How to eliminate crimes and frauds committed with computers

Office environments are heavily dependent on computerised systems, PCs are often the pulse of the business, industries rely on IT systems, computers are commonplace, essential, and thanks to their input, they make our lives easier and more functional. 

 Computers are a means of communication, they store sensitive data, and they’re also a portal which enables users to commit acts of fraud, cleverly and covertly covering their tracks, whilst committing a wide range of cyber crimes.

Online fraud in particular is on the rise, costing the UK an average of £670M per year according to figures compiled by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

This is only a small part of the story though...

Many cases of cyber fraud go unreported, which means the true sum of cyber crime may never be revealed, it’s safe to say though, it’s an ongoing problem that seems to increase each year.

Social Cyber Fraud on the rise

Computer related frauds take a number of guises. In many cases, they affect everyday people like you and I, it’s a social epidemic, growing at a worrying rate. 

A survey by the City of London’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau took the opinions of 2,075 people into consideration. Over 51% of them admitted to being the victim of some type of cyber crime in their life, many of which had been subjected to internet fraud.

The range of incidents varied but the main target areas consisted of:

·         Identity theft

·         Hacking

·         Online abuse

In all cases over 50% of the victims of fraud or cyber abuse stated they felt physically violated by the incident, yet rather worryingly, less than 32% of the people interviewed said they had reported the fraudulent act.

It would seem that people know cyber crime is wrong but they don’t know how to protect themselves from this type of criminal activity, and they certainly don’t know how to report the crime.    

The impact of computer fraud on business

Personal violation is just one of the outcomes of cyber crime. Computer fraud affects individuals and it can cripple companies too, costing the UK industry millions of pounds each year. In the corporate environment computer fraud impacts businesses in a number of ways and fraud has wider repercussions which ripple through a company, affecting:

  • Team morale
  • Business reputation
  • Brand image
  • Asset valuation
  • Credibility
  • Revenue
  • Shareholder confidence
  • Service output

Not only is it costing UK companies millions of pounds in lost revenue each year, fraud has a negative reaction for the reputation of businesses, it can affect the brand image, the credibility of the company is reduced, and this can affect shareholder confidence, creating a negative influence on future investment.

In most cases, people and companies become the victims of computer based crimes without realising it until the very last minute, by which time, the damage is already done.

Preparing yourself or your business for the possibility of fraud is a step in the right direction, at least this way you should be safeguarded from potential attacks in the future.

How to prevent personal hacking fraud

Bear this piece of advice in mind -

‘The moment you use a computer you are liable to a cyber attack’ 

That’s a scary thought isn’t it? It’s good advice though, and once you are aware of the possibility of cyber threats, the easier it is to put preventative measures in place. 

Let’s consider the FBI for a minute.  They have some of the most effective fraud security measures in place and provide excellent safety tips to help you protect your computer.

Here’s what they advise:

  • Keep your firewall turned on
  • Install or update antivirus software
  • Install or update Antispyware technology
  • Keep operating systems up to date
  • Be careful what you download
  • Turn off computer when not in use

Sensible advice isn’t it?

Read through the list and all the points they raise are easy to implement and designed to keep you safer when you use a personal computer.

If you want to read the FBI’s full breakdown of ‘How to Protect Your Computer’ click this link

Business advice tips to prevent fraudulent cyber crimes

Of course, staying safe from cyber crime at home is one thing, protecting your business empire is something altogether different.  With countless employees all using computers, some of which work remotely at home, or out in the field, how do you keep your corporation safe and protect it from those nasty cyber-crims?

Implement a structured security process and this should reduce the chances of your business becoming the victim of computer fraud. Numerous steps can keep your business safer including:

  • Create a policy for computer use
  • Change passwords frequently
  • Outsource hosting systems
  • Raise staff awareness
  • Limit use for business purposes only
  • Closing down PCs when not in use
  • Implement disaster recovery plans
  • Installing anti-virus programmes and firewalls

Fraud takes place in many avenues of life. Whether it’s a computer crime, telephone crime, personal or business fraud, there are positive steps you can take to protect yourself or your business from criminal activity and here at Focus Training, this is one of our areas of expertise.

Should you require Fraud Training, Intelligence Analysis or Investigation Solutions, please contact us, and together we’ll make the business community a safer place.

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