Fraud is a Threat to Your Business: Here’s How to Protect Yourself
If you run a small business today, you probably rely on technology. It’s an increasingly digital world, and companies are finding new and exciting ways to use technology to their advantage. Unfortunately, so are scammers. The ever-connected nature of tech means that there are more ways than ever for sensitive information to get into untrustworthy hands. Here are a few ways your business might be at risk and what to do about it.
The place and way your information is stored can lead to major security risks. For example, you might be using cloud computing to save room on your own hardware. However, this comes with inherent risks. Although the cloud is generally considered pretty secure, any insecurity a cloud server does have can put everything stored there at risk; massive data leaks can happen thanks to a single hack. So, thoroughly research any company and ensure you understand their security measures before you trust them with your data.
If you’re storing data on your own servers, it’s your job to keep it safe. If you don’t have the know-how to do this yourself, you can hire freelance programmer freelancers from an online job board to do it for you. A contract employee can secure your data and come back when you need them, saving you money in the times between.
We’d all like to think we’re beyond email scams in this day and age, but the fact of the matter is they’ve only gotten better. We all know to look out for Nigerian princes, but we’re less likely to question a link we get from the coworker in the next cubicle over. Email scams today are sneaky and effective, and it’s important to stay on your toes.
Your best first defense against email scams is a strong detection system at the email server level. Many email providers will include this as part of their service, and it blocks most of the suspicious activity. However, you also need to teach people how to use email properly. Don’t allow employees to send sensitive data to their personal email address or access their work email on an insecure network. You should also teach them some of the most common email scams and how to watch out for them.
Current (and Former) Employees
Every person in your office puts you at risk for security issues, and that includes you. At the end of the day, many instances of data insecurity come down to individual issues such as weak passwords or improper email usage. It’s almost never intentional, and it’s usually preventable with the right education. Train your employees well on data security, and make sure they understand their role in keeping the company safe. For example, never have employees use the same passwords across multiple social media channels, or use their personal passwords for professional accounts. These are easy mistakes to make — and prevent.
You should also be wary of people who no longer work for you. There are countless examples of companies investigating hacks and data leaks only to discover a former employee was the source. Anyone who has access to your internal information has the ability to leak it. That’s why it’s so important to block inactive accounts and change access codes often. Two-factor authentication can also help prevent this, as former employees shouldn’t be able to access the second factor without permission. These are simple steps, but they make a massive difference.
Digital security is an important move for small businesses. After all, you never know when someone with ill-intent might size you up as an easy mark. Keep your information well-secured, and you’ll prove them wrong every time.
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