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Move security issues toward the top of your priority list

From paper checks to electronic communications, businesses are vulnerable to fraud, theft and other practices that put funds at risk. Though your focus is on making sales and attracting new clients, it's worth the time and effort to make sure your security policies are up-to-date. Where do you start? First American Bank offers these suggestions:

Check Positive Pay

Positive Pay is the leading method of check fraud deterrence available today. The positive pay process entails a daily reconcilement of a company's issued checks to checks presented for payment to your bank to identify potentially fraudulent checks. First American compares paid checks against the issue file you provided. If any appear to be fraudulent, we alert you so you can determine whether they should be paid or returned.

  • You upload information about checks you’ve written
  • We compare your records to the checks presented for payment
  • We present a list of suspicious checks as “exceptions” on Ca$hTrac and you decide to pay or return the check
  • We’ll return all exception checks you don’t review
ACH Block

An ACH Filter automatically stops all ACH debits, except those you specifically preauthorize, from positing to your account. The ACH Filter or Block can help you avoid the costly possibility of overlooking a transaction and losing your right of return through the ACH network.

  • We block all non-authorized debits
  • You establish filters on your pre-authorized electronic transactions
  • You receive an alert every time new electronic payment is presented and advise us if you want to add it to your pre-authorized list

Payment Security Awareness

  • Never accept ANY change in payment or direct deposit instructions via email or fax!
  • FTC.gov is a great resource on the lasted scams and prevention information.
  • Always use dual control when processing payment entries: One individual to initiate the entry and a second individual to approve the entry.
  • Monitor the audit reports available in Ca$hTrac to identify any unauthorized Wire Payments or ACH Payments activity.
  • Reconcile your accounts daily to identify any unauthorized activity.
  • Educate employees not to give out credentials. Consider blocking access to file-sharing, social media and personal email sites unless they are for business activities.
  • The best way to insulate your business against fraudulent online business transactions is to use a dedicated PC that is not used for other online activity. Another option is to restrict personal web browsing, emailing and social networking on any computer used for online banking activities.
  • If you do not recognize the sender of an email or have any doubts about the authenticity of an email, do not respond and delete it immediately.
  • Never click on a URL within an email. Instead, enter the URL yourself. Do not open or click on attachments, especially if they claim an urgent problem or the attached file ends in “.exe”.
  • For additional information, see Security Best Practices and Security Awareness – Overview.
  • Segregate duties so that one individual doesn’t have the ability to both initiate and record check activity. A party independent of your check-writing and account-reconcilement process should perform periodic audits.
  • Keep authorizations up-to-date. Notify the bank immediately to have departing employees removed from all authorizations. Make sure the removal of access to all services is part of your employee exit process.
  • Report any fraudulent or unauthorized entries immediately. You can use Ca$hTrac to monitor account balances 24/7.
  • To assist in monitoring your account activity, set up Account Alerts in Ca$hTrac.