On the Internet, there are countless scams that cybercriminals employ to rob money, extract data or information, and steal people’s identities. However, while it’s easier for hackers and thieves to exploit individual targets, businesses, both established and startups, still aren’t safe. Regardless, if you run or plan to build a company and want to stay secure from such risks as early as possible, this article can help. In the following sections, we’ll discuss the secrets to avoiding business scams; please read on.
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Even though email has been around since the 70s, it’s still widely used by billions of individuals and companies worldwide. Consequently, this popularity also convinced criminals that email is the best medium to scam people. In fact, in 2020, electronic mails carried 96% of all global phishing attacks, proving that businesses need to be wary about using the technology.
In the process, the best way to avoid email scams is to refrain from opening or responding to strange emails. Contents of such messages are, for example, an unknown email address, too good to be true statements, and suspicious web links. Moreover, email providers like Gmail employ protection technologies and labels or move potentially harmful messages to spam or junk folders. In other words, a safe practice would be to only interact with contacts or trusted addresses and look for red flags, if there are any, before doing something to an email.
In the world of business, information is as important as other corporate matters. Trade secrets, ongoing projects, and development plans are examples of such sensitive data that a company must protect. However, given the importance, criminals and possibly, spies from competitors will do anything to extract these types of knowledge. Accordingly, it’s best to avoid talking about these topics during unsecured phone calls and chats or even refrain from bringing them up if possible.
If a criminal manages to convince or trick an entrepreneur or higher-ranking official in a company into talking, then mentioning compromising subjects is clearly a bad idea. Even when conversing or chatting online with a legitimate person, there is still a chance that a hacker might tap a call or access the message history forcibly, especially when not using encryption. All in all, these things mean that unless very necessary, please avoid speaking about subjects that might hint/reveal trade secrets, affect the public image, or put the company’s security at risk.
Aside from strange emails, cybercriminals also use phone calls to scam people. However, unlike the former, it requires more effort to spot a malicious phone call, and it’s easier for thieves to pressure targets into doing immediate actions. Thankfully, today, there are now more ways to protect a company from such shady tactics.
The simplest solution would be to use the feature to block incoming calls from unsaved numbers on modern smartphones. Next, when primarily using a landline or traditional telephone, listing all frequent or trusted callers would help. Also, it’s possible to block numbers on both smartphones and telephones, so anyone can prevent a scammer from calling again. Lastly, if unsure whether a number is legit or owned by a criminal, using a reverse phone lookup tool is the most effective method. Services like Spokeo allow users to learn the owner of a certain number and can display background information like criminal records. Additionally, many apps, Spokeo Protect, for example, can keep track of detected/reported spam callers, so people can avoid answering them.
Today, a website is an integral part of a business. As a result, ensuring its smooth operation and protection has become necessary. Thankfully, there are also now more available apps and services that secure websites than ever. A few of such notable products are:
Cloudflare’s Web Application Firewall (WAF) protects a website from common attacks like DDoS, SQL injections, and other scripting methods.
Like other Two-Factor Authentication apps, Duo allows website admins to add another layer of protection for accounts using SMS or offline-generated codes.
For websites based on the WordPress CMS, UpdraftPlus is a great way to backup webpages, files, and data to prevent loss in case of breaches.
Trust Guard helps websites become more secure by providing insights and a monitoring tool and helps them gain more sales with its highly recognized certification seals.
In both the ever-changing world and the Internet, there will always be new scams and threats to individual users and companies every day. Accordingly, the state of “total security” is hard or even almost impossible to achieve. However, this doesn’t mean that all hopes are lost. Instead, using protection methods and tools, practicing caution, and considering the four tips above should help in safeguarding the business and its assets from cybercriminals.