As a startup, you don’t have a lot of data to protect compared to other massive companies. However, the small amount that you do have is extremely valuable and, if leaked, can ruin your business completely. More than three million people in the US alone have been victims of a financial scam in a single year.
In reality, avoiding these frauds is not all too difficult if you implement the necessary measures. The following six tips will help maximize your startup’s safety and make you a poor target for any potential scammers.
1. Fortify Your Cyber Environment
With almost all crucial data and transaction information being stored online, it’s vital to put robust systems into place in order to stop anyone wanting to access it from outside. Even though the best protection is simply using common sense, an antivirus/firewall software will help minimize the damage and detect any breach early on. Exposed Internet connections are an open invitation to anyone wanting to intercept the data via a method known as network eavesdropping.
Fortunately, there are dozens of different antivirus/firewall products out there. Which one you’ll choose depends on the size of your startup. However, if you’re looking for an all-in-one package, be ready to pay up to a couple of hundreds of dollars per PC, per year.
2. Be Smart With Bank Accounts
As the head of a startup, you’ll have to deal with A LOT of finances, transactions, expenses, and other similar events early on. In order to separate business-related things from personal life, many company owners create separate accounts. It prevents hackers from getting full control over your life in the worst-case scenario that one of them gets compromised. Also, this makes it much easier to monitor since you won’t have to figure out which transaction is related only to you and which one is for the startup.
As an added measure, use online banking as much as possible. The more paperwork there is lying around, the bigger the chances are that it’ll fall into wrong hands.
3. Have An Insurance
Even when you’re taking all necessary precautions to prevent becoming a victim of fraud, accidents can still happen. In this case, the only thing that can save you is proper insurance. There are many different types – some of which are required by the state government, while the others are optional. Keep in mind that many of them won’t reimburse you in case of cybercrime, which is why it’s important to read the insurance policy thoroughly. The best way to find insurance is by talking to other, more experienced people in your industry.
Another smart move is to seek out insurance from your bank that protects you in case your business account is jeopardized. This differs from bank to bank, so you might have to do additional research.
4. Pay Attention To Employees
Alongside having all the necessary qualifications, your future employees have to be trustworthy. There’s no point in having a knowledgeable worker who you have to monitor at all times. To avoid this, your employees should undergo a background check which can be done by certain specialized companies for a price. You don’t have to do this for everyone, but if it’s for a position that’s going to be handling a lot of cash, it’s more than worth the price.
Once they’ve passed it, you have to provide them with an adequate education. Teach them about safety practices, give them guidelines until they’re comfortable, and offer constant improvement through training sessions.
5. Keep Physical Data Safe
In an attempt to maximize online safety, many neglect the physical copies that are as compromising as their digital counterparts. While they’re slowly going out of fashion, hard copies are still necessary for many different reasons. To name a few, hard copies can withstand the test of time much better. On the other hand, online storage methods change every few years as new technologies arrive. Also, physical documents are sometimes needed for authenticity, especially if the business signs a lot of contracts.
No matter how much you try to get rid of them, you’ll have at least some hard copies, and you should keep them as safe as possible.
6. Protect Your Identity with Spokeo Protect
Identity theft can be devastating – it can drain your bank account, destroy your social life, take a toll on your health, and much more. Identity protection suites such as Spokeo Protect could minimize the chances of this extremely dangerous fraud.
Spyware, keyloggers, and other malicious software can steal your personal information without you even noticing until it’s too late. Spokeo Protect safeguards your credit, financial accounts, Social Security Number, medical insurance, and a lot of other important data. This way, you’ll have peace of mind and you’ll be able to put your full focus into improving your startup.
This article is sponsored by Spokeo.