Almost half (48%) of small US and Canadian businesses don’t think they are big enough to be a target of online fraud, a recent study found.
However, the cold hard facts debunk this myth. Small businesses in the US reported losing an average of $28,313.33 to online fraud in the last year.
In order to combat online fraud, businesses should try to understand today’s fraud landscape and attempt to mitigate threats as proactively as possible in the following ways:
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1. Perform a security audit
First and foremost, perform a security audit of your current set-up to discover where weaknesses exist. Once you’ve patched up any vulnerabilities, you’ll make it much less likely for cybercriminals to carry out online fraud.
The results of a security audit might seem somewhat overwhelming, but it’s crucial to heed advice about how to better safeguard your business, especially given the increasing prevalence and cost of fraud.
2. Educate employees about fraud
Preventing fraud should be a top-down approach, where senior members of staff lead by example and introduce training to help employees understand how to stay safe online.
Phishing is a popular tactic employed by scammers to steal the personal information of individuals. But by educating employees about the warning signs of such cybercrime, they should find it easier to avoid scam attempts and report them to the company’s IT department.
3. Safeguard computer systems
Another way to bolster online security is by safeguarding your computer systems. A sturdy firewall will protect any company data, while antivirus software can detect data breaches sooner rather than later.
Employees must play their part too. For example, setting up strict protocols that require employees to create passwords that are difficult to decipher. Passwords should be changed every 60-90 days as well.
4. Maintain a customer database
It’s a good idea to maintain a customer database comprising names, email addresses, delivery and billing addresses, and phone numbers. You may also want your server to record the IP addresses from which customers access your system.
Similarly, a fraud database can help you close any loopholes, as criminals will continue to target individual businesses until the door closes on them.
5. Use technology to your advantage
Thanks to adaptive behavioral analytics, you can identify people who are likely to be committing online fraud. This technology will analyze data such as how fast customers are spending their money as well as the speed they move around a website.
Other options include secure checks and single-click payments. Because payment processors store customer details securely, all a business needs the customer to do is enter the card’s security code (also known as CV2 or CVV) to validate their payment.
6. Always report fraud
The ever-changing face of online fraud means that new and novel tactics are cropping up all the time, making it difficult for businesses to avoid all forms of cybercrime.
If you do fall foul of a security or data breach, make sure you report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3), where you’ll also find helpful reports and resources about online fraud.
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