Does Your Contracting Business Security Extend Beyond the Job site?

You’d never leave the warehouse or jobsite without confirming that the door was locked and security activated. Are you as careful with your electronic devices? Scammers are getting better at finding the weaknesses in people’s workflow, and they may be coming for your contracting business. Officials say that businesses are often the biggest targets for cyberattacks, and that they can seem more real and innocent than you think. Here’s what to watch out for, and a few ways you can protect yourself.

Remember: It’s Easy to Get Scammed
Practically everyone has received an email from a prince offering millions of dollars to anyone willing to give sensitive bank account information. While most people know not to fall for something like this, most modern scams are much less obvious. Scammers look for weaknesses in the system and figure out the most effective ways to exploit them. They’ve spent years getting better at it. This means that when you get an email from a contractor you know asking for your routing number for a wire transfer, it might look entirely legit. As a general rule, you want to assume that many communications like this can be faulty.

Lock Down Your Passwords
If you’re not changing your passwords regularly, or if you’re using the defaults on the devices you buy, you’re putting yourself at risk. You hear about hackers using conventional passwords on smart home technology to break through a home’s security. This is just as easy to do for your security cameras on the jobsite. Good passwords should be:

  • long, at least eight and preferably 12 characters
  • a combination of numbers, letters and symbols
  • different between accounts
  • difficult for anyone to guess

Strong passwords are hard to remember. If you’re constantly forgetting them, or choosing easy ones so you don’t, it’s time to get a password manager.

Never Share Confidential Information Over Phone or Email
People expect scams to look over-the-top fake because they assume scammers are sending it to hundreds of thousands of people. At the business level, identity thieves only need to get one hit to get a huge payout. This encourages them to make it as personal and realistic as possible, knowing that you’ll be more likely to take the bait if there’s a real person on the other end. Just like you wouldn’t believe someone making a prank phone call, you should treat all unexpected communications with suspicion. That texter can’t fix your student loans, your bank would never email you to ask for your password, and the IRS doesn’t make phone calls.

Use Multiple Means of Verification
Phishing scams, where the person uses some correct information about you to try to get more, are so slick these days you might not even see it. Sure, you might think that you should log into your business bank account to make sure the email is correct, but how do you get there? Clicking on the link in the email is how they get you. Instead, find the contact information for the institution through their regular website or from an official communication like a bank statement. As an added layer of protection, use a different device to verify it. If your phone or computer is already compromised, using the same machine might still put you at risk.

Watch What You Download
When a random website asks you to download something, you may already know not to do so. What happens if you get an email from someone on your team asking you to review documents in a ZIP file? This is where being a little more suspicious comes in handy. Scammers hide ransomware and malware in certain types of files that seem reasonable and related to your business. If you download them, they’ll often create hours or days of trouble for you. When you’re not expecting the files, don’t click on them. And if you are, install anti-virus software to help identify problems.

Keeping your business secure is getting harder and harder, especially in the construction field. By taking this advice, you can protect your information and your money. To discover the benefits of a career in construction, visit CSLS today!

 

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Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit www.MakeMeAContractor.com and tuned for more informative posts.