Criminals target businesses with more elaborate identity theft techniques. They can open a bank account, using a person’s name, steal corporate or personal credit card information, and use other methods to empty businesses of cash and assets. Business owners can become a target for cyber criminals when they have made the mistake of lax security measures or have hired people with poor credentials. The most lucrative cyber-crime jobs are those in which criminals use stolen credit card information to buy merchandise or services that they cannot otherwise afford.
If criminals are able to access your business database, they can gain access to the personal and business information contained therein. That includes not only your customer list but your records on payroll, your vendors and customers, and even the security codes that protect your business from unauthorized purchases. These criminals can then make purchases under your name and, as a result, you can become a victim of credit card fraud. Or, they might be charged cash for products that they could not really afford. Either way, your personal and business finances are compromised and you may be the next victim of cyber-criminals who are after your credit card information.
Don’t let thieves get away with it! Protect your business by installing anti-foaming devices, alerting you immediately whenever identity theft is detected, and informing your business and credit card customers of any fraudulent charges made against your accounts. You should also review your business’ data and make certain that all data is secure, even your credit card numbers, to avoid further unauthorized purchases. Keep copies of all accounts and credit reports at regular intervals so that you can investigate discrepancies.
Criminals target businesses that offer services or products that are related to yours. If your business sells jewelry, you may become a target for thieves who use your name to apply for cash. Also, thieves tend to target those businesses that have a strong online presence. In many cases, thieves make purchases from websites that appear to be legitimate but are actually illicit operations. To protect your business and personal information from online thieves, monitor your business’ transactions and take steps to stop thieves from using your information.
One way to protect your business and personal information is to secure internet access yourself. When you are online, use passwords and logins that are secure. You should never give out your social security or bank account number, because thieves can use this information to obtain credit card information or other forms of unsecured financial advice. Always check that sites you visit are secure before you transmit sensitive personal information. In addition, if you suspect that a website is offering you untrusted information (including contact information), you can omit that site from your list of websites and visit another.
Another way to protect your business and personal information is to avoid giving out your personal information when ordering products or communicating with customers. If you must give out your information, choose a company that has a secure server. If you feel uncomfortable about providing your personal information online, contact the company directly. Make sure that any orders or other transactions you enter into your computer are encrypted so that hackers cannot easily steal your information. Follow these steps regularly, and you and your business can enjoy the benefits of secure online transactions.