Home » How Safe Are Online Bookkeeping Services? (3 Questions to Ask)

How Safe Are Online Bookkeeping Services? (3 Questions to Ask)

Rahul Maingi

By admin, June 30, 2021

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Bookkeeping technology has evolved a lot since cloud bookkeeping services have come into play. They have many benefits, like mobile access, ease of use, seamless integrations with niche programs, and complex bookkeeping systems. However, security and data privacyis important.

3 Questions to Ask Your Online Bookkeepers to Ensure Data Security

To make your cloud bookkeeping experience a lot safer, ask these questions to your online bookkeeping service provider.

Question 1. “What is the server collocation process you follow?” 

The best way to find out is to talk to your service provider about the security of their data center. Do they co-locate their servers or have complete control over their server rooms? What measures do they take to control physical access to the devices? The answers will give you an idea about how safe their servers – and, subsequently, your data – are.

Also ask about their backup procedures, data redundancy, and what measures they have in place in case of a breach.

Question 2. “How often do you audit the user accounts?”

Ask them how often they audit their accounts. Also, find out how hard it is to disable the accounts of fired employees. And how much control do you have over the creation and administration of your employees’ accounts? Customized levels of user access can help you retain control of said data. If available, you can also leverage additional identification points.

Question 3. “What measures have you taken to prohibit hackers?” 

Public cloud service providers host more than one client per machine. This means that your data is in a place shared with other clients. If a hacker targets the company sharing space with you, your data may get compromised as well. Ask them about their anti-hack measures.

It’s important to find a cloud bookkeeping service provider who keeps sensitive data separate. You can also consider using an API or setting up a private cloud to keep your data onsite while still using cloud-based apps.

How You Can Keep Your Data Safe in the Cloud

Your cloud bookkeepers do a lot to keep your data safe, but you can also help. Here’s what you can do.

1. Define Your User Permissions

Putting the right information in the right hands is crucial for any process. Ask your service provider if you can customize user permissions to delegate work more easily and manage access to sensitive data. This will allow you to control who can see, manage, and edit data. It will also increase accountability.

2. Create Unique Passwords 

Keeping track of multiple difficult passwords is not easy. If you forget or mistype it, you end up having to reset your password, which is why many companies forgo this step.

But this step is crucial for the security of sensitive accounting data. A complex password makes sure no one can access your account to steal/compromise your data; it also keeps your account safe from hackers. Never save passwords on a web browser, and change them often.

3. Use Two-Factor Authentication

Many cloud bookkeeping services offer ‘two-step’ or ‘two-factor’ authentication for the additional safety of the user’s account. This usually includes a secret question or code on your registered email or mobile number. Although it doesn’t sound like much, it makes it impossible for someone else to use your account without your knowledge.

4. Audit Third-Party Apps

Some online platforms use third-party apps to help your business. Find out how these apps interact with your account and what data they are accessing. Some may have permission to change or delete data. Many business owners (and regular people) don’t pay attention to the permissions they give third-party apps. Providing permission to modify or delete data can be a real threat to data security. So, pay attention to what permissions you are providing, and if you are not comfortable with the access an app has, look for an alternative.

5. Use a VPN

We often have to work away from our office, and without the security measures of its private network, our data becomes vulnerable.

So, when you are not on a secure network, like public Wi-Fi, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to keep your data protected. VPNs encrypt your data and hide your identity. Before you pick a VPN, review its security policy and terms & conditions. Make sure it is compatible with your device.

A reputable cloud bookkeeping service can keep your data secure, but you have to pay attention to your virtual bookkeeper. And do what you can from your side to make sure your data stays secure.

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