4 Creative Cost Reduction Tips for StartupsFraud has become a major concern for many businesses all over the world. Scammers have made millions of dollars by simply stealing information such as credit card numbers, passwords and banking details from companies. Business and consumers engaging in online transactions are especially at risk when it comes to fraud and identity theft. It’s so important for businesses to take measures to lower their chances of falling victim to scammers. Business fraud prevention doesn’t have to be huge, scary ordeal.

Here’s how to protect your business from fraud in 6 easy steps:

1. Use strong passwords

According to business lawyer Nick Wooldridge, using strong passwords will make you less vulnerable to fraud. Avoid using easily guessable phrases such as ‘password’, ‘admin’ or ‘12345’ as passwords. In addition, don’t use names of geographical locations, pets or family members. Instead, use passwords that comprise numbers, letters (both lower and upper case) and symbols. Finally, remember to use different passwords for all your online accounts.

2. Beware of phishing

Be wary of emails that are purportedly from credit card companies or payment sites requiring you to give some personal information. Fraudsters can slyly disguise emails to make them look like they were sent from a legitimate company. If you suspect any suspicious activity, call the company using the telephone contacts provided on their official site.

3. Shred everything

Many businesses have been victims of fraud due to careless disposal of important documents. To protect yourself, be sure to shred all your old checks, utility bills, ATM receipts and credit card statements before throwing them away. If possible, get a cross-cutting shredder which decimates your document into tiny pieces, making it impossible to piece back together.

4. Destroy digital data

Many businesses store information in computer hard drives, flash disks, CDs or DVDs. When you decide to get rid of such information, you must ensure that it is totally and completely destroyed. Simply formatting your hard drive or deleting your files is not enough. Many fraudsters use sophisticated software that can easily retrieve data from formatted drives. To be sure that your data is utterly destroyed, you should use something like ShredXP. CDs and DVDs should be broken into pieces before being thrown away.

5. Check your statements frequently

At least once a month, take the time to check your credit card and bank statements. Peruse every entry on the statement and check if it corresponds with your records. If you detect any suspicious activity, be sure to report it to your bank right away. In addition, if your statement does not arrive in time, notify your bank immediately. It’s possible to steal your statement while in transit and use it for fraudulent activities.

6. Educate your employees

Every company should have a policy for the prevention of fraud and theft. Taking the time to educate all your staff on this policy will help lower the risk of your business falling victim to fraudsters. Hold safety meetings to discuss any potential security issues arising. And on an internal level, be sure to carry out a thorough background check before hiring new employees.

Charles Mburugu is a web content writer who has a passion for topics such as internet marketing and UGC moderation.