Why Business Owners Are Tightening the Rules for Online Shopping at Work

Christmas Crackdown: Why Business Owners Are Tightening the Rules for Online Shopping at Work 

It’s alarming to know that nearly half of social media users have fallen victim to shopping scams.  

It may seem like a good idea to avoid the shops at this time of year. If your employees are doing some last-minute Christmas shopping at work, it’s important to ensure that your business is protected. Online shopping scams are on the rise, especially this time of year. With the damages for business owners being so high, it’s not a risk you want to be taking. 

The Dangers of Online Shopping at Work 

Unfortunately, new research shows that 47% of people click on dangerous links. They think they’re getting a great deal, but instead, give up financial & personal details to cyber criminals. I know it’s the season of giving, but let’ s not get too carried away.  

Your employees don’t only risk giving up their personal information, but risk your device and potentially exposing your company’s entire network to criminals.  

It’s not just shopping scams employees need to look out for. Phishing scams also manage to trick 36% of people into revealing personal data. Phishing scams are where you get an email that seems to be from someone or somewhere you trust, but it’s not. 

Remember that account you never made, emailing and asking you to update your payment details? You probably don’t remember it because good chance you never actually made the account. It’s just a scam.  

The same 36% have also fallen for gift card scams. Where criminals gain the trust of victims and try to persuade them to buy gift cards or online vouchers. Not in the Christmas spirit at all. 

See, with all the benefits online Christmas shopping can bring, there are a lot of nasties you and your staff need to be aware of.  Especially this time of year. 

The Damage It Can Bring to Your Company 

Let’s talk about what kind of damage you can expect, and it’s not pretty. If employees do happen to click on malicious links or download an infected file, the results for your business can be devastating.  

Cyber attacks are now so harmful that the risk goes beyond the loss of data and reputation. Once victim to attack, criminals can force you to cease your business operations altogether. The cost of downtime has proven to be enough to put people out of business for good. An astounding 60% of SMEs that fall victim to cyber attacks go out of business after the first 6 months. 

Yeah, not the kind of Christmas present you’d want, so let’s talk about how we can avoid this happening at your company. 

How You Can Lower the Risk Today  

Here are some ways to help you protect your employees, and more importantly your business this holiday season. 

While technical protections such as firewalls, antivirus, and strong password management are important, the focus needs to be on training your team. It should be known that the most effective defence is a team that can recognise a threat when they see one. Investing in your team’s training and education will help them stay vigilant and protect your organisation against potential attacks. 

Make sure your staff are aware of the latest scams and know what warning signs to look out for. At a minimum make sure all staff are  

  • Check website links are genuine 
  • Making sure websites are the real deal  
  • Being suspicious of offers that look too good to be true 

It is also important to have a plan in place that can be implemented as soon as a security breach is detected. All staff should know how to report incidents immediately and who to notify. The faster your team can respond, the more damage you can prevent and the associated costs that follow. In some cases, it may be possible to stop the breach before it negatively impacts your business altogether. By being prepared and having a clear plan of action, you can minimise the risks and protect your organisation. 

If you’re after the quickest way to make sure your team is keeping an eye out for scams, send a quick email reminder. Take the points from this article and forward them to your staff. Even better, forward the entire article! The best thing you can do is make them aware. 

There you have it, some easy ways to protect your business from online shopping scams. We hope you’ve been able to take something away or give you something to think about. 

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