Many employers in Atlanta are intending to make remote working the “new normal.” After all, many firms have already invested in the infrastructure necessary to let people work from home — and consequently, they want to use it. But that carries with it some additional risks. Let’s take a look at the technological risks that work-from-home employees engender.
We’ve all heard horror stories of businesses getting hacked and customers getting their personal information stolen. Chances are you’ve also heard the story of the Google Docs phishing scam that tricked people into allowing hackers access to their accounts and contacts. Online scams and hacks don’t just affect personal email accounts – businesses are susceptible, too. One online scam you need to be aware of is called phishing.
No, it has nothing to do with fish. But you’ll see the reason for the name in a moment.
Anyways, we’ll explain what phishing is and how to keep your business safe from it.
What is phishing?
Phishing is pretty diabolical. A hacker pretends that they’re a reputable entity, such as your bank, and tricks people into giving up their personal information (passwords, credit card numbers, Social Security Number, or business information.) They try to get you to give them access to things they shouldn’t have access to. There’s even a type of phishing called spear phishing in which the hacker specifically targets their victim by impersonating someone they know.
Anyways, if your business gets caught up in a phishing scam, the results could be disastrous. If one of your employees gets phished, the hacker could grab your business financial information, customer personal information, or sensitive business documents. A breach could mean lost business, a tarnished reputation, lost income, and legal nightmares. Even more unnerving is that the breach could go unnoticed, meaning that the damage carries on.
But enough doom and gloom. The good news is that there are ways to prevent phishing.
How to prevent being phished.
1. Talk to your employees about email security.
It’s important that everyone knows not to send personal or financial information using email. You don’t want someone to respond to a fake email with sensitive information. Besides, emails can be hacked.
2. Raise your eyebrows at “urgent” emails requesting personal information.
Remember what we said about spear phishing. Even if you “know” the person who sent you the email, don’t send your business or personal information to them. Their account may have been hacked or someone could be pretending to be them. Give the person a call if they absolutely need personal information…and if they act really confused, break the news gently that they may have been hacked.
3. Monitor your business’s bank statements and finances.
Keep tabs on your financial information and bank statements and look out for anything unusual. It’s best to catch problems early and get in touch with the bank ASAP if something doesn’t seem right.
4. Don’t let your cybersecurity get lax.
Be sure to keep your firewalls and anti-virus software current. New threats appear all the time, and hackers are pros at using the weaknesses in security to muscle their way in. Keep your cybersecurity updated.
5. Caution your employees about social media.
Hackers know how to use social media, too. Unfortunately, they oftentimes use it to gather intel so that they can raise their chances of successfully tailoring their attack to their victim. Social media has its good points, but it’s crucial to be careful while using it.
6. If there’s a link, don’t click.
If you get an email that seems suspicious, don’t click on any links or attachments that might be included, especially if you don’t recognize the source. When in doubt, don’t click. Delete the email and clear you Junk folder – don’t let that thing sit around on your computer. The same goes for any spam message you receive.
7. Tell your employees how to recognize secure sites.
If you ever have to send sensitive information online, make sure that the website is secure. You’ll see https:// in the URL. You can also verify the security certificate by clicking on the lock icon.
8. Go with your gut.
When an email makes you feel skeptical, it’s probably not legitimate. Follow your instincts. Don’t mess with anything that gives you weird vibes.
So, that’s the basics of phishing and how to prevent your business from falling prey to it. Don’t let your business be a victim of a phishing attack that could hurt you.
If you want to save money on your business insurance, we would be happy to help with that. We can help you shop for the best insurance at the best rate, and we’ll take the time to understand your business and the risks you face so that we can help you create a customized insurance plan. All you have to do to get started with business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.
Sometimes people really want things that don’t belong to them, and your business faces numerous types of theft. There are various threats out there, but by being aware of them and taking steps to lower your risk you can protect your business from theft. We’ll go over four types of crime that businesses face and offer tips to help you prevent them.
Protect your business from burglary:
Burglars are extremely crafty, which means that you need to be craftier to foil their efforts. Protecting your business from burglary takes some planning, but it’s important to do – burglary can be disastrous for business. To keep unwanted thieves out of your building, check out the following tips.
- Make sure you have plenty of interior and exterior lighting, especially around any entrances.
- Keep your trees and bushes trimmed. By doing so, you eliminate hiding places for any would-be burglars.
- Have a monitored alarm system installed, along with security cameras. A commercial security system can be a deterrent to thieves.
- Secure your windows with shatter-proof glass and strong window locks.
- Have strong doors installed, preferably ones made of steel.
- Get a fence around the perimeter of your business.
- Have a safe for valuables. The safe should be hidden and secured to the ground.
Protect your business from robbery:
The concept of robbery is terrifying. It’s something that every business owner hopes fervently won’t happen to their business and their employees. To try to keep everyone – employees and customers both – safe in the event of a robbery, try the following tips:
- Spend time training your employees about robbery and what to do if the business is ever robbed. Stress that their lives are the important thing, not the money.
