Knowing how fraudsters can target your company is essential as a business owner. According to statistics, surveys indicate that 46% of surveyed organizations have experienced fraud, corruption, or other economic crimes in the past two years. It’s essential to take steps to protect your business from becoming a victim of fraud. This way, you can ensure that you don’t experience any financial loss or damage to your brand. Here are five valuable ways you can protect your business against online fraud to protect your brand reputation.
Keep Your Software Up-To-Date
One of the best ways to secure your business against online fraud is to keep your software up-to-date. This includes your operating system, web browser, email client, and any plugins or extensions you may use. By keeping your software up-to-date, you’ll ensure you have the latest security features and patches to help secure your business against the latest threats.
Downloading updates helps maintain security, encourages compatibility between software and devices, and allows for new program features. They aren’t just to keep your devices looking pretty, they also fix security vulnerabilities.
Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
Another way to defend your business against online fraud is to use strong passwords and two-factor authentication whenever possible. Strong passwords should be eight or more characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Two-factor authentication makes logging into certain accounts safer by requiring a code from your phone in addition to just your password. This makes it much harder for fraudsters to access your accounts, even if they’ve managed to obtain your password. In fact, 2019 was the year that Microsoft finally clued in and realized that 2FA actually works. In their report, they found that it blocks 99.9% of automated attacks.
Be Careful What You Click On
Fraudsters commonly gain access to business accounts by tricking the account holder into clicking on a malicious link or attachment in an email or text message. So be cautious when clicking on links or opening attachments from unknown senders. If you’re ever in doubt, you can hover over the link to see where it will take you before clicking on it. This will help you avoid accidentally clicking on a link that takes you to a malicious website.
Also, there are several ways to tell if a website is malicious. The most obvious sign is if the website has a .com, .net, or .org domain. If you see a domain that ends with .ru or any other extension (like .co, .biz), there’s a good chance that it’s malicious. Another way to tell if a website is malicious is by looking for misspellings in the URL or on the site itself. For example, if you see any kind of misspelling, the website is likely malicious. This can include any variation of a word with an extra letter or two at the end (for example, “Facebook” spelled as “Facebok”) or part of the URL missing.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi Networks
When traveling for business, it’s important to avoid using public Wi-Fi networks whenever possible, as these can be easy targets for fraudsters. A full 24.7% of Wi-Fi hotspots do not use any encryption. This means that when an individual within range of a wireless access point uses a 2.4 GHz antenna to send or receive data, they can easily intercept and store all user traffic-and then browse it for relevant information. If you must use public Wi-Fi, connect to a secure network and avoid conducting sensitive activities such as online banking or shopping.
Monitor Your Accounts Regularly
Finally, one of the best ways to protect your business against online fraud is to monitor your accounts regularly for any suspicious activity. This includes checking your bank and credit card statements regularly and monitoring any social media or email accounts associated with your business. If you notice any unusual activity, be sure to report it immediately so that you can take steps to prevent further damage. In managing your accounts, fraud analytics software can help you detect and prevent fraudulent activity. The software can identify patterns often indicative of fraud, such as large purchases made without authorization or unusual activity on your credit card accounts.
Following these five tips can help protect your business against online fraudsters. Remember that you can never be too careful when protecting your business. Even if you think that your company is not at risk, there is no harm in taking the necessary precautions to ensure that your accounts are protected from fraudsters.