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Habits That Threaten Security

Five years ago most CFO’s would have told you that digital security was the worry of the IT team. But as technology becomes an increasingly larger part of accounting practice, security becomes a shared concern.

The team at Accounting Today developed a list of top "bad habits" of accounting departments. The most common "bad habits" putting their work at risk:

Shared Passwords. In the interest of simplicity, many accounting teams utilize a common or shared password for software. While this makes for easier password changes and tracking, it presents a security risk. Shared passwords are difficult to keep confidential and make the point of breach more difficult to pinpoint. You should always keep your passwords unique and completely confidential.

Unencrypted USBs. It’s quick and easy to grab a USB drive and save some files before you leave the office. But it’s important that you ensure that the drive you’re using is encrypted. If you were to lose an unencrypted drive, anyone who found it could access the information you stored.

Unattended Computers. When it comes to confidential data, you should not leave your computer unattended. It only takes a few seconds for someone to grab your laptop or to copy information off of your screen. At work or out-of-the office do not step away from your computer without closing it down.

Mobile Devices. It’s common practice these days to connect your mobile device to the wireless network at work. But, if that connection can access private information, it should only be accessed with secure devices. Mobile devices do not come equipped with the security needed to keep workplace data safe. Before you use your mobile device to access workplace accounts and financials be sure to check with your internal IT team.

Keeping your company’s network and financial data confidential is as much a part of your role as an accountant as financial transactions and reporting. By looking at your workplace habits, you can help minimize risk. By doing so, you’ll be doing yourself and your organization a big favor.