As a startup, the way you deal with your finances can determine whether you’re successful or a bust. Because of this, you have to pay special attention not to become a victim of financial fraud. Fortunately, the following six tips represent some of the easiest yet most effective ways to stay safe while improving and building your startup.
1. Train Your Employees
Raising awareness among your employees regarding cybersecurity is a foundation to a secure workplace. They have to be as knowledgeable as you about it, and they should all follow the necessary safety precautions while doing their jobs. These precautions differ from company to company and are largely dependent on what branch your startup does business in. So it’s extremely important to familiarize them with the most common schemes that scammers use, such as email phishing, fake phone calls, and identity theft.
Additionally, before employing anyone, make sure you’ve done a thorough background check. Scammers might try to gain access to your company through roles that have a lax screening process.
2. Review Your Books Regularly
A “good” thing about fraud insurance is that it’s easily detectable if you keep an eye on details. Payroll records, invoices, and other documents should be reviewed on a regular basis. Access to financial documents should have only those who you trust the most, and whose position in the company requires it. Keep them in a safe spot, keep the original copies, and don’t delay an investigation if you suspect fraud.
Another good idea is to have a third party do an unannounced audit. These outside accountants might be able to recognize red flags that you couldn’t. While it’s going to cost you an additional amount, it’s much better than having to repair the damage in the long run.
3. Set Up A Security System
No matter how much effort you put into training and raising awareness, accidents can still happen. Computers and online systems are most vulnerable when it comes to financial fraud. Your employees probably enter confidential information on a daily basis, and it only takes scammers one single entry to gain access to all of it. This is why it’s important to have a robust cybersecurity system in place, one that will be able to protect your data in case it all goes wrong.
The best way to implement this is through a combination of premium anti-virus software and a strong firewall. The former will prevent malicious programs from running directly on the company’s computers, while the latter filters out network traffic and blocks out anything suspicious. While it can never be 100% secure, it’s much better than relying only on your employees’ intuition.
4. Get Rid Of Physical Trash
While it’s crucial to pay attention to online safety, it shouldn’t come at a cost of physical safety. Paper documents can cause you as much trouble as their digital counterparts, especially if they fall into the wrong hands. Company-related documents can have a whole lot of compromising information that you might not even realize can be abused. The best practice is to never leave anything to chance – if you don’t need it anymore, put it into the paper shredder.
Likewise, if the document is still in use, keep it stored in a restricted access area. It’s very easy to do, and it can save you a lot of headaches.
5. Have Fraud Insurance In Place
Before choosing an insurance company, you have to make sure that they’ll reimburse you properly in the worst-case scenario. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; for example, does it cover ransom payments or any legal consultations? Keep in mind that you’ll probably be able to customize the insurance policy for your particular business. If you’re not satisfied with what they’re offering, try to consult other insurance companies.
6. Protect Your Personal Data
While the previous entries have all focused on protecting the business as a whole, this last one is for your personal safety. Financial frauds often target CEOs of companies in an attempt to bankrupt them and cause as much damage as possible. If that happens, then no security system or precaution will be able to reverse the damage.
Fortunately, services like Spokeo Protect are available to prevent such an occurrence. By implementing such a service in your daily business life, you’ll be able to safeguard your credit, financial accounts, SSN, medical insurance, and much more. With these set-and-forget systems, you won’t even notice they are there — but they will protect you when the time comes.
About the Author: Maguire Haigh is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies and business development. He also enjoys traveling, exploring the world and meeting new people. Maguire is experienced in creating and editing articles on many different topics.
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