With so much business information held online — and with fraudsters having access to more sophisticated methods and technology — accountants have a greater duty than ever before to protect their customers from online fraud.
Here are some of the steps that you should take to keep your clients’ business data secure.
Start in the office: keep your login details secure
The very nature of cloud-based accounting software means that a program is likely to be used by more than one person. Perhaps you have an accountant, a bookkeeper and your client all accessing an account. Sharing a single set of credentials (login details) between multiple users is a security risk to avoid. There’s the potential for current or past users to damage data, and no audit log of who makes changes.
To ensure that users never have to share their personal login details, choose software that allows access for multiple users who all have their own usernames and passwords. Clear Books Practice Edition is available for £6 per month and offers multiple user profiles within your practice. If you wish to give your clients access as well, you can check out Clear Books Large by requesting a demo.
Share best practice: choose a strong, unique password
When it comes to online security, a weak password is one of the easiest ways a fraudster can access your data. The NCSC have released a list of the most commonly breached passwords and for some, it’ll make grim reading. You’ll find the password 123456 at the top of the list of passwords most likely to be hacked, with a reported 23 million breaches. Other common password choices such as querty, password1 and even chocolate make the list too.
If you or your clients are in the habit of using the same password for multiple accounts, the risk of a breach is high. Ensure you are selecting a strong, unique password to keep your data safe. Whilst this can be tricky some accounting software providers like Clear Books make it easier by providing an in-built password strength indicator. Use this as your guide to setting your password when you register for an account.
Be alert and follow up: contact your provider to avoid scams
Fake websites, fake emails, fake phone calls — they’re all becoming more convincing. Remember though that your bank, your insurance company or any other reputable business will never ask you to disclose your username or password.
If you ever receive any communication that claims to be from your software provider, check to ensure it’s legitimate. Accounting software providers like Clear Books will never ask you to share any personal information via email. The best approach is to not respond, and to let your provider know immediately. Clear Books’ support team can be easily reached via [email protected].
Similarly, be aware of fake websites — it’s always a good idea to check the domain you’ve been directed to, particularly if you’ve followed an external link to get there. You’ll find Clear Books’ website at www.clearbooks.co.uk and if you’re ever directed to an alternative address, avoid entering your login details before notifying us on the email address above.
Helping you keep your password safe
If, at any time, you suspect you’ve been hacked or your password compromised, reset your password immediately. Simply click the ‘forgot password’ link on the sign in page.
However, if you need help accessing your account, changing your password, or you’re worried about a potential breach of your data, your software provider will help. Clear Books’ Support Team is available weekdays from 9am to 5pm on 0203 475 4744.
Keeping your client’s data safe is a top priority; but with our additional safety features, and a few simple actions from you, data will remain safe and secure in the cloud.