The internet has created a new world of business opportunities — but also new risks. A hacker can cost your business in money and reputation. Here’s how you can avoid being a victim.
Look hard at your IT systems, eg email, customer data and accounting. Ask if you’re making it easy for an unauthorised person — a hacker — to gain access.
It’s easier to find and solve problems if you check your systems regularly. Steps you can take include:
It’s vital to install security software to protect your computer from viruses and other malicious programs.
Software providers release regular updates to guard against the latest hacks and bugs. They’re easy to ignore or put off, but it’s time well spent to keep your systems safe.
Studies show 8/10 New Zealanders have had a cyber attack, eg email hack, computer virus or misuse of credit card details. Here are some of the main scams and tips on foiling them.
Hackers intercept business emails and send false invoices to clients asking for payment to be made to their own bank account.
This malware — software designed to harm other software — stops systems and computers working until a password is entered. You’ll get a ransom demanding payment, usually to an overseas account, in return for a password. Ransomware also infects smartphones, often through apps downloaded via social media.
Scammers use emails and texts to get you to reveal PIN numbers and passwords for things like banking, Inland Revenue and social media — and to send false invoices.
Someone calls you out of the blue, saying your computer has a virus or you need to upgrade software. They tell you to download software that will help and to buy their service to keep your machine safe. But there’s no virus or service, and the software hacks into your computer.
Hackers will get access to ALL your information in one hit. And don’t use P-A-S-S-W-O-R-D or other easily guessed passwords.
This involves sending fake invoices to trick businesses into joining online directories or renewing intellectual property registrations. If you pay the first invoice, you’ll be invoiced for the fake listing until you spot the error.
Staff fraud is rare, but there are warning signs to watch for, including situations when an employee:
If you get an email you suspect is not from a reliable source, a little investigation can put your mind at rest.