Defending Against Hacks and ID Theft

We have all heard a lot about hacks, identity theft and other risks to one’s privacy related to online exposure for quite a while now, but the situation has not gotten any better. The damage can be astounding. And the danger applies to corporations as well as individuals.

Recently, our LinkedIn account was hacked, and our connections received a message that appeared to be from us, but with a link that when opened caused damaged to the recipients’ systems. Thousands of such fake messages were sent out under our name. Separately, our credit card was charged for expenses we did not incur, from counties we hadn’t visited. Fortunately, we discovered each issue early, and were able to resolve them, with varying degrees of effort and cost.

So what does this mean to you and your company and how can you avoid the problems stemming from such events? Vigilance.

Fraudulent credit card charges, if not disputed by you, will be paid by you. This is sometimes difficult particularly with poorly documented or non-descript expenses. So if there are accounts being billed directly to the company, be sure to have someone who monitors their activity. And be sure to review your processes to ensure you are only paying for your actual purchases.

Impersonators on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. may be trolling you or your company, and this is more difficult to spot and eliminate. Once a fake persona gets circulated, it is like trying to unring a bell. Password protection and having double security locks helps, but this is far from foolproof and even with encryption and high-level security, this may not always work. Even the Defense Department and other top government agencies have been penetrated. But they still beat doing nothing.

It is said that constant vigilance is the price of democracy, and constant vigilance on your accounts are critical to the security of your business.

Michael Neidle

Michael Neidle
Michael Neidle is president and CEO of Optimal Management, an advisor to staffing firm owners and managers.

Michael Neidle

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