you wait to update, the more susceptible your computer is.

Have an Anti-Virus Program Installed

Keep up with your anti-virus software just like any other programs you have installed. Make sure it’s set up to constantly update itself for new definitions and program updates. While most AV software has real-time protection, it’s still a wise choice to have it configured to do regular full system scans.

This will help catch anything that may manage to slip past those real-time protections.

Follow These 3 Small Business Online Banking Best Practices:

  1. Don’t save your small business online banking credentials within your web browser.
  2. Make sure to use different passwords for each different site you access.
  3. Don’t open website links from emails you’re not sure about: If you get an email from a financial institute you use, asking you to click on a link, instead open your internet browser and manually type their web address in to make sure you’re getting to a legitimate website.

While your personal online banking should follow these same best practices, not everyone takes the time and effort to do so. However, when you utilize online banking for your small business you have a lot more at risk and should make it a habit to do your online banking as securely as possible.

Published: March 16, 2016

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Lancaster Red Rose Credit Union

Lancaster Red Rose Credit Union has been serving consumer banking needs of Lancaster County, PA, for over 60 years. LRRCU's mission is to exceed the needs of their members by providing reliable, quality financial services that will improve the lives of those they serve and provide a wide range of financial resources to people, small businesses and nonprofits in Lancaster and beyond.

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