5 Best Tips to Avoid Online Fraud

Consumers aren’t the only ones who are vulnerable to online fraud. Businesses are more vulnerable to email and online fraud, as seen by recent data breaches at big retailers and an increase in fake communications. Many consumer-oriented online safety procedures can also safeguard businesses.

At the same time, organizations must have a company-wide security plan in place to ensure that employees assist in the protection of sensitive company data. Companies with specialized IT teams work hard to safeguard sensitive information and have most likely taken all required steps. If you run or manage a small business without the benefit of an IT department, here are five best practices to keep your data safe.

 Tips to Avoid Online Fraud
Tips to Avoid Online Fraud

Best Tips to Avoid Online Fraud

1. Separate Your Financial Information

Use a dedicated workstation for all company banking activity for business users in particular. Access the Internet and do non-banking business on other computers. When it’s time to retire a computer that was used to access company finance, make a backup of all sensitive data and wipe the hard disk before recycling it.

2. Know Who’s Asking

Banks don’t send emails or text messages asking for personal information such as account and/or social security numbers as a general rule. You will not be required to validate account details in this manner by banks. Personal information, such as social security or tax identification numbers, account numbers, or login and password information, should never be sent via email or text. If you need to send your bank sensitive information via email, make sure to use secure mail through the bank’s secure online banking platform.

Emails to firms that appear to be from suppliers are also on the rise. These emails, like fake banking emails, may appear authentic but will request crucial financial information. If you receive an email requesting critical financial information – even if it appears to be from your bank or a supplier – contact them to confirm before answering.

3. Don’t Share Your Passwords

Passwords should not be shared, and any documents containing financial data should not be left in an insecure location. To improve security, change your passwords on a regular basis, and use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters when possible. Change the default password and SSID for your wireless network (name used to identify your network). Consider using encryption on your network and not broadcasting your SSID.

4. No Phishing Allowed

Phishing emails should be avoided at all costs. These emails are intended to entice you to click on links within the email in order to verify or modify your account in some way. The links in the email are frequently used by scammers to install dangerous software (also known as malware) on the computer or device you use to access your email. This malware has the capability of obtaining personal data.

5. Keep Your Computer Safe

With cyber threats on the rise, installing antivirus software on your computer or network is more critical than ever. It’s also critical to make sure you’re running and updating this software on a regular basis to avoid malware invading your computer. Additionally, you may help combat malicious cyber activity by installing and enabling the following software programs:

Anti-spam software: helps guard against phishing emails by preventing spam and junk email from entering your inbox.

Firewalls: aid in preventing viruses and malware from gaining illegal access to your computer.

Anti-spyware software: blocks spyware from being installed on your computer, which can monitor or control your computer usage, as well as send you pop-up ads or divert you to harmful websites.

Keep your computer’s operating system and Internet browser up to date to protect yourself from fraud and theft.

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