4 Risks Your Funeral Home Needs to Be Aware Of This Summer
Posted May 30, 2018
5 min read
Are you taking steps to minimize business risk? Take a look at 4 of the largest risks your funeral home is facing, including some initial steps you can take to reduce that risk.
Risk #1: Data breaches on websites that aren’t secure.
When you go to a website, do you check to make sure it has the small “padlock” symbol showing within the address bar?
The reason you want to see HTTPS in your browser is that it indicates the data you share between that website’s server, and your browser, is secure.
When you hear “HTTPS”, it tells you that connection is safe. When we use HTTPS, the data we’re sharing is much less likely to be obtainable or intercepted by third parties. In turn, that helps us keep our sensitive personal and business data private, as it should be.
It also cuts down on the likelihood that you will accidentally download malware.
For several years now, Google has encouraged and supported HTTPS. Starting last year, websites that would collect passwords or credit credits would have a clear marking as “not secure” if they were not HTTPS.
This has helped cut down on the number of software providers and websites that were using HTTP. Said another way, Google wanted Chrome users to know when they were accessing websites that used HTTPS, and they also wanted to encourage website providers to adopt HTTPS, too.
Recently, Google has said they will continue to take steps to keep browsing safe and secure for those people who use Chrome. Originally planned for July, Chrome will make a design change to the address bar to continue to inform people that HTTP sites are not secure. The goal with doing so: again, Google wants people visiting these sites (and using online software) to become more aware that their data is not safe.
Second, they also hope this encourages businesses to adopt HTTPS.
While this can be a risk if employees access sites that aren’t secure, if your business’ website is not using HTTPS, it can put your families’ data at risk (1, 2).
Risk #2: Check fraud.
Did you know the five most common fraud schemes for businesses with fewer than 100 employees is billing fraud, corruption, check tampering, skimming and expense reimbursement fraud? (5)
Despite how often payments are made electronically today, check fraud continues to be a serious (not to mention expensive!) risk for firms. Unfortunately, physical checks offer up the opportunity to alter, forge, and/or create counterfeit checks (2).
To combat this from happening, consider taking these steps:
- Watch your blank checks. Never leave blank checks in a place that isn’t under lock and key.
- Use high security checks. These make it near impossible to copy a check.
- Move to electronic payments whenever you can. This reduces your risk and reduces the opportunity for people to steal from your funeral home.
- Don’t ignore irregularities. When you balance your checking account, don’t ignore anything! Make sure that payee names and amounts on any check images are the same and ensure they also match the bank reconciliation.
- Put internal controls in place. The person who writes checks should not be the same person who cashes checks. There should also be controls in place to make sure all vendors actually exist, for example.
Risk #3: Phishing attacks.
Do your team members know the signs of phishing? Today’s phishing attacks can come via email or text, and in some cases, thieves are savvier than ever. Signs to make sure your team is aware of include:
- Misspellings or grammatical errors in an email
- Request for money
- Request for personal or private information, including passwords or user IDs
- Making demands to receive money/information
Business Email Compromise (also called BEC) also can fall under this form of fraud that preys on employees. In this case, thieves trick workers to provide HR data, payroll data, intellectual property, or even encourage them to pay money. When an email comes from what appears to be a funeral home owner, employees may just do what it says. Be sure they know that emails aren’t always what they appear to be, and they aren’t always coming from who they appear to be coming from!
Be sure that employees feel comfortable enough, when they are in doubt about a requested action, to call the business owner or another colleague, ideally before clicking on anything, and definitely before providing any information that could be used to cause harm to the company (3).
In general, encourage your employees to:
- Not open attachments in an email that are in any way suspicious.
- Go directly to a person before ever sending them money. (Never send anyone any money when it doesn’t “feel right.”)
- Be skeptical of any “emergency situation” emails (3).
Risk #4: Lack of backup/disaster recovery plans.
What kind of disaster recovery plan do you have in place? If you have physical servers, do you know the steps you’d need to take if an unplanned incident occurred? Are you aware that manual backups are no longer “enough” to get by on?
It’s important because 50 percent of businesses that lose data for 10 days or more file for bankruptcy within 6 months. What’s more is that 93 percent of those businesses fail within a year (4).
No matter how large or small your firm is, you want to be sure the data you have is backed up and accessible no matter what happens. In the event a disaster does strike, you want to be sure you can have minimal downtime.
Cloud-Based Tools For Your Funeral Home: What to Know
The right cloud solutions offer less time for setup. They also should require less manual monitoring and upkeep for your business. Perhaps best of all, best-in-class cloud solutions offer you scalability and a high degree of security so that you can grow your business without paying more for that growth.
Have questions about CRäKN’s funeral home software? Click here to reach out to us today.
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