The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners has reported that companies with fewer than 100 employees lost an average of $155,000 annually as a result of fraud, identity theft and cybercrime. Here are some tips for protecting your small business from becoming a victim:
Protect bank accounts and credit cards. First, be sure that your personal banking and credit accounts are kept separate from business accounts. Be stingy with issuing company credit cards and pay bills online. Use a secure mailbox for sending and receiving mail. Check your bank accounts daily online for any suspicious activity.
Firewall protection. Be sure your business computers are fully protected with a firewall and have anti-virus, malware and spyware detection software installed on every computer. Have a robust back-up system for all your business data.
Dedicated banking computer. Use a dedicated computer for all online banking activities and make sure it is never used for web surfing or other online activities that could make it more vulnerable to a cyber attack.
Password policy. Invoke a password policy company-wide that is changed every 30-60 days.
Educate employees. Educating employees on threats and prevention methods is your best defense. Hold regular training sessions and be sure to educate new hires. Before hiring anyone, conduct a background check to ensure you are hiring the right people – but check with a Creative Business Lawyer™ to be sure your checks are in compliance with local laws.
Insurance. Get an insurance policy that protects you against any loss or liability suit that could arise from cybercrime.