Fraud Prevention Month marks its 10th anniversary in March. The Competition Bureau, along with 125 law enforcement agencies and other private and public organizations, hold a variety of events throughout the month to inform and protect the public against fraud. As part of a series on fraud protection, CashTech Currency will write about various ways that businesses and organizations can protect themselves. This week’s focus is on modern fraud prevention measures.
Three billion. Let that number percolate for a minute. That’s the total dollar value cybercrime cost Canadians in 2013, according to the 2013 Norton Report. It also helps underscore the importance of protecting yourself against fraud. But too often, people and businesses don’t take the necessary measures to protect themselves. Documents containing any type of confidential data or pertinent information about yourself, your family or even your business (such as banking forms, medical bills and credit card statements) are exactly what these cyber criminals and identity thieves hunt for when targeting their next victims.
Fortunately, you can take several relatively easy steps to protect you and your assets.
Shred Confidential Documents Regularly
One of the most common and most effective ways of discarding confidential paperwork and files is by shredding your documents. According to the National Association for Information Destruction, many companies rely on shredding services to get rid of vital documents instead of handling the matter themselves. Subcontracting shredding can be risky, however, especially if you are not familiar with the history and background of the company. Passing the responsibility onto another party puts you at security risk, which shouldn’t occur when the risk is avoidable. Therefore, it is highly recommended to handle your own shredding directly, whether you are shredding personal documents within your home or professional documents in your office. Investing in a high-quality shredder that is built to last and provide quality work time after time is a wise decision.
Create and Use ID Badges for Authentication Purposes
ID badges can also help provide a lawyer of security and protection. With the increased prevalence of identity theft around the world, failing to develop photo ID badges and requiring each employee to wear them will leave your business openly exposed and vulnerable to this major threat. However, as is the case with document shredding, you should consider developing your ID badges in-house.
Use Cheque Imaging Solutions to Detect Fraud
To say that cheque fraud is a serious problem is a major understatement. Studies have confirmed that credit card and cheque fraud are the two most common types of fraud reported by the average business. One report shows that close to 90 percent of organizations that were affected by payment fraud in 2013 reported cheques as being the primary target. The same study showed that the average loss was well over $20,000, according to Stop Check Fraud.
Refusing to accept cheques from your customers would cause you to lose a considerable amount of business, but this extreme measure is not required in order to effectively protect your business from counterfeit checks. As a more feasible alternative, consider investing in cheque imaging solutions instead. Doing so will prevent you from having to use microfilm units to examine tenders and other documents carefully for potential discrepancies and flaws. You will also be able to provide quality service to your customers in a fraction of the time without having to worry about struggling with counterfeit payments long after they have already been accepted.