It’s thought that around one in three Britons will fall
victim to identity theft at least once. It is also said that this crime costs
around £2.7 billion each year - two astonishing facts that should wake
businesses up to the risks of fraud.
Criminals want to steal your business identity so that they
can commit credit card and online banking fraud. And they’re becoming more
sophisticated at doing so.
So that begs the question – what can be done to counter ID
Here we’re going to look at five steps you can take to ensure that your business is safe.
Moving offices is often a sign that your business is growing
– a good thing. But it also offers up one of the easiest ways for a fraudster
to start assuming your identity. They start to intercept mail that’s turning up
at your old address when you fail to alert providers of your change in address.
They can make use of an old bills and statements to assume
your identity. So make sure that when you’re switching offices that all of your
mail goes with you.
Shred old paperwork
Office environments build up a lot of paperwork. And we mean
a lot. And in that huge pile of documents there may be something that a
fraudster can quickly turn into personal gain. Old receipts, bills, finance
information – don’t leave them lying around. If they’re needed, store them
safely. If they aren't, shred them.
Know this – your bank will never email you asking for personal details. So when emails come
through claiming to be from a bank or from someone offering to give you money,
be wary. Avoid clicking on the links in the email too. These can open your
computer network (and important information therein) to a whole host of risks.
While we’re on the subject of risks to your computer network
here’s a quick list of precautions you should take:
- Have an IT security policy
- Install firewalls and
- Regularly update all
- Regularly change passwords
to your various accounts
- Don’t leave computers
turned on and logged in overnight
- Always login to online
banking by typing the web address into the web browser
- Check statements regularly
Vet business partners
It’s important that you vet customers, suppliers, and any
sort of business partners thoroughly. If for example, they’re reluctant to
share details with you, it could be a sign that they’re entering business with
you in the hopes that they can conduct fraudulent activity.
You can view details of other UK companies on the Companies
House Website. If it is a company from abroad ask for references and documentation
One risk that businesses often overlook is within their own
office. And that’s their staff. Again, to avoid attacks from within your own
business it’s important that you vet all new staff thoroughly. Know your
current staff members well enough to be able to spot problems too.
Business fraud is a very real risk, and one that shouldn't,
under any circumstances, be ignored. If you’re worried that your business may
fall victim, contact us here at Focus Training & Solutions. We offer a
range of training courses designed to help you implement security measures.