Sound Telecom is a leading nationwide provider of telephone answering, call center and unified communication services. It’s friendly, courteous, and professional staff represents your company the way you want it represented, with your messaging, your branding, and your mission.
It’s that time of year, although really anytime of the year is a good time to review sound tips regarding fraud prevention in our businesses.
We’re reading more and more about businesses, especially smaller businesses, being targeted more, now, by fraudsters and would-be fraudsters.
We thought we’d post some tips and reminders for our readers so you can do some spring-cleaning, so to speak to make sure your processes and internal controls are intact.
These are just a few reminders folks, not an end-all list. Check with your own expert consultants for help.
1. To stay ahead of fraud in the work place make sure your bank records, employee files, client data, and other sensitive information is under lock and key. Making sure only authorized personnel have access to the materials makes this tip an easy one to implement.
2. Keep cabinets locked until and unless you need the information even when you are in the office and lock all files at night when you leave.
3. Check the life cycle of the documents your keep hand and enforce your records retention schedule. When the documents are expired shred them. Too many people still throw too many sensitive documents in the trash which creates easy pickings for fraudsters.
4. Destroy any outdated electronic storage devices and other electronic equipment – literally physically destroy the components. Erased data isn’t really erased or deleted in most cases and can easily be recreated and read by experts if those devices are intact and not properly destroyed.
5. Be careful when you open and respond to emails. Emails can look like they’re valid even when they are not. When in doubt, verify an email – not by replying – and certainly not by opening any attachments to it – instead use the email and contact information you have on file and send a new email or make a telephone call to the sender.
6. Be careful when signing onto websites whether they are banking websites, shopping websites, etc. The simplest typographical error in your website browser’s address bar can bring back a phony website that looks like the one you wanted but actually isn’t. Verify the address you type in before you press “go”. And, if you notice event the slightest unusual thing about the website you have logged into correctly, be aware that you may have been redirected to a phony site courtesy of malware that may be present on your computer. And, once you give up your log on credentials to the phony site they can be stolen and used immediately to gain access. So always be aware.
7. Train all your personnel to be security conscious. Teach them how to protect their passwords, your information, and teach your employees to never succumb to callers’ requests for confidential information. In a nut shell, all business and employee information should be considered confidential when solicited by unknown callers – and this includes cell phone numbers and email addresses. Identify a select few authorized personnel to handle such inquiries. This will make it easier to handle these types of calls.
8. Report anything unusual to the local authorities and your local FBI office. These folks are expert and able to help decipher the genuine from the phony. Fast reporting can help mitigate losses.
Being aware, being careful, being vigilant are all part of our normal business day. Protecting your business assets starts with protecting your employees, and the best way to start there is by training and then creating a culture of security.
What are some more useful tips to help us prevent fraud? I’d love it if you would post your additional tips.