Business fundamentals

Keep your business safe over the holidays

3 min read


As things get busier, so do criminals. Increases in physical and online sales present an opportunity for them to entice us to provide personal and financial information. Here are five quick tips on how to keep yourself and your business safe during the holidays.

Verify changes in supplier details

Invoice fraud has proven to be a significant threat to businesses throughout 2017 and is expected to rise during busy periods like the holidays. Criminals compromise email accounts, look for invoices and change account numbers to steal payments. Verify any account number changes with your suppliers, using a known phone number or process. Avoid using phone numbers listed in emails that are sent requesting change, as they may be false.

Who's really sending you emails?

Phishing attempts and malware attacks tend to increase as the holidays approach. Watch out for emails infected with malicious software such as ransomware, which is designed to lock the files on your computers and only allow you to regain access after you have paid a ransom. Phishing emails are designed to make you click on a link and enter personal or financial information, such as credit card data. Report them to the organisation they are imitating and then delete these emails.

Check your security inside and out

If you have a physical front to your business, ensure that any festive decorations aren’t blocking the cameras, and make sure that your security system is in working order. If you’re taking a break over the holidays, don’t leave deliveries in unsecured locations. Have someone available to collect the items and sign for them, or ensure you cancel these while you are closed.

Sharing on social media

Keep business and personal posts separate where possible. Check the privacy settings on your pages so that you’re only sharing information you allow, with people you know and trust. While you might want to share the exciting news that you’re off on holiday, you’re also publishing that your house may be empty while you are away.

Be aware when using public wi-fi

As tempting as it may be to use free wi-fi, it opens the door for others to potentially see what you’re doing online. Avoid using banking services, password stores and online shopping when you’re on unsecure networks.

Finally, trust your instincts. If you sense that something doesn’t look or feel quite right, just pick up the phone and check. Verifying information may take an extra couple of minutes, but it can potentially end up saving you a whole lot more. Keep yourself and your business safe over the holiday period, and for more information check out the security information on the BNZ website and take look at certnz for more information on common security threats.

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