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Posted on: January 23, 2023

Northeast Bank and ICBA: Tips To Protect Your Financial Information

 Data Privacy Week is Jan. 23-27

In recognition of Data Privacy Week, Northeast Bank and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) are reminding customers of practical steps to help safeguard their sensitive data and shield against losses in the event of a data breach or compromise.

In the first half of 2022, there were 817 data breaches in the U.S., and combined with data leaks and data exposure, they impacted more than 53 million individuals.

“In our digital world, keeping your personal information secure is of the utmost importance,” said Andy Martin, Vice President of IT at Northeast Bank. “We focus on educating our customers on the proper protocols to lessen their exposure to data breaches. While there’s no magic remedy to eliminate every threat, by working with our customers  our goal is to help turn the tide and reduce any long-term impact.”

As a community bank, Northeast Bank uses sophisticated technology and monitoring techniques, intricate firewalls and other methods to secure customer data. Additionally, we practice stringent privacy policies and train employees to treat confidential information with the upmost of care, meeting or exceeding federal and state mandates.

Reducing Your Risk

While there is no foolproof way to avoid online identity theft, you can also help minimize your risk by:

  • Restricting use of public wifi and computers—These networks may be convenient but are not as secure. If you must make purchases while away from your home or work network, use a virtual private network or mobile hotspot.  
  • Limiting disclosed information—Never respond to requests for personal information such as your banking ID, account number, username or password, even if they appear to originate from your bank, government agencies or officials or companies with which you have a relationship.
  • Taking advantage of security features—Update your computer security software and apply software updates to your computer system, mobile devices, web browsers, and operating system regularly to defend against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Monitoring account activity—Carefully review bank statements and card transactions and check your credit report regularly for unusual or unexplained charges, unknown accounts in your name, or unexpected denials on your card and report any suspicious activity to your bank immediately.
  • Protecting each account with a unique, complex password—Utilizing numbers and symbols at least 12 characters long is a great rule of thumb, along with using a password manager. Use multi-factor authentication for accounts that allow it.

Responding to a Data Breach

In the unfortunate event of a data breach, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk:

  • Consider a security freeze on your credit report to restrict access to your credit file.
  • Set up a fraud alert, which directs banks to verify your identity before opening a new account, issuing an additional card, or increasing the credit limit on an existing account.
  • Shred documents with personal or sensitive information and change your passwords.
  • Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center and to your local law enforcement and/or state attorney general.

Learn more about how to protect your digital life during Data Privacy Week by visiting the Stay Safe Online website and spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #BeCyberSmart.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.

With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute roughly 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5.8 trillion in assets, over $4.9 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.5 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at

Looking for a bank in The Twin Cities to meet your business needs? With so many options available, it can be hard to know which one is the best fit. Here’s a few tips to consider during your search so you can make the best choice for your business.

Assess your business needs

Before searching for a suitable bank, take some time to assess your specific business needs. Consider the size and growth potential of your business when evaluating which type of account best suits it. You may also want to look into options such as business loans and other services that can benefit your business. Ask yourself what kind of services and features you need, so that you can choose the right bank for you.

Compare checking and savings accounts

When choosing a bank for business purposes, it is important to compare the different types of checking and savings accounts. Look into features such as minimum balance requirements, monthly fees, interest rates, ATM access restrictions, and other services that could benefit you. Take your time to make sure you are selecting the right type of account for your needs in The Twin Cities area.

Learn about loan options

Many financial institutions in The Twin Cities offer loan options for businesses of all sizes. Make sure to review the different types of loans available so you can make an educated decision when it comes time to choose what's right for you. Consider factors such as interest rates, terms and conditions, how funds will be used and any additional fees associated with the loan. There are a variety of loan products available in The Twin Cities area, from SBA loans and lines of credit, to real estate financing and business credit cards. Northeast Bank is proud to be an SBA preferred lender, which means we have the authority to make final credit decisions on SBA loans without having to submit directly to the SBA, saving you the wait time.

