How do you protect a smaller business from fraud? It might surprise you, but start-up ventures and smaller businesses are often the target of scams and fraudsters. Annually, smaller businesses with less than a 100 employees loose approximately $155,000 as a result of fraud. One of the most frequent cases of fraud is credit card abuse.
With so many online transactions being conducted by companies of all size, it becomes increasingly difficult to not be a victim of fraud. Here are some tips to better protect your business from some common ways of cyber crime and fraud. After all, it is difficult enough to grow a business successfully; fraud is not something that any business wants to go through.
Protect A Smaller Business From Fraud
All credit cards and bank accounts must be protected.
This is a very common area of fraud for a business of all sizes. For starters, a business should separate all personal accounts from business accounts. This will also help with taxes and other areas of the business, but it mainly puts a separation between personal assets and business assets. Next, use business credit cards wisely. Not all vendors are to be trusted right away with credit card information and statements should be send to a secure mail box.
Secure website and hosting account including emails.
This is a big issue with any size of company. These days, hackers can quickly take a company website down or infect it with male ware, which does often tremendous amount of damage to a business. Often these hacker attacks are random but nevertheless still as damaging. Emails can be also hijacked and used for spam, including unprotected hosting accounts with file directories left writable. To protect a company’s online infrastructure, a business should take necessary precautions to secure website, hosting account and service, including email access.
Change passwords and improve them for security.
Passwords should never be simple anymore. The days that a password could be someone’s cat name, dog, or birthday are long gone. Passwords these days must be much more complex, including capital and lower case, numbers, symbols and so on. Most accounts show the strength of a password when it is created. Company staff and entrepreneurs should ensure proper password security and change them every so often for better protection.
Be aware of getting contacted by scammers.
Regardless of what is being sold, if the business has a website that is visible online, it can be found by scammers that will try to take advantage of the business through some sort of scam. There are so many scams out there these days, especially for e-commerce website operators, but also for business-to-business service companies. Fraudsters pretend to be interested in services or products offered and they try to get them with stolen or fake credit cards. Companies have to be very careful with these scams and most credit card merchant services will have further information on this.
Sometimes, it cannot be helped. The website will be hacked, an account hijacked, it is just something that the business will have to deal with. Nevertheless, it is best to prepare as much as possible to avoid these circumstances that can be very stressful for a small business and start-up venture. At times, common sense is a great tool to use.