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Bank of New Hampshire Offers 5 Ways to Protect Your Small Business from Account Fraud

New Hampshire – October 18, 2016 – Cybercriminals are targeting small businesses with increasingly sophisticated attacks. Criminals use spoofed emails, malicious software spread through infected attachments and online social networks to obtain login credentials to businesses’ accounts, transfer funds from the accounts and steal private information, a fraud referred to as “corporate account takeover.”

Combating account takeover is a shared responsibility between businesses and financial institutions. Bankers can explain the safeguards which small businesses need and the numerous products and services which help to detect falsely created requests involving fund transfers, payroll requests and withdrawals. These additional layers help to confirm that the requests are legitimate, accurate and authorized. Companies should train employees about safe internet use and the warning signs of this fraud as they are the first line of defense.

“Small businesses are popular targets of cybercrime,” said Karen Cornell, Vice President – Risk Management for Bank of New Hampshire. “Business owners are encouraged to minimize their exposure to online threats by educating their front-line employees and staying alert to any account or network activity that appears suspicious.” Online services provide a variety of notification methods which alert you to transaction activity; many options are available to suit your business needs and lifestyle.

In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Bank of New Hampshire is offering small businesses these tips to help prevent account takeover:

  • Educate your employees. You and your employees are the first line of defense against corporate account takeover. A strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses to a suspected takeover are essential to protecting your company and customers.

  • Protect your online environment. It is important to protect your cyber environment just as you would your cash and physical location. Do not use unprotected internet connections. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated virus protections on your computer. Use complex passwords and change them periodically.

  • Partner with your bank to prevent unauthorized transactions. Talk to your banker about programs that safeguard you from unauthorized transactions. Positive Pay, ACH filter and other services offer call backs, device authentication, batch limits and multi-person approval processes; all designed to help protect you from fraud.

  • Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly. Immediate notice to your bank is critical and the best strategy to mitigate a business loss. Look out for unexplained account or network activity, pop ups, or suspicious emails. If detected, contact your financial institution immediately, stop all online activity and remove any systems that may have been compromised. Keep records and document everything that happened.

  • Understand your responsibilities and liabilities. The account agreement with your bank will detail what commercially reasonable security measures are required in your business. It is critical that you understand and implement the security safeguards in the agreement. If you don’t, you could be liable for losses resulting from an account takeover. Talk to your banker if you have any questions about your responsibilities. 

For more information on cyber security, visit

Bank of New Hampshire, founded in 1831, provides deposit, lending and wealth management products and services to families and businesses throughout New Hampshire. With 24 banking offices throughout New Hampshire and assets exceeding $1.4 billion, Bank of New Hampshire is the oldest and largest independent bank in the state. Bank of New Hampshire is a mutual organization, focused on the success of the bank’s customers, communities and employees, rather than stockholders.  For more information, call 1-800-832-0912 or visit


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