Small business owners have become a target for scammers seeking to get their personal identification details, money, business contacts, and more. This is probably due to the vast array of competing priorities you have to manage with limited resources, like cash flow management and offering quality customer service.
While you may be aware of scams and cybercrime as a business owner, chances are you are not prepared enough to defend your business against scam crooks. Below, we look at the six most effective ways to protect your small business against scammers.
Enlighten Yourself and Your Employees About Common Scams
One of the biggest vulnerability points in regard to a business's security against scams and fraud is your employees, but they are also your first line of defense. Regularly train your team about the common ERC scams and other security threats as well as inform them about the prevention measures they can implement to secure the business.
Ensure that all your employees know your company's policies and guidelines for handling confidential data, like client information, financial data, and employee details. Failure to do so can result in costly knowledge gaps among your workers. For example, if team members don't know about phishing scams, they will most likely fall for one, risking sensitive data.
Integrate a Fraud Management System
Setting up a robust fraud management system can protect your small business from scams. The system will enable you to screen transactions in real time across various business accounts, users, channels, and processes to highlight and prevent any fraudulent and scamming activities. When choosing a fraud management system, pay attention to a program with real-time analysis, seamless integration and one that matches your budget.
Avoid Opening or Clicking on Suspicious Emails or Links
Scammers usually send phishing emails, sometimes with threats to make you act first, allowing them to steal vital business data. They can pretend to be a person you know, like a senior employee or supervisor. Sometimes, the emails come as regular password update requests or automated messages. Trust your gut on this and avoid opening them.
If you receive an email stating that a supplier or customer has changed payment or delivery details, make a phone call to them to confirm the changes. There have been cases where small business owners receive false billing scam emails and make huge payments to scammers, thinking they are paying suppliers.
Establish a Password Policy
Having a password policy in place can go a long way in protecting your IT systems. Here are some good rules to consider:
● Adhere to the guidelines to create strong and complex passwords with a blend of lower and upper case letters, symbols, and numbers
● Have a unique password for each account or system
● Regularly review and change passwords, preferably within 60 to 90 days
Install Antivirus Software and Back Up Computer Data Regularly
A sturdy antivirus and firewall software can prevent hackers from gaining access to your computer system. This will help shield your business systems from malware and ransomware attacks, detect breaches early enough, and protect company data. To mitigate all risks, consider backing up business data regularly and storing the information in a secure location. It is advisable to back up files daily or weekly.
In this era when online and physical scams have become more prevalent, protecting business data should be your top priority. It all starts by enlightening yourself and your staff about common scams, establishing preventive measures to mitigate risks and strengthening your company's overall security systems.