No business owner likes to think about fraud, but it happens more easily than you think. Criminals adapt quickly to changing security strategies and prey on unsuspecting business owners who don’t place enough emphasis on protecting what they’ve worked so hard to build. The best way to protect your business from fraud is to keep from being an easy target. Here are five ways you can improve your business’s defenses.
Keep the Door Locked!
If this sounds simple, it’s because it is. You’d be surprised how many business owners leave the front or back door wide open while they’re bringing in a delivery or visiting a business next door. Secure your doors and windows, even if you’re just leaving for a second. Criminals might be watching your patterns and waiting for your next lapse in judgement.
Choose Your Employees Wisely
Most employees are loyal, upstanding people – but some are not. Consider a background check to make sure the people you’re letting into the inner workings of your business actually deserve to be there. You can also consider giving only certain employees access to things like the back office, the cash register, or your safe. Whatever you do, make sure you trust your employees completely – and that they’re reliable enough to lock the door behind them, too!
Monitor Your Finances
One of the most important things you can do to protect your business from fraud is to get your banking affairs straightened out. If you don’t have separate bank accounts for your business and your personal life, stop reading this article and change that ASAP. The last thing you want is for hackers to be able to bleed every last cent out of you because you comingle all of your funds. Another potential weak point in your business is your employee reimbursements system. Monitor it closely and often – don’t let employees balance their own books when it comes to reimbursements. If you choose to issue debit or credit cards to employees, set them with very low limits and fraud thresholds. Finally, pay bills electronically as much as possible so there aren’t as many statements lying around for fraudsters – or unscrupulous employees – to snag.
Another great way to protect your business from fraud is to purchase ID theft or fraud insurance. Many insurance companies offer this type of protection to help you get your life back on track in the event fraud still takes place. Your insurance company can help you report the breach and file claims efficiently so you can focus on getting back to normal as quickly as possible.
Protect Your Computer Systems
First things first – take that sticky note with your password off of your computer monitor! We’re trying NOT to be an easy target here, remember? Once you’ve done that, it’s probably a good time to go through and change all of your passwords to unique, hard-to-guess combinations. Record them somewhere secure and only share them with the employees who absolutely need to know. If you have a large organization or a particularly sensitive system, consider using a tool like LastPass to make management easier and keep employees from accessing systems they shouldn’t. You should also back up your files on at least a weekly basis and store them somewhere safe, like a trusted cloud server. That way if cybercriminals do compromise your system, you’ll be able to get back up and running with minimal interruption.
The Best Defense….
The more you know and are vigilant about it, the better you’ll be able to protect your business from fraud. You don’t have to go it alone, however. At 360 Payments, we take a consultative approach to payments. We want our customers to relax when it comes to payments, knowing we’ve got it handled. If this sounds like a dream come true, give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to show you what makes us a different type of credit card processor.
PS – Protect yourself from credit card processing fraud with these tips.
PPS – When was the last time you thought about business card fraud? Yep, that’s a thing.