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Fraud affects 1 in 4 small businesses every single year. Last year, losses to SME’s through fraudulent activity totalled over £18.9 billion, and yet many businesses still adopt the mentality of ‘it won’t happen to me.’ Let’s be clear – fraud can happen to any type of business at any time, for any number of reasons, and no business is too small to be targeted. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help secure your small business and protect against fraud this year.


Protect Your Bank Accounts 

This is the one area every single business in the UK has in common, so this one goes right at the top of the list. The first step to securing your business bank accounts is to separate them from your personal accounts. This means that if hackers do manage to find their way in, they aren’t going to get ALL of your money. For some people this may mean having your accounts with 2 separate banks, which can be an inconvenience at times, but is worth the added security in the long run.

The second stage to securing your bank account is to ensure you aren’t giving out your own card or card details to employees, especially if you don’t have a familiar and trusting relationship with them. Instead, switch to online bill paying or automated payments for handling money, and ensure you are checking your bank account online daily for suspicious activity. Lastly, if you receive notifications and statements from the bank, ensure they are properly disposed of. Contract with a secure office shredding company to ensure your sensitive information is destroyed securely and won’t end up in the wrong hands.


Educate Your Employees 

Your employees are arguably one of your biggest points of vulnerability, but they are also your first line of defence when it comes to fraud. Make sure you are holding regular meetings or training sessions around how they can help you to prevent fraud. Teach your employees about basic security threats both on and offline and what preventative measures they should be taking. Support this training by implementing policies that guide your employees on the proper use of handling company confidential information, safe computer use and restrictions on carrying cash and stock if your business deals in it.


Instate A Password Policy

One of the easiest steps you can take to secure your business against fraud is to instate a password policy for all employees. One of the first things many hackers try is to gain access via guessing employee passwords. If your employees don’t have robust passwords this can be very easy for them. Educate each of your employees about creating secure passwords and set out rules that ensure passwords are complex. They should contain one upper case letter, one number and be a minimum of 8 characters long in order to be secure.  Make sure you and your employees also change their passwords regularly, ideally every 60 to 90 days to throw off any hackers attempting to access your systems.


Consider Insurance

As we have discovered, fraud and cybercrime does happen, even though we hope it won’t. As well as employing preventative measures like the ones above, it is also worth purchasing an insurance policy. This will allow you to cover any damages and losses that incur if your business does fall victim to fraud. It’s also worth talking to your bank managers and credit card providers to see what their policies and procedures are if you believe your business has been compromised.


It’s important to remember that fraud is often a combination of off and online efforts. Not only can fraudsters gain access by digital means, but they can also resort to more traditional methods – like rooting through your rubbish for discarded confidential information. To keep your business secure you need to think from all angles, which can sometimes be difficult from the inside. For more information or advice on protecting your business from fraud, get in touch today for your free consultation.