Keep your data safe with these 5 fraud protection tips

There are things we do out of convenience (and habit) and things we do out of concern for fraud protection. And, unfortunately, these things don’t always align—especially in the workplace.

I mean, don’t we all know a person who still either a) uses the same password for every login or b) keeps all of their passwords on a piece of paper in their desk drawer? Maybe you’re that person. You’re not alone.

Let’s all use Fraud Prevention Month as an excuse to review best practices and keep our data safe during a time when it’s more accessible than ever. Here are six fraud protection tips worth bookmarking.

Protect and diversify your passwords

More and more companies have adopted two-step verification and login approvals for a reason. Even though it can be a hassle at times, it’s more resistant to hackers.

If your business hasn’t implemented this type of safeguard for logging onto your network, then you should at least be encouraging employees to diversify the passwords they use. And update them regularly.

For those that insist it’s too hard to keep up with a different password for every login portal, make it easy to track them with a service like LastPass.

Secure your network (and office)

Logins and passwords aside, you should employ a variety of IT best practices to make sure your network is secure and up-to-date.

Firewalls, intrusion detection systems, content filtering, and encryption are just a handful of fraud protection mechanisms worth setting up to protect your data. If you’re unsure where to start, tech services can help.

Virtual intruders aside, it doesn’t hurt to protect your office against physical intruders as well. Consider installing a security camera system and/or housing valuables in a portable safe.

Guard your credit card information

Every time you hand out your credit card information, you increase the potential for it to be stolen. This is why it’s a plus to separate your business from personal spending—in addition to the fact that doing so makes it easier to track what was spent where across individual line items.

When possible, make sure you’re using secure, online bill payment services. And keep the distribution of information internally to a minimum number of people.

Regularly check-in on your financials

Whether you have an internal accounting team or outsource services to a third-party, it’s still in your best interest to keep tabs on the numbers.

This doesn’t mean you have dive into the nitty-gritty of your books every day, but make it a habit to check-in bi-weekly or monthly. In doing so, you’ll be better able to spot discrepancies and draw attention to red flags before they become bigger issues.

Do your research on business partners

Before signing contracts and sharing sensitive business information to potential business partners, do your due diligence.

Does a product or service have a website and their contact information clearly stated? Is their website secure? What are their reviews like and how long have they been in business?

Take the time to get to know who you’re working with before the actual work begins. It’ll save from the potential time and headache of dealing with a fraud case down the road.

By Staples Canada

March 01, 2020