- Get in touch with your local police department for help with creating a training plan. They will most likely have some good advice for you and can give suggestions for training and robbery prevention.
- Don’t keep large amounts of cash in the register. You can post signs that state clearly that the register is emptied regularly to discourage robbers.
- Have a safe that’s hidden.
Protect your business from employee theft:
Unfortunately, employee theft is more common than we might like to think. Even small businesses are at-risk for employee theft – it’s not just large corporations. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the possibility and protect your business from employee theft. Try the following tips:
- Have video cameras installed.
- Keep an eye on your finances and bookkeeping.
- Do inventory frequently.
- Create a return and void procedure.
- Foster positive relationships with your employees and encourage a happy, pleasant workplace atmosphere.
Protect your business from cybercrime and identity theft:
Data breaches and cyber risks are becoming more and more serious for businesses. If a hacker steals the personal identifying information of your clients, your business could be in big trouble. Check out the following tips to prevent a data breach and reduce your business’s cyber risks:
- Have a firewall on your computers to repel unwanted visitors.
- Get anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
- Educate your employees about cybersecurity.
- Make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure.
- Protect computers with strong passwords.
- Consider getting cyber liability insurance.
Burglary, robbery, employee theft, and identity theft are very real possibilities for businesses. We hope that you never have to deal with any of these devastating losses, but nonetheless, it’s important for you to be prepared and to take steps to protect your business from these various forms of theft.
Another way to protect your business is with business insurance. It’s important to have enough insurance to fully protect your business from all of your risks, and our team of commercial insurance agents can help you identify your risks and get the coverage you need to protect your company from them. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our quick online form or give us a call today.
Technology is everywhere, and small businesses aren’t immune from its far-reaching effects. Businesses are relying on computers and storing more data (including customer information) online, so the risk associated with technology has gone up. Hackers can break into a computer system and cause a business to come to a screeching halt through a data breach, a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack that locks employees and customers out of your website, and cyber extortion (where a hacker takes your computer files hostage electronically and demands ransom.) Commercial general liability insurance will most likely not help you if you have a cyber issue, but cyber liability insurance was designed for the purpose of covering technology-based risks. Let’s explain how cyber liability insurance can protect your business.
What is cyber liability insurance?
To put it in a nutshell, cyber insurance can cover technology-related risks that other types of business insurance don’t. There are quite a few damaging losses related to computers and technology that could befall your business – more than “quite a few” to tell the truth. Like we said, cyber insurance is specifically tailored to tech-related risks your business faces. In today’s day and age, managing your business’s cyber liability risks has become increasingly important.
Okay – before we go any further we have to say one thing: you really need to know what your particular policy would cover and what it would not. Ask questions, read it carefully, and understand what sort of losses are covered.
What does cyber insurance generally cover?
Your computers are surprisingly fragile. They’re not as secure and impenetrable as they seem, which is why cyber insurance can help you out of the following pickles:
Cyber can help your business cover costs associated with being in temporary shutdown mode due to a hostile hacker or another cyber incident. It may help cover…
- Lost income and profits you would have earned
- Operating expenses
- Costs of rented or leased equipment
If a hacker steals your customers’ personal information, you may have a nightmare on your hands. You could be responsible for notifying the affected customers, which isn’t inexpensive (not to mention that they’re probably not going to be too happy about the situation.) Then there are the costs of possibly offering identity theft monitoring to those impacted and the potential for legal action. Cyber liability insurance can help you with those expenses.
Third-party system damage:
What if one of your employees unintentionally sends an email or file that’s infected with a virus to a customer or vendor and crashes their system? You could be on the hook, and you could owe them damages as your legal responsibility. But cyber could help you.
It sounds almost too out-there to be true, but cyber extortion happens – and it’s fast becoming a favorite of cybercriminals. Cyber extortion is when a hacker takes over your computer system and essentially takes your files hostage, either by encrypting them or blocking your access to the computer. They’ll demand payment to return your files. Talk about taking the direct approach. Anyways, cyber extortion is not only exceedingly rude, it can lead to a host of expenses for your business. Those include loss of revenue and rebuilding if the hacker messed with the files or website before you got them back. But cyber liability could swoop in and save the day.
It would be wonderful if our computers were as invincible as we wish they were, but the reality is that hackers are experts at finding weak spots in their defenses. From there, they attack ruthlessly. Before you know it, you have a cyber catastrophe on your hands – a catastrophe that may not be covered under your other business insurance policies. When considering what kind of insurance your business needs, you may want to consider cyber liability if your business relies on computers to store or transmit data and information.
Your Atlanta Insurance agent can help you find the cyber insurance and business insurance you need to protect your business. Every business needs a unique insurance plan, and we can help you create one that’s customized for you. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.