What Can You do to Protect Your Personal Cash? Your Company's Cash?

• Employ strong passwords with multifactor authentication. Strong passwords are very important, especially for bank accounts with large balances. What's a strong password? Something complex, long, multi-character, frequently changed, not used to access other Internet sites, not shared with others, and clearly not written down.  You might also want to consider a multi-factor authentication to access your Internet banking site. Corporations may consider using tokens that provide a new access code in addition to passwords. To access your site, you'd need your password plus the number on your token. Contact your financial institution for the token.

• Don't fall prey to a phishing attack. This includes: (a) Never click a link in an e-mail to access your Internet banking account—what if it's a fake site, collecting your password? (b) Never click a link on a public or non-bank website to your Internet banking site—how do you know the link isn't sending you to a fake site? (c) Never use a public computer, like at a conference or library, to access your Internet banking account. (d) Do not use the "remember password" feature. (e) Don't use your Internet banking site password for other sites such as Facebook or merchant sites. (f) Stay up to date on antivirus software on devices you use to access your Internet banking sites. (g) Finally, periodically scan your desktop for unusual devices connected to your USB ports.

• Set transaction limits and types. For accounts with large balances, restrict the types of transactions, such as "Wire transfers over $5,000 require phone verification by bank." In this scenario, the bank would need to call the authorized contact to verify wire transfers over $5,000 before processing them. Another could be "Wire transfers out of the country require a secondary verification."

• Separate accounts for wire transfer. Have a separate account for wire transfers, and limit the balance in that account. When you initiate a wire transfer, you'd then move the funds to that account.

• Limit ATM withdrawal. Limit the balances in accounts with ATM/debit card capabilities.

• Monitor your cash balances daily. For accounts with large balances, monitor your balances on a daily basis. This will allow you to notice and notify your financial institution of unusual transactions very quickly.

Article excerpts from http://www.crainsdetroit.com/section/blogRajJPatel#

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