According to Reuters, online fraud always increases during the holiday season as thieves take advantage of the retail frenzy that inevitably develops between November and January. Fraud can also plague retail businesses' physical locations. If you want to keep your business safe from fraud this holiday season, follow these helpful tips.
Bolster Your IT Defenses
When you're browsing the Internet or conducting online small business banking transactions, don't trust a generic firewall to protect you. Instead, invest in high-quality software that protects your business's computers from malware, spyware, viruses, and other security risks. This is especially important for any computer you use for financial purposes.
It's also a good idea to think about safety as you create passwords and click on links. Don't follow links if you don't know their origin, and make sure you change your passwords regularly.
Unfortunately, outside thieves aren't the only concern when it comes to protecting your business from fraud over the holidays. Employees get greedy or desperate and steal from their employers, and since they know your business's operations and protocols, they can make it difficult to detect the fraud.
In fact, according to Intuit, a study found that 77 percent of workplace fraud originated with employees.
To protect your business, institute strict hiring procedures. Run background checks, ask for references, and pay attention to employee behavior. Installing security cameras and keylogging software can help you monitor employees' activities while on the job.
Recognize Unusual Sources of Fraud
It's important to take a holistic approach to fraud prevention. For instance, the holidays often see an increase in contractor fraud. Contractors might overcharge for jobs or engage in invoice doctoring to pad their own bank accounts.
Pay attention to the money that goes in and out of your business. The more you know about your finances, the more likely you become to spot a problem.
Find a Trusted Banking Partner
Keep your cash safe with a trustworthy community bank as your financial partner.
At Seacoast Bank, we take small business banking seriously. Our top priority is protecting our clients and their customers from fraud and other security risks. Working with a trusted online banking partner in your community will add an extra layer of security to your own defenses.
We take an active role in helping our customers protect their accounts and avoid fraudulent activity. We'll also notify you if we suspect fraud has occurred so you can respond immediately.
If you're interested in working with a reliable bank, check out our business checking solutions.