Sending Money Securely: 6 Tips for IT Professionals to Share with Employees

It’s easier than ever to transfer money, but a variety of security concerns accompany this modern convenience.

Whether your organization’s employees are using company devices for personal money transfers, using personal devices for corporate transfers, or simply sending corporate money over the internet, it’s important for them to be aware of the potential security risks. Different situations may warrant different security measures, too. Let’s look at 6 ways to ensure money is sent securely which you can share with your employees.

1. Use Your Bank’s Money Transfer Services

One of the most secure methods for sending funds is to use your bank’s transfer services. The bank’s mobile app has a level of security comparable to online banking on a desktop computer. However, in many cases, the recipient also needs to have an account with the same bank. While this does minimize any delays in the transfer, it may not be convenient if the recipient banks elsewhere. If this is the case, reputable services such as PayPal that are widely accepted by both businesses and individuals are a good alternative.

2. Avoid Unsecured Networks

Avoiding unsecured networks, such as public Wi-Fi, is sound advice whenever you are working with any type of sensitive information. Sharing banking information over an unsecured network can be disastrous. Unsecured networks can provide a goldmine of private data to anyone who knows how to capture it: login information for websites, emails, instant messages, passwords, and more. If you must use an unsecured network, make sure your connection is encrypted to minimize the risk.

3. Enable Encryption

Encryption makes your data unreadable to anyone except for you and its intended recipient. It is built into most common software, apps, and websites that require a login or deal with other sensitive information. However, you must learn how to tell whether the encryption function is enabled, and how to activate it if it is not already on. Training employees to identify an encrypted connection is well worth the time it takes.

For instance, anytime you log in to a website – whether it’s a banking site, web mail, social media, or e-commerce – the URL should read “https” instead of the usual “http.” The “s” at the end stands for “secure.” The https should remain in the URL for the remainder of your session. Some sites will return you to an unsecured page once you have logged in, but there is usually a setting available to keep your entire session encrypted. Be especially vigilant when using any website or application to transfer money.

4. Choose Strong Passwords

Using encryption helps prevent theft of your passwords, but it will not stop someone from attempting to guess your password or obtain it by other means. Using simple words or common combinations as a password leaves you vulnerable to hacking. This is why many websites and applications, especially those dealing with financial data, require passwords that include capital letters, numbers, and special characters. Even if a strong password is not automatically required, it is a good idea to use one anyway. Since there are so many ways for a password to be compromised, be sure to change your passwords on a regular basis.

5. Try Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your transactions. The factors are separate objects or pieces of information which only the authorized user should have access to. An ATM transaction is one example, as it requires you to use both the physical ATM card and your PIN. For many online services, the two factors are a password and a code sent to you via text message. Once you enter your password, you are prompted to check your texts for the code that was generated when you initiated the login. You must enter the code to gain access to your private data. Two-factor authentication can also use other methods, including biometrics.

6. Benefit from Biometrics

Biometrics utilize a person’s unique physical attributes. This may be a fingerprint, a retinal scan, voice verification, or other data. One of the most familiar uses of biometrics is Touch ID, which Apple introduced to iPhones in 2013. This is an example of how biometrics are used in two-factor authentication. In this case, the two factors are your passcode and your thumbprint.

The use of biometrics is an expanding area of security, but they have some notable drawbacks. In addition to concerns about personal privacy, the nature of biometrics means they cannot be changed like a password. Therefore, if a person’s biometric data is ever compromised, that person cannot use it anymore.

Do you train your employees to be aware of cybersecurity concerns? Contact us to learn more about protecting your company’s data.