Cyber Tip

Prohibit the use of "shared" usernames and passwords.

Deter — Business

Don’t Let Your Business Be an Easy Target —
Take Steps to Reduce Risk to Your Business Accounts:

There are many things you can do to reduce the risk of having your reputable business victimized by fraud, identity theft and other illicit activities.

If you answer “yes” to one or more of the questions below, you should take steps to review the security of your computers and networks.

  • Is any of your important company or personal information stored on a computer? (That information could relate to you or your employees, customers, contractors or partners.)
  • Do you or your employees access any important information through an internal computer network, including banking, credit card, vendor or delivery information?
  • Do you have a company website?
  • Do you or your employees use the Internet at work?
  • Do you or your employees use email at work?
  • Could your company survive if it lost the use of its computers for several days or longer?

Becoming a victim of cybercrime has little to do with the size or type of your business.  Most companies use similar tools for their information technology infrastructure — desktop computers, operating systems, networks, storage devices, web browsers, laptop computers, mobile computing devices and smartphones — and all are all potential targets for cybercriminals. Conducting a periodic online banking risk assessment and control evaluation is highly recommended for the security and safety of your business.

When it comes to protecting your business and its identifying information, you can never be too careful. Fortunately, even simple, basic precautions can dramatically reduce the odds this will occur. Saratoga National Bank provides the following safety tips to help you protect your business against today's business security threats.

Implement Good Computer Security Practices

If you don’t currently have formal and documented computer security procedures, your business is unnecessarily at risk.  It’s important to establish basic security procedures and controls for your business, and to update and distribute these to all employees on a regular basis. Here are some important measures to consider:

  • Reconcile all banking transactions on a daily basis.
  • Initiate electronic transactions (such as payroll and wire transfers) under dual control; higher-risk transactions such as wire transfers and automated clearing house (“ACH”) file transfers should require additional authentication not using the Internet.
  • Prohibit the use of “shared” usernames and passwords.
  • Use a different password for each website that is accessed; never use passwords used for your personal online banking or social media sites.
  • Create strong passwords that have at least 8 characters and include a combination of numbers, special characters and mixed-case letters.
  • Educate employees and your customers on information security practices.
  • Use extreme caution when accessing websites from a link in an email, especially if personal information is requested.
  • Do not include personal or sensitive data in response to an email.
  • Do not send emails to your business clients from your personal computer at home.

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Safeguard Your Business Information and Reduce Risk to Your Business Accounts

One of the most important things you can do is safeguard your sensitive proprietary business as well as financial data and information maintained on your clients. Below are some practical and simple steps that will help get you started in protecting your most valuable information and your business accounts:

  • Install commercial antivirus software on all computer systems.
  • Ensure virus protection and security software are updated regularly.
  • Consider installing spyware detection programs.
  • Be suspicious of emails pretending to be from financial institutions, government agencies or other organizations requesting account information, account verification or banking-access credentials.
  • Never share usernames or passwords with third-party vendors.
  • Limit administrative rights on users’ workstations.
  • Perform all online banking activities on a stand-alone computer system from which email and web browsing are not possible.
  • When conducting online banking, make sure your browser is operating in a secure session (indicated in the web address bar by “https”).
  • Avoid using automatic login features that save usernames and passwords for online banking.
  • Never leave a computer unattended while using any online banking or brokerage service.
  • Never access bank, brokerage or other financial services information at Internet cafés or public libraries. Harmful software may have been installed to capture login information, leaving you vulnerable to potential fraud.
  • Regularly clear your web browser’s “history” in order to eliminate copies of web pages stored on hard drives.
  • Consider conducting social engineering testing with your staff.
  • Train your employees and customers on your safeguards.

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