Don’t let cybercrime target your salon, says Hilary Hall, chief executive of the NHF.
A recent NHF survey found that over half of NHF Members surveyed (56%) had been targeted by cybercrime. The vast majority of those had suffered financial loss and only 17% had their losses covered by their bank. “In addition,” says Hilary, “the National Cyber Security Centre has found that almost half (44%) of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK have been targeted by cyber-fraudsters, typically costing them many thousands of pounds.”
Protect your business
It’s vital to take cybercrime seriously – otherwise salons risk serious financial and reputational damage, says Hilary. “Salons hold information that is extremely valuable to cybercriminals, including banking and financial information, as well as staff and client data.” In addition, new data protection laws under GDPR impose strict rules about keeping data secure, explains Hilary. Find out more about GDPR: www.nhf.info/gdpready.
“You can take some simple but vital steps to deter cybercriminals,” says Hilary. “The National Cyber Security Centre recommends backing up your data on a regular basis, making sure your firewall is switched on and using anti-virus software. And always obey prompts to instal anti-virus updates.”
The importance of passwords
All devices, including mobile ones, should be password, PIN, or fingerprint-protected, says Hilary. “Take care with mobile devices. You should be able to lock or track them if they are stolen. Don’t use old mobile devices that no longer get automatic updates, and always avoid Wi-Fi hotspots when working with personal data.”
Fend off phishing
Phishing attacks are fake emails that ask for banking details and include links to scam websites. “Always look out for signs of fake emails such as poor spelling, poorly reproduced logos and suspicious email addresses,” says Hilary. “Change passwords and do a virus check if you think a phishing attack has taken place.”
“Make sure your staff are aware of the cybercrime threat and the procedures they need to follow,” says Hilary. “But don’t be too hard on them if they get caught out by a cyber scam as this may discourage staff from reporting security concerns to you.”
The NHF offers a range of business support services for salons, from legal, employment and financial guidance to expert advice for managing people and boosting your business: www.nhf.info