Protecting Your Business from Identity Theft and Fraud
As a business, you have an obligation to keep your customers' sensitive data safe and secure. Every employee should also be informed of their role in maintaining this confidentiality. A regular training program will help inform current and new employees of the proper handling of a customers personal information and online safety and security.
To assist you in learning more, and informing your employees of their responsibility in helping protect your business and your customers we suggest you use the video, at the link below, as a training tool after you have taken a few minutes to read the remainder of the information below.
Start Protecting Your Business
Most companies keep sensitive personal information in files names, Social Security numbers, credit card, or other account data that identifies customers or employees. If this sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to fraud, identity theft, or similar harms. Given the cost of a security breach - losing your customers' trust and perhaps even defending yourself against a lawsuit safeguarding personal information is just good business.
According to the FTC's "Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business", a sound data security plan is based on 5 key principles:
- TAKE STOCK. Know what personal information you have in your files or on your computers.
- SCALE DOWN. Keep only what you think you need for your business.
- LOCK IT. Protect the information you keep.
- PITCH IT. Properly dispose of what you no longer need.
- PLAN AHEAD. Create a plan to respond to security incidents.
To view the entire "Protecting Personal Information - A Guide for Businesses" brochure, please go to business.ftc.gov/documents/bus69-protecting-personal-information-guide-business.
Online banking has made it easier and more convenient to manage business finances, but it also provides an opportunity for hackers to gain access to business accounts with the goal of making unauthorized money transfers.
Protect Your Business When Banking Online
According to Visa Inc., most data breaches occur at the small business level with many of small businesses lacking even simple antivirus protection.
Consider these tips adapted from the Better Business Bureau:
- Initiate a "dual control" payment process with Western Bank, your other financial services providers and employees. Ensure that all payments are initiated from your bank accounts only after the authorization of two employees, one to authorize the creation of the payment file and a second responsible for authorizing the release of the file.
- Have dedicated workstations. Restrict the use of certain workstations and laptops solely for online banking and payments, if possible.
- Use robust authentication methods and vendors. Make sure all your financial service providers allow for "multi-factor authentication" requiring more than just a user name and password to access your account.
- Update virus protection and security software. Ensure that all anti-spyware, anti-malware, and security software and mechanisms are robust and up-to-date for all computer workstations and laptops used for online banking and payments.
- Reconcile accounts daily.
- Monitor and reconcile accounts daily against expected credits and withdrawals and notify Western Bank immediately of any unexpected activity.
In addition, if you notice anything suspicious or unusual with your account, or account balances, immediately contact Western Bank.
Additional Websites and Information on Identity Theft & Fraud
These websites contain more information on securing sensitive data and protecting yourself or your business from identity theft and fraud.
If you have any questions, please contact Western Bank’s Customer Service at 651-290-8176.