Technology enables MSM Advisors to use real-time data when giving financial advice to our business owner clients. Technology also provides us with a personal connection to our clients through virtual face-to-face meetings. Most importantly, technology allows us to keep our client’s information secure.
In the past, accountants have had to use email and the postal service when communicating with their business clients. Both email and the postal service are unreliable when it comes to the security and privacy of financial information.
Why we don’t use email or the postal service
Trusting unsecure email with your business financial information is risky. There is always a chance that a hacker could get a hold of your email address and your password. In 2016, a young hacker collected 272 million email address including the passwords and had already started to sell them off before he was caught. What if your business bank account number was visible in an email when the address got hacked? Your business bank account could be wiped out causing at best a headache to track down the culprit and at worse the end of your business and your good reputation in the business world.
We also don’t use email since we want you to feel at ease when you communicate with us. Phishing scams are common, especially in the financial world. One common phishing scam pretended to be the IRS asking through email for personal information. Since business owners know to be wary of emails asking for personal information we will never ask for sensitive financial or personal information through email.
We are blessed in the United States with a wonderful postal service that works quickly and efficiently. However, despite the postal service’s best efforts, there is still too much margin for error for the postal service to be a secure place for your business financial information. Your information could be accidentally sent to the wrong address and never returned. The mail could be stolen either through a falsified change of address form or by a thief physically taking mail out of your mailbox.
Instead of unsecure email and the postal service, MSM Advisors has chosen other more secure methods to protect your business financials.
What communication channels do we use?
- Secure email. One of the ways we communicate with our clients is through secure email. We use your general email address to let you know that a piece of information is ready for you, but the attachment requires you to key in a password.
- Secure online portal for documents. This cloud-based online portal is even more protected because you are completely bypassing the public email service. In addition to privacy protection, there are many other benefits of cloud storage.
- Password security. Make sure when you choose a password either for secure email or for an online portal, to use a unique password. Mix it up with letters, numbers, and symbols. If you have trouble remembering all your business account passwords, download an app to help you keep them all straight.
- Multi-factor authentication. To protect your information from unauthorized access, we also use multi-factor authentication. This means there is more than one layer of security. First, you may put in a password. Then you may need to key in a random number texted to your phone or answer an additional security question. The more layers of security needed, the more secure your information.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs (Xero, Intuit, Karbon, etc). Not only do CRM programs provide an easy way to organize and share up-to-the-minute data, but each of these CRM programs stores the data in an encrypted form. Encrypted means the data is scrambled up as it goes through the system so that only the sender and the receiver can read and understand the data. A hacker would never be able to decipher the information saved in the CRM’s servers.
At MSM Advisors, we take our role in protecting your information very seriously.
Not only can you speak to us in confidence about your business needs, but you can trust that we use every available resource to protect your financial information.