Open Sesame: Protecting Your Passwords for Financial Security
Your bookkeeping and banking info is only as secure as your password - so make it strong. We read a joke recently which said, "I changed all my passwords to 'incorrect' so when I get it wrong the message says 'Your password is incorrect.'"
No matter which bookkeeping platform you use, implementing some basic safeguards is a must.
Let's refresh some basics:
1. Change your passwords regularly or at least yearly.
2. Password protect your QuickBooks files. This way if anyone gets into your computer they can't get into QuickBooks without the password.
3. Each QuickBooks user should have their own log in and password.
4. Do NOT use easily identifiable information, such as name, birthday, business number address, children, or pets.
5. Be strategic in creating them. Mix upper & lower case, numbers, and symbols.
6. Only log into online banking at home or your secured network at work - NOT in public.
7. Use a password manager. We use Dashlane and love it. PC magazine published ratings on several.
8. Set your display settings on your work computers to go blank after 5 or 10 minutes to avoid someone being able to see sensitive info. Then set it to require a log in after 15 min of downtime.
To see how hacking can threaten larger systems, check out Nova's recent PBS story: "Cyberwar Threat."
And if you haven't read it yet, check out our previous blog on internal red flags to look for in your accounting department.
By the way, did you know that "Open Sesame" was a password for a thieves' den from the 1001 Nights tales? You can find this beautiful image of Scheherazade at the McCallie Walls Mural Project. It was done by local artist, Hollie Berry.
Lynn Talbott, MBA, PHR, has over 20 years’ experience consulting with entrepreneurs of small to mid-sized businesses in the HR and office management capacity. Her specialty is Office/Human Resource Manager coaching and training and finding practical solutions for bookkeeping errors and HR blunders. Lynn has helped manage over 50 business start-ups and many of those companies continue to rely on her expertise today as they continue to grow.