Guillermo Barajas, OBDC’s Intern – Impact Evaluation is back as our contributing blogger this week.
It has always been important for small businesses to safeguard private information; today even more so because so much of business operations and sales are done online. Small businesses in particular are vulnerable to hacking. Hundreds of millions of dollars every year are stolen by cyber thieves, and, as an NPR article reports, small businesses may have no recourse to recover losses.
Regulation E of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act of 1978 protects personal bank accounts from fraudulent withdraws, but it fails to protect businesses, which most business owners don’t realize until after the fact. Because banks are not obligated to refund any losses a small business faces due to cyber theft, small business owners end up being left with huge deficits.
To protect your business, here are some tips to consider:
- Emails, debit card information, and online banking accounts are the top targets for cyber thieves and should be guarded.
- Passwords should be changed periodically and email and other online accounts should be logged off when not in use.
- Consider implementing two-person approval for fund transfers.
It’s always best to be prepared and talk with your bank to see what their protocol is for handling this type of situation. Share your tips for protecting your business from cyber theft on our Facebook page.