To cover you in case of cancellations, you can ask guests to pay a deposit up front. You just need to specify the amount you charge in the ‘Good to know’ section of your page. You can read more about how to do that here.
However, you may find it easier to set up a cancellation policy, where guests pay a set percentage if they cancel after a certain date. That way, you won’t have to worry about returning money to all the guests who do stay – and your property may be more appealing to potential bookers who would rather not pay anything up front.
You can set up a range of cancellation policies – all of which give you control over the amount you ask your bookers to pay, and when.
If you’d like to cover yourself against damage to your property, you can also ask guests for a damage deposit on arrival. You’ll just need to state the amount that you’re charging on your property page. Then, once the guest arrives, you can manage the payment in whatever way is easiest for you, without having to process it through Booking.com.