Cyber crime continues to develop and expand alongside technology as criminals find new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in new systems and hardware. Most businesses, regardless of size, store sensitive information such as client lists, personal data or credit card numbers on multiple computers, networks and online spaces.
Effectively protecting your business data and your systems from cyber fraud is down to preparation and planning. The better your protection is, the less likely you’ll be the target of an attack.
The impact of identity theft and online crimes can be greatly reduced if you can catch it shortly after your data is stolen or when the first use of your information is attempted. One of the easiest ways to get the tip-off that something has gone wrong is by reviewing the monthly statements provided by your bank and credit card companies for anything out of the ordinary.
Keeping an eye on your accounts and credit cards is good business practice, not just for spotting any signs of fraud, but for maintaining a good overall knowledge of your finances in general.
Most small businesses won’t bring in an IT security specialist to safeguard their systems, as they can be very expensive. And in fact, you can make use of the internet and the free security software available to protect your computers yourself.
Software like this usually requires you to run regular scans, so it’s a good idea to create a calendar reminder on a weekly or monthly basis so that you don’t forget.
These days, updates usually happen automatically as most operating systems are connected to the internet. However if you receive a notification letting you know that an update is available, it’s a good idea to click Yes and allow your system to be updated.
This is also true of software that may be installed on your computer. For instance, the accounting option you’re using will probably require you to update it regularly, although if you’re storing your data in the cloud, you won’t need to.
When you create a password, keep the following in mind:
An IT security policy contains clear guidelines for protecting your critical information from cyber threats. Making staff aware of the ways to secure data, as well as knowing how to recognize threats such as phishing and email viruses, not only safeguards your best kept secrets but increases staff IT skills and confidence online.
Your policy should include:
As with most things in business, successfully protecting your systems against cyber fraud is down to preparation and planning. Regular checks of your financial statements, as well as keeping up to date with anti-virus scans and software updates will mean you’re well-placed to not only spot trouble, but to minimize any potential damage.
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