How Online Fraud Targets Small Business
This post is part of a series of articles about how small business owners can prevent scams and fraud in the workplace. Today, we look at online fraud, specifically, ‘Phishing’. Phishing can be defined as “the activity of defrauding an online account holder of financial information by posing as a legitimate company.”
Have you ever received an email from a bank prompting you to login to your account but you don’t actually have an account with that “institution”? This is an example of phishing and luckily it is pretty easy to spot in that case. However, what if it wasn’t so easy to spot? Suppose for a moment you actually had an account with XYZ bank and when the email comes in, it looks legitimate. You follow the link and you attempt to login but something doesn’t go right and now the security of your account has been compromised.
Now what if the person receiving the email was one of your customers and the scammer has spoofed the email so that it looks like it came from you? Such a situation could damage the relationship your company has with your clients and adversely affect your business reputation. Thankfully, there are steps to take to lessen the likelihood that you or your clients would be targeted by scammers and hackers:
- Consistent communication is key. Make sure your clients know when and why you are sending them emails.
- Never request personal information or account details through email, Facebook message, Twitter direct message, Linkedin mail, etc. Let your customers know that if they do receive such a message to reach out to you directly and as soon as possible
- Instruct your employees that they should not respond to incoming messages requesting sensitive information. If someone claims to be from the EPA, for example, verify his or her identity by contacting the organization they claim to represent.
- Make sure all employees know not to click on links sent in email from unknown or untrustworthy sources.
Reviewing this information with your employees on an annual basis, perhaps as part of your Disaster Recovery plan, is a proactive step you can take to help keep your business secure and your reputation intact. If you would like more information about disaster recovery planning and data security, give RenovoData a call today!