Fraud is more rampant now than ever before, primarily online.  Security breaches occur not only to individuals but also to businesses. Billions of dollars per year are lost to fraudsters through systems they have developed to harvest information from unwitting individuals and companies. This can be through website links, text message links, and even ads on social media that, when clicked, will lead to a link that contains either malware or viruses. 

Once an individual or company inputs any data about themselves or their business into these “spoof” sites, the fraud starts immediately almost and can take the form of even phone calls purporting to be a business, a government agency, or a survey team. Computers can be frozen when clicking on spoof links, or bank accounts and credit cards hacked.  

There is even a new type of government fraud which the USA government warns about. 

A fraudster will pretend to be an agent of a government entity or agency, even the FBI, (Federal Bureau of Investigation) the IRS, (Internal Revenue Service), or even the SSA (Social Security Administration), and asks others to verify their information via the phone. The fraudster will pretend to be a deputy or agent themselves, and the best method of not falling for this is to ask for the agent’s or deputy’s ID (Identification Number) and name. All government agencies also do not make phone calls but will send letters of verification although the letters can also be fake letters. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) of the United States addresses these newest types of phony government follow-ups on their website. This usually occurs when an individual does not enter their information via the spoofed link. Fraudsters do not give up easily, and the number of security breaches not only online but via phone has increased exponentially in the past ten years. 

A security breach can be deadly for companies, as it allows the harvesting of clients’ personal information.  

Monitoring employees’ behaviour and blocking sites is only part of the solution for data breaching. 

Nuwber is a search site with a massive database of USA clients, and companies can routinely check the names, addresses, and background information of any employee in complete confidentiality. Knowing what an employee does in their spare time, their credit history, the individuals they associate with, and even knowing where they appear online and what they are saying can enlighten many companies and keep the data safer than it was without this knowledge. It can also reveal what sites employees are visiting, and if a spoof site was visited inadvertently, this might show up

Data protection is one of the most valuable assets a company can offer its clients.  

Clients share their data such as credit card information, bank account information, and their addresses, phone numbers, and emails because they trust that a company will protect their private information. A data breach will quickly lose the trust of all clients, and there are instances where large, big box stores and companies went bankrupt and out of business because they did not provide sufficient data protection and suffered significant breaches. Once a client has their personal information breached, they very seldom will trust that company again. Being breached privately by a fraudster is one thing, but for most clients being targeted by a scammer because a company did not sufficiently protect their data, remains in their minds and they tend never to do business again with that company. 

Individual data and company data should always be safe and secure, and consumers can view it as a sacred duty by any company that collects their personal information. This is not self-righteous on the consumers’ parts. Data protection SHOULD be viewed as a sacred duty and all methods to prevent breaches used.

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