Your successful business may be a target for sneaky fraudsters and it’s time to build protections around company assets. Unraveling the effects of nefarious deceit on business accounts and relationships is at the very least a nasty headache. At worst, fraud can lead to the destruction of a business. Taking proactive steps to establish or reinforce defensive fortifications now can save you time and grief later. Protect your company and clients so that your business achievements can multiply.
1. Guard Customer Data
Any personal data or contact information that your business collects from clients must be well protected. Outline the steps you take in user agreements for new customers so that everyone involved in such business relationships can make informed decisions about risk. Keep all virtual records in password-protected systems and lock any hardcopies in secure storage. Take action to prevent caller ID spoofing that can negatively impact client relationships without your knowledge. Use a service that blocks fraudsters from pretending to call as staff from your organization and guard the trust of valued clients.
2. Employ Trustworthy People
Improving the health and endurability of your business starts at the foundation. Your employees have the power to make choices that can fundamentally impact your operations. Be mindful of the influence staff integrity can have on business longevity while making hiring decisions. Conduct applicant background checks in-house or use a paid service to verify that people are who they claim to be. Any hint of fraud on a resume or during a job interview should be taken seriously. Once a source of fraudulent activity is an official part of an organization it is extremely difficult to contain the effects.
3. Secure Information Online
Change business account passwords frequently and follow best practices. Switching passwords on a regular basis prevents fraud from lurking in the shadows. Check that previous employees do not have access to emails that connect to password recovery after they leave. Opt-out of autofill services on business computers to minimize the chance of problems should they fall into the wrong hands. Randomized password combinations that are unrelated to personal employee or company details are typically the most secure option. Test firewall function and verify that they are protecting your business operations as expected.
4. Establish Insurance Coverage
Prepare for all scenarios and be ready for a rainy day. Compare insurance plans that are applicable for your specific type and size of business. Professional liability insurance is a good place to start and commercial umbrella insurance could fill in any potential coverage gaps. Ensure any vehicles or buildings that are used by your organization are covered by appropriate plans. Read the insurance terms carefully and look for the policy that guarantees the most robust coverage in the event of fraud. If any fraud does occur then document it immediately. Comprehensive insurance can help you get back on the right foot and empower your business to move forward with confidence again.
5. Update Software
Pay attention to software update notifications and do not delay them past 24 hours. Updates made by website and app developers often fix bugs that would otherwise render users vulnerable to fraud. Schedule a regular check for software updates into your professional week or month. Employees who use both personal and company computers or smartphones should remember to run updates on all devices. Changes to data storage must be made carefully if software updates necessitate additional memory space. A secure cloud can be helpful in such situations. Always verify that software update prompts are genuine and be cautious about granting permission to remotely access your device.
6. Educate Employees
Teach employees of all experience levels to protect themselves as the first line of defense. Simple reminders of steps like only opening emails from known addresses can be vital. A one-day cybersecurity and fraud deterrence workshop could serve your organization well.
You are in control of your business security and can make crucial choices today.