Doing business is now easy thanks to the internet. But because of the internet, companies are at risk of online fraud, too. If unsecured, your business data could be stolen, making you lose your earnings as well as your clients. You’re also putting your clients at risk because cybercriminals can use their identities for fraud and other malicious online activities.
That’s why even if your business is small or medium-sized, you still need to ensure its security. Here are some ways to shield your business from online fraud:
1. Utilize Electronic Signature
Doing business online means digitizing your system, which includes having electronic or digital signatures. This is a way to secure your documents containing critical information. With e-signature, you can sign important documents anywhere you are, making your process more efficient. Your employees no longer need your physical signature, so your business operations can continue even if you’re on vacation.
In addition, the electronic signature also increases your security since most e-signature providers have built-in security protocols. That way, all electronic documents are safe from sending to receiving to storing such documents. And they also have digital audit trail capability, making it easier to verify the individuals accessing such documents. This will help in case you need to find the person who may have used your e-signature or document maliciously.
According to jSign and other digital signature providers, e-signatures are also secure because of their capability to prevent tampering. Only you and the other authorized personnel can access your e-signature. And as mentioned, you can identify who has used such a signature.
Moreover, since you can sign documents electronically, you can receive a certification of completion when the other signee has signed the document. This ensures that the only person signing and accessing the document is authorized. This is essential so that cybercriminals can’t easily access your e-signatures.
2. Create Cybersecurity Plan To Combat Cyber Fraud
Another is to establish a cybersecurity plan. By doing this, you can implement rules that everyone in your business should follow to enhance your business’ security. Most importantly, you can have strategies to combat a cyber-attack since you already planned for it. To make it even more effective, here are some recommended tips when implementing your program:
- Back up critical business information in the cloud.
- Encrypt data through a mobile device action for your employees working remotely. It’s also best to provide them a separate user account so that you can check their activity if problems arise.
- Always update your firewalls and antivirus software to ensure that your software can protect you from the latest virus inventions.
- Protect customer data by using strong passwords both for employees and clients.
3. Secure Your Bank Accounts
Another way to secure your business is to separate your personal bank account from your business bank accounts. That way, you can prevent hackers from emptying both of your accounts. If the other account gets hacked, you saved your other finances because they’re not in the same account.
In addition, you must also ensure that your bank account provider has a secure online payment system. This means that the bank must have a good reputation when it comes to its cybersecurity. If your bank has been hacked several times, you may want to change to another bank.
Another must-have feature of banks should be the automatic log-out once you’re inactive online. With this feature, you can prevent unauthorized access by the next person using your browser.
Another is to have fraud protection when issuing a credit card to your employees. It’s also better to have a reimbursement policy that protects employees from overspending. That way, you can prevent giving opportunities to your employees that may tempt them to use it in any malicious activity.
Most importantly, you must ensure that your online transactions are well-secured. This means using a private and secure internet connection to pay your bills. That way, hackers can’t easily penetrate your network.
You must only do transactions online with legit suppliers or customers. Always verify that you’re paying from their business website. But before doing business with anyone online, ensure that they’re registered and have a good reputation. By ensuring this, you can avoid being scammed.
4. Protect Your Network
As mentioned, you need a secure network when transacting online, especially if it involves accessing your bank accounts. And one way to do this is to have a strong firewall and antivirus software. These can monitor traffic coming into your system, and if they find it suspicious, they’ll block it. For instance, if you’re accessing a website, your firewall can block it if it appears malicious. This can save you from unconsciously downloading malware that can penetrate, infect, and damage your system.
You may also want to use Virtual Private Network (VPN). This network is private that provides anonymity and online privacy for you and your employees. The VPN hides your internet protocol (IP) address so that it becomes hard to trace. Moreover, most VPNs also create encrypted and secure connections to users, making it a safer option than Wi-Fi hotspots. And when you let virtual workers use VPNs, you can protect their computers from being accessed by cybercriminals.
5. Be Vigilant With Online Requests
Lastly, you can protect your business by being vigilant. This means you need to scrutinize all requests that you receive, especially the urgent ones. For instance, you may receive an email prompting you to enter your critical information to ‘protect your account.’ If you easily believe in this, you may end up divulging the information that cybercriminals can use to access your bank accounts.
But if you’re careful and always double-check if these requests are legitimate, you can save your business from cybercriminals. If it’s a request from your bank, it’s best to call their number, not the one suggested by the email. It’s always best to use the ones posted on their websites so that you can verify if such requests are from them.
Using 2 Factor Authentication
This technology allows you to protect your account even when your password and username are exposed. 2FA enables another layer of security where the account access is requested to enter the OTP sent on email, SMS, or on 3rd party app like authenticator. This enables an extra layer of security and keeps you headache-free.
In a snap, you can lose your business if you’re not careful. You should always be wary to avoid falling into the hands of online fraudsters. By doing the ways above, you can secure your business. What’s important is to start doing it now and not wait for a cyberattack before implementing cybersecurity measures.