Feb 19, 2015
When your nonprofit uses a bank account to house donations and track finances, it is of upmost importance that it remains secure. Fraud schemes may compromise your financial security. Take proper precautions and ensure that money that your nonprofit receives through gifts and donations can be used appropriately.
Ensure online security
To protect your bank information, you must make sure your nonprofit has quality online security. The Nonprofit Times noted that you should never use an unprotected Internet connection. This can leave your bank information vulnerable especially when using an insecure Internet connection to log in and view your bank account information.
It is also important to always have a strong password for both your Internet connection and bank login. Create a unique password that cannot easily be guessed. Integrate capitalized letters, numbers, phrases and even purposely misspelled words to bolster your passwords.
Information Week recommended using longer passwords. Hackers have the ability to try 2 billion different combinations every second using certain software. Implementing a longer and unique password can help you combat against hacks.
In addition, it is important to change your passwords regularly. This will help enhance your security and prevent fraud.
"To protect your bank information, you must ensure that your nonprofit has quality online security."
Monitor your bank account regularly
Work closely with your bank to oversee all transactions. In some instances, you can request to implement more security measures to authorize transactions. Discuss options with your bank and figure out a process that works best for you and your nonprofit.
If you do notice suspicious activity, call your bank. Notify it of the situation as soon as possible because acting quickly is crucial to ensuring the least amount of damage ensues.
Educate your staff
The Nonprofit Times relayed that keeping your staff educated regarding updates to security, new processes, changed passwords and justification for further security measures is crucial. If your employees know what to look for and how to efficiently operate within the bounds of security procedures, they can help ensure the success of your methods.
Keeping an eye out for check fraud
Nonprofit Accounting Basics noted that being on the look-out for check fraud is especially important. Double debiting can occur and preventing this activity is crucial. This type of fraud can be detrimental especially with online banking technology. Hackers can obtain information through the Internet to create, print and use counterfeit checks.
Talk with your payment provider to see what services are offered to help protect your nonprofit from this type of fraud. Typically they can monitor checks that are cashed and help cut down on the risk of this type of crime.
In addition, Automatic Clearing House fraud can take place if criminals steal online banking information and redirect ACH transactions to their own accounts. The first step your nonprofit should take to protect itself from this crime is to become aware of the threat. ACH filtering is an additional step you can take to help eliminate the risk of this type of fraud. It provides more security for transactions and helps guard your nonprofit against hackers.
"Your bank can monitor checks that are cashed and help cut down on the risk of this type of crime."
Additional steps to take for your security
Johnson Lambert, an accounting firm, recommended knowing what your responsibilities and liabilities are when it comes to your bank account. Speak with your bank about your account agreement and make sure that you understand safeguards that have been put in place and what steps you should take to ensure your bank account's security. Also be aware of situations where you would be liable for losses and when you are protected. Communicate this information with any staff members who have a job that requires them to use or monitor your nonprofit's bank account.
According to Wells Fargo, the safety of your bank account is largely dependent on the individuals who handle this personal information. Make sure that only people who must have access to the bank account and any information regarding it are properly trained, understand the security measures that are taken and are trustworthy. Everyone should report any suspicious activity and inform the bank if checks or a debit card is lost or stolen as soon as possible.
Mobile devices offer a great deal of convenience. However, it is important that you and your designated staff take extra precautions if any banking is done on a mobile device. Always use a passcode to get into your mobile device and make sure that you can swipe a phone's memory remotely in case the device is lost or stolen. Ensure that you and your staff always log off entirely if you use a mobile device to access your bank account information. Do not simply close the application or window.
Ensuring that your nonprofit's bank account is safe and secure is a top priority. Take the necessary steps and precautions to make sure every donation can be fully utilized for your cause.