Research mobile banking solutions

Mobile banking is becoming an increasingly important component of modern financial services, both in the Twin Cities and elsewhere. Before selecting your bank, make sure to research their mobile banking services. Ask questions such as what types of accounts can be managed on the mobile app, what payment options are available, and if there are any security measures in place like two-factor authentication and fingerprint logins. In order to manage your business finances more effortlessly and efficiently, evaluating mobile banking solutions should be a key component of your search.

Vacations are meant to be relaxing, but under planning and overspending can lead to financial stressors. Consider the following tips to reduce travel-related anxiety and help you make the most out of your time away—whether journeying across state lines or overseas.
1. Create a travel budget. To help you make well informed financial decisions while away without compromising your long-term savings goals when you return.
2. Think mini getaway. Taking shorter, more frequent trips versus one big faraway bonanza not only requires less planning, and is generally less expensive, but offers more opportunities to unwind year-round.
3. Plan in advance. Trip planning can be stressful. Research destinations, make reservations, prepare itineraries, and create a budget. Create a reasonable timeline and budget and ensure you have your affairs in orders (impending deadlines, medication needs, and baby-sitting, dog-sitting or house-sitting arrangements).
4. Control what you can. Unexpected surprises—flight delays, lost or stolen items, can quickly sour your vacation mindset. Travel insurance can help you recoup some of your expenses and soften the blow to help with smooth sailing. Some credit cards—especially those designed for travel—offer protections for delayed flights, lost luggage, trip cancellation, accident insurance and more.
5. Accessing accounts abroad. When traveling outside the United States, make sure to inform your trusted community banker of your plans to avoid an account freeze or declines for “suspicious activity.”
As always, remember that as your trusted community bank, we are here to help. We hope you take these tips into consideration and enjoy a well-deserved vacation.

Effective cashflow forecasting is a linchpin for the success and sustainability of small businesses.  Business owners can gain invaluable insights into the ebb and flow of their financial resources, better anticipate gaps, and improve the velocity of their business’s performance.  All too often, otherwise profitable companies can go bankrupt simply by mistiming their spending.  Correspondingly, this strategic activity allows small business owners to make informed decisions, seize growth opportunities, and fortify their enterprises against unforeseen challenges. 

Here's the top five reasons why business owners should review their cashflow forecast on an on-going regular basis:

  1. Improve planning for growth: Forecasting cashflow allows small businesses to plan and schedule their investments to support their growth more effectively. Whether it's expanding operations, entering new markets, or making long-term investments, owners can schedule investments aligned with expected cash inflows, making informed decisions about hiring, purchasing inventory, or investing in equipment without unintentionally spending when cash on hand is low.
  2. Determine financing needs: Businesses planning for growth may not have the cash-on-hand to cover the expansion costs. By better understanding the investment costs – and any related increases in operating expenses, business owners can better anticipate the funding required to support their larger operations without overcommitting.
  3. Improve payables and receivables management: Understanding future cashflows helps small business owners manage their credit relationships with suppliers and lenders investors. This knowledge allows them to negotiate favorable terms and make timely payments, which can positively impact their working capital, creditworthiness, and build stronger relationships with buyers and vendors.
  4. Help reduce risks: Small businesses often have limited financial resources. Cashflow forecasting helps them anticipate periods of cash surplus or shortage – giving the business owner better guidance for when or how to invest. By understanding their future cash positions, businesses can manage their liquidity more effectively, ensuring they have enough cash to cover immediate expenses and reducing the risk of financial distress.
  5. Get better advice from your advisors: Sharing your cashflow trends with trusted advisors, like your CPA or business banker can prepare them to offer better guidance about your business. This can support themes like preparing for tax season, identifying funding needs, or understanding the company’s valuation.

Northeast Bank makes it easy for Business Owners to get a handle of their cashflow with free forecasting tools embedded within My Northeast Bank digital banking.  The Business Insights features automatically constructs a cashflow forecast for activated users with their accounting data, giving business owners a comprehensive and current view on their company’s forecasted performance.  Tailored insights and recommendations are presented to help guide owners on considerations coming out of the data. Relationship Bankers are available to help owners better match solutions to owners to help them achieve their goals.