5 steps to protecting your bank account

February 9, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

As with sex, the variations on fraud schemes that can be perpetrated are limited only by the imagination of the people involved. New technologies, in hardware as well as software, can help a determined thief pocket a lot of money and destroy a philanthropic organization or mission.

As with sex, the variations on fraud schemes that can be perpetrated are limited only by the imagination of the people involved. New technologies, in hardware as well as software, can help a determined thief pocket a lot of money and destroy a philanthropic organization or mission.

Tom Ciolkosz, nonprofit relationship manager at Access National Bank, offers several suggestions for steps nonprofit managers can take to thwart schemes. His ideas:

Educate employees. A strong security program should be paired with employee education about the warning signs and the safe practices that can be implemented.

  • Protect the organization’s online environment. Do not use unprotected Internet connections. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated virus protections on the computer. Use complex passwords and change them periodically.
  • Partner with the bank to prevent unauthorized transactions. Many services offer call-backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes and batch limits to help prevent fraud.
  • Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly. Be on the lookout for unexplained account activity, pop-ups and suspicious emails. If any are detected, immediately contact the organization’s financial institution, stop all online activity and remove any systems that might have been compromised
  • Understand the organization’s responsibilities and liabilities. The account agreement with the organization’s bank will detail what commercially reasonable security measures are required.
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