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Beware of Cyber Criminals Near and Far

When we read about Sony, Target and Home Depot getting hacked, we feel safe in our small business, “who’d want to hack us” little world. But the reality is that at least three of our local clients have been “hacked” recently, malware placed on their computers to allow someone from far away to access everything they could from their software.

One example of a “far away” place: Ramnicu Valcea, a tiny town outside of Bucharest, Romania. Here’s a snippet from an article in “Wired” magazine about the city, which has become known as “Hackerville.”

“According to authorities, these [cyber hacking] schemes have brought tens of millions of dollars per year into the area over the past decade, fueling the development of new apartment buildings, nightclubs, and shopping centers. Ramnicu Valcea is a town whose business is cybercrime, and business is booming. In a four block area of the town square, over 20 Western Union signs hang advertising their service as the scammers bring in millions of dollars of wired money from victims all over the world.”

While Payday Payroll has caught, on our end, every attempt at payroll fraud and prevented any losses, the identity theft costs our clients thousands not to mention any damage to the reputation of their businesses.

Within 24 hours of malware being inserted onto your computers, hackers are filing tax returns under your employee’s names and social security numbers. They are sending ACH debits to your bank and theirs. They are setting up credit cards with their identification and possibly your customers, depending on what type of information you gather.

If you think you are too small or too under the radar-low profile to not attract the interest of hackers, you are wrong. If you do not have a computer security expert in your contacts, you are flirting with danger.

If you don’t receive text or email alerts from every one of your credit card expenditures, someone will charge something on your card. They don’t need it in their hands.

You all knew ultimately as we moved from a paper to electronic world that this was inevitable. Please don’t be a victim. If you need a recommendation or advice, ask me.

We are THE local payroll company.  You are our reason for being.

Andy Kline is the founder and CEO of Payday Payroll.