Https Sites.Google.Com A State.Co.Us Local-Highway-Finance-Report Home How to Protect Your Business From Cyber Crime

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How to Protect Your Business From Cyber Crime

Is your business safe? Probably not. Many unscrupulous individuals operate online looking for new ways to exploit honest people.

I was recently drawn into a scam perpetrated by an unidentified person via a freelancing website. Since this personally affects me and my brand reputation, I decided to write a blog post today about securing your business online.

My personal experience involves Upwork.com, which is a website that brags about the value of freelance talent.

As the old saying goes: nothing is more expensive than cheap labor.

Someone posing as me claiming to be a writer/editor from NYC took a job writing a book for a client and it turned out badly. 3 chapters really plagiarized badly.

Even worse – the underhanded job was blamed on me! This person’s profile had my name and photo and his client found me (the real me) through a Google search that matched my profile photo. You can imagine the shock I felt at being accused of defrauding someone!

Upon realizing this was a clear case of identity theft, I immediately contacted UpWork to remove the fake profile. This guy’s clients do the same thing; we hope they can get a full refund of the money spent on the useless book written for them.

Horrible stuff. But compared to what other people encountered, it was a small potato.

While hiring and supporting local talent has always been my thing, if you have to outsource (overseas or through those freelancing sites), then a good idea to protect yourself is to insist on seeing a scan of your government issued ID. Take your proof of identification one step further and request a video conferencing before making any commitments.

Fraud is on the rise

The year 2016 saw a significant increase in fraud compared to 2015. While the numbers show a slight decrease in the amount stolen, the volume of theft increased. Lots.

While the numbers have more to do with consumer fraud if you’re the seller, you could lose out on an out of pocket money if the claim means sending your now-used product back to you.

The take home point is that scams are up and running so you need to take action to prevent yourself and your customers from falling victim to it.

How to prevent and report cybercrime

According to The National Cyber ​​​​Security Alliance there are steps you should take to protect your business and customers:

• Evaluating Risk

Identify what type of fraud or crime you are most susceptible to. Do you work with medical information? Financial information?

Even if your business goals are solely B2C, there are steps you should take to protect yourself.

Users who buy through your website trust you to keep their financial information secure, so take steps to do this such as installing SSL for e-commerce or any sensitive information and preferably not storing it.

• Monitor Threats

This can be as simple as making sure no spam messages are opened or that any email with attachments is scanned with some sort of antivirus software. While this software is not 100% effective, it will stop scams from circulating better.

• Report Attack

If you are the victim of a cyber attack, you will be frustrated and with a good cause.

Right now Canada is very vulnerable when it comes to cyber crime and your best hope is just to call the police. While promises have been made to address this, very little has been done and international criminals are unlikely to catch up.

If you are a victim of cybercrime, contact local law enforcement and cross your fingers. But the bad news is that you’re less likely to get a resolution. This is something to consider if you have hired someone overseas.

In the US reporting cyber crimes is much easier. You contacted the FBI through this website. They have the capacity to tackle international criminals and recently America has been cracking down on international criminals operating within its borders.

For those reading from other countries, I encourage you to do your own due diligence on protocols for reporting cybercrimes so you are prepared if needed.

• Execute the Security Plan

For this, the recommendation is to work closely with your ISP on a cybersecurity plan. While your ISP may be worth talking to, you should really talk to your website hosting company first.

The security of your customer and business info is very sensitive, so make sure your host is aware of things like regular backups of all information created and stored on other servers.

Most of the majors stay on top of things but it is always worth calling them for a quick review especially if you have pertinent info for them to help.

If you have been a victim, let your host know what happened. This information can help others down the road.

• Protect Your Clients

The suggestions found in this article for routinely scanning all USB drives are good ones. Sometimes information can be airtight behind the most sophisticated firewalls but still get out.

One of the easiest ways to exploit technology is social engineering. Often this information is not much stolen but leaked by someone internally.

Have a privacy policy and make sure your employees know that whenever they connect anything to your computer network, it will be scanned.

Make sure all software is updated and all computers connected to your network are running the latest version of their operating system.

• Educate Your Team

Here’s the easy one.

Set up a protocol that ensures your employees follow all the steps mentioned above.

All computers should be scanned when connected to a network and all USB drives too.

Most people are used to this by now so don’t worry about implementing it suddenly.

Take care

By taking steps to protect yourself, you are ahead of the game should anything happen. Scrambling after you’ve been victimized only helps the person who’s been stealing from you by giving them time to disappear.

Online business will most likely grow and along with fraud. The complexity of the scam will grow and hopefully so will the solutions. In the meantime I hope you enjoy these tips and you never become a victim of cybercrime.

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