Business banking when working from home ideas
With more and more of us working from home, the trend towards mobile and remote banking for businesses is picking up steam. Lots of us are comfortable using this technology for our personal finances, but it’s worth considering how business banking is different and what you and your bank can do to protect your business accounts.
Fortunately, this is an area where banks have a lot to offer. Here are a few ideas for you to consider:
A simple tip – check your accounts daily
Money moves pretty fast these days, and so do cyber-criminals and fraudsters. More digital transactions mean more chances to make off with your money, and a greater chance that fraud will be missed for days, weeks, or maybe forever. It pays to validate your transactions frequently. If a fraudulent transaction happens, the sooner you find it and reach out, the more likely we are to be able to help.
Next, make sure your connections are secure
Are you using your home computer to run your business? This may not be a good idea. Home computers are often less secure and have likely accessed more sites where they could pick up a virus. Better to use a dedicated work computer, keep security software on and make sure firewalls are active on your home network – if you’re not sure how to check, contact your internet service provider. Check for secure website connections (beginning with “https://” in the URL) whenever accessing critical info and ask your bank if they provide secure browser access to their online banking.
Screen out suspicious transactions
Most banks offer options in their online platform that allows you to block certain types of transactions or at least filter them for approval before they hit your account. For example, if you mostly do business with a handful of local companies or most payments are for similar amounts, you can get an alert if a big out-of-state transaction is attempted. Not sure how to use these settings? Ask your financial partner to walk you through it.
Have a backup for important financial tasks
If you are operating your business from home and doing things like running payroll and paying vendors, have a partner. That way no one single person can move funds. Someone might input the payroll, but before it goes out, a second person has to review and approve it. If your computer is somehow compromised, there is a second “fence” the fraudster would need to get through.
Get rid of the paper trail
Ironically, paper documents are one of the main ways digital fraud starts. Don’t make copies; digital documents and check images are easier to keep secure. As you increase digital banking, you reduce the number of paper checks, invoices and other information lying around.
Digital banking for businesses may have gotten a boost from homebound workers, but now that more people realize its benefits and efficiencies, we expect more businesses to shift more of their financial activity online. Talk to your Alerus advisor about the many digital tools and features we have that bring the service, security and convenience of Alerus to your business, wherever you are.