Running a business takes a lot of dedication. Business owners put a lot of time, energy, and money into making their business a success. With everything that goes into starting and running a business, owners should take the time to better protect your business they built.
Identity theft is a common crime committed against unsuspecting individuals and businesses. While many people focus on protecting their personal identity, business owners should also be concerned with business identity theft because it is a fast growing crime.
As your small business becomes more successful, it also becomes more vulnerable. Small businesses have a higher fraud rate than larger companies. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), companies with less than 100 employees lose approximately $155,000 as a result of fraud each year.
There are many potential disasters that can harm your business, and you need to be prepared to defend yourself as your business grows. Here are some tips you can take to better protect your business from some common forms of fraud.
Set different permission levels for employees.
In today’s business world, you can never be too careful. You must take extra steps to better protect your business against fraud and that should start with the people who have the most access to your business, which are your employees. Don’t give all your employees the same level of access in your systems. Only employees you know and trust should be able to see your most sensitive business information. Control who has access to sensitive information by limiting permissions for employees. Additionally, you can have employees sign non-disclosure agreements so that they don’t giveaway trade secrets or confidential information.
Install anti-virus software on every computer in your company
Make sure every computer your company has is running with a fully patched operating system, and is protected with up-to-date anti-virus software. Online hackers and viruses can get access to your business data from anywhere. Be sure that you use the most up-to-date anti-virus software to protect your business computers from known and unknown threats.
Frequently change passwords
Make sure that you frequently change passwords on all of your company computers so that your business remains protected. Use at least 14 character passwords including lower and uppercase letters, numbers and signs. Change your passwords every 90 days so that passwords do not remain the same for long periods of time. Make sure that you also use different passwords for different online systems and accounts.
Teach your employees about fraud and identity theft
Annual employee education should be a priority. Individuals, not hackers, are the cause of most data breaches. Educate employees about scams that thieves use online, via e-mail, and over the phone to try to get them to divulge information about your confidential business data. Implement a step-by-step plan to protect your company’s identity that includes an action plan in the event that your company does become a victim of identity theft. Once you have a plan, show your employees so they can be prepared and aware of potential scams.
Businesses are hot targets for identity theft and fraud because of the extensive amount of money and credit lines that can be compromised. While it is not 100% possible to prevent business identity theft, with some proper planning, business owners can limit their chances of being targeted.
To learn more, please contact a Nevada Corporate Headquarters representative at 1-800-508-1729.