Avoid Hacks and Scams With New FTC Website For Small Businesses

Jul 12, 2017 | Uncategorized

As a business owner, you put a lot of energy into making your business succeed. You can’t afford to get thrown off-track by a hacker or scammer. Any amount of money lost to a scam is too much. And a hack that causes systems to shut down for even a few hours can have a disastrous impact on your business.

Unfortunately, it happens—scammers target small businesses and look for opportunities to hack computer systems and steal data. When scammers and hackers attack businesses, it hurts not only the business’s reputation and bottom line, but also the integrity of the marketplace. That’s why Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen directed the agency to create FTC.gov/SmallBusiness, a new website that helps you and your employees avoid scams, protect your business’s computers and networks and keep your customers’ and employees’ data safe.

At FTC.gov/SmallBusiness you’ll find:

  • Tips on how to avoid scams that target businesses
  • Advice to help you protect sensitive data
  • Videos that show what you can do to secure your business’s networks

The FTC knows that scammers target businesses because it has stopped many of those schemes. You can read about the FTC’s law enforcement actions to protect small businesses from scams at FTC.gov/SmallBusiness. You can also learn about scammers’ tactics, which will help you and your employees avoid falling for their gimmicks. For example, scammers may send your business a fake invoice to confuse your employees and get them to pay for supplies that no one ordered. Or they may call your business on behalf of a fake charity. The FTC publication Small Business Scams, available at FTC.gov/SmallBusiness, has information on these and other scams that target unsuspecting businesses. Report scams to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Your report can help law enforcement stop the scheme.

Scammers may also try to trick you or your employees into giving them access to your business’s network, or downloading malware that can corrupt your business’s computers. The FTC’s newest article, Small Business Computer Security Basics, has tips to help you protect your company’s files and devices, train employees to think twice before sharing account information and keep your wireless network protected. You can find this article in the cybersecurity section of FTC.gov/SmallBusiness.

And if you’re worried about other cyber threats such as ransomware and phishing schemes, you’re not alone. Business owners tell us that protecting their companies from cyber threats is another challenge they face. Data breaches, for example, impose ever-increasing costs on businesses, both in terms of money and reputation. FTC.gov/SmallBusiness has plain language guidance and videos that will help you understand these threats, craft a plan to minimize your risks and know what to do if your business is the victim of a data breach. 

Protect yourself and your business. Go to FTC.gov/SmallBusiness, bookmark it and visit it often. All the articles, blogs and videos at FTC.gov/SmallBusiness are completely free of charge. You can download videos, learn and show them to others. Or you can order the publications and keep copies available for your employees. You can also subscribe to the FTC’s business blog and stay connected.

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