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Setup QuickBooks to Protect Customer Credit Card Information

QuickBooks Setup by Allan A. Krist

by Allan A. Krist

If your business stores credit card information about your customers in the customer center of QuickBooks, this post is important reading for you. I want to avoid sounding like I'm preaching, but in today's world this is an increasingly-important issue and I feel the need to emphasize it. It is a technical issue, but if neglected can result in a glaring-competitive disadvantage and the resultant loss of sales. You have a responsibility to safeguard customer credit card information.

I urge you to review the information on security standards that will give you an overview of the standards and responsibilities. The link to this site is PCI Security Standards Council. To be aware of this is important to not only you as a business owner, but to the customer that entrusts you to protect his/her sensitive information. The information in this post applies to the desktop versions of QuickBooks for Windows.

Proper compliance with security standards using QuickBooks entails the following tasks:

• Set-up of complex passwords for all users. You can learn more about a complex password at the site of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). You are required to change those passwords at a minimum of 90 days.
• Review and change as necessary the QuickBooks user permissions to ensure that access to credit card information is limited to only users who need to see the information – this is a one-time task.
• Ensure that credit card numbers are being stored only in the field designated for that purpose in QuickBooks.

I have just one additional comment on the above requirements. I realize that the complex password establishment and on-going maintenance of them sometimes seems like a burdensome task, but it is really a small price to pay for the additional security it affords your users. Remember that your user is totally dependent on you to maintain the security of his information, his only recourse against you is to take his business elsewhere. You don't want that to happen, so this is a minor inconvenience you must endure.

QuickBooks makes it easy for you to comply with credit card protection issues. The first step should be to activate credit card protection in QuickBooks by selecting the "Company" menu, and then the "Customer Credit Card Protection…" option. This is the screen that will then be displayed:

Protect Customer Credit Card Information with QuickBooks by Allan A. Krist

You will then be asked to enter a compliant secure password for the "Admin" user and an accompanying challenge question and answer. You are then reminded to ensure that user passwords are complex as per the definition, access permissions are correct, credit card numbers are stored in the correct field, and card security codes are not included in the stored number:

Customer Credit Card Information Protection Enabled with QuickBooks by Allan A. Krist

It is a fact that credit card information protection is becoming an increasingly important issue in our society today. QuickBooks makes it as easy as possible. Make sure you are compliant; don't let safeguarding credit card information put you at a competitive disadvantage!

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