In as much as crime rates have been on the rise lately in Melbourne, Australia, the U.S. Department of State has assessed Melbourne as a low-threat location for crime aimed at affecting official U.S. government interests.
However, the report is not the same for the small businesses that are operated in the city. The crime rate has seen some small businesses go out of operations, and some counting immense losses. So, what are the actual costs of crime on small businesses in Melbourne? Let us find out below.
Cost of Cybercrime on Small Businesses in Melbourne
A random TV interview on business people in Melbourne would expose the plight of shell-shocked victims of recent burglaries and muggings expected themselves to be the next victims of such. You could term that as their bad luck and even move to another channel believing such occurrences of crime wouldn’t affect you in the event you venture into a business in the city.
However, you have a reason to worry if you intend to start a small business in Melbourne. While the rate of physical crimes may still be low and staggering, the rate of cybercrime could be the thorn in your flesh when you get started. In Australia’s entire country, 60% of Australians in businesses have been victims of cybercrime, with 47% of these having been targeted in the past 12 months only.
Cybercrime, unlike the other forms of the crime you watched victims complain about on the TV interview, is affecting everyone, and when it hits, it hits your business harder. You will, therefore, need highly reliable security measures to put your business on track. This will cost you a fortune. Investing against cybercrime may even drain your business’ revenue leaving you with little to nothing to write home about.
High are the rates of cybercrime every ten minutes a business in Melbourne would report a cyber-attack. This has angered the government and has seen the government alone lose up to $30 billion every year. On the other hand, businesses lose up to $29 every year to cyber-crimes, making it very hard for small businesses to survive.
So What Should You do to Curb Cybercrime?
As a business person in Melbourne, you have to live with the fact that cyber-attacks will always come, whether you are prepared. So it is only safe that you get ready to be safe from the attacks when they occur. Here are some of the things you could do to boost your safety against cybercrime.
Have Strong Passwords
Passwords are the gateways and lock to and against visitors of your business websites, respectively. You have to choose to invest in highly secured passwords and employ second-layer authentication like SMS or fingerprints to secure your passwords. You can also get help from online business IT support if you need a perfect job done for you.
Take Precautions against Phishing
You should be able to distinguish authentic emails from non-authentic ones. Be especially wary of emails that seek your business’ bank account information, verification of documents, and personal details linked to the business. You can always contact the organization independently to confirm authenticity.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Most cyber-attacks are orchestrated via public Wi-Fi since the criminals can see what you are doing when using a public Wi-Fi for connection. As a business, you should invest in your private network for security.
Regularly Update your Software
Every time you get a prompt to update your software on your computers or phone apps, you should do it fast, as this helps you protect your information and identity.
Cost of other Forms of Crime on Businesses in Melbourne
While Cybercrime takes the lion’s share of all the crimes that affect small businesses in Melbourne, other forms of crime have seen some companies go down on their knees. These crimes include fraud, theft, robbery, and shoplifting. All these forms of crime combined, cost Australian businesses, in general, a whopping $170 million per year.
These forms of crime have a financial cost on businesses and their owners and have psychological costs on both the owners and their staff. Due to incessant robbery and theft, some businesses have lost staff who gave in to fear and could not continue risking their lives. Businesses are therefore left with an additional cost of hiring new staff.
One of the adverse costs of shoplifting, robbery, assault, or credit card fraud is the traumatic effect that these criminal activities leave business owners with. In adverse cases, a business operator may choose to relocate or even quit the business altogether.
Increased Cost of Goods
When investors get to learn that Melbourne is prone to criminal activities, they tend to avoid investing in the city, and if they do, they are likely to charge extra costs to hedge against theft and robbery. This cost is later transferred to customers by the business people, making it more expensive for you to acquire goods from small business operators in Melbourne.
It is not surprising that Melbourne’s businesses lose customers with every crime reported in the city. Able customers would rather drive to neighboring cities of Canberra, Sidney, and Hobart to get services they fear getting in Melbourne. When customers move around like this, it directly impacts the businesses’ revenue, and if a business is not well-routed, it may end up closing.
Despite the rising and threatening numbers of criminal prevalence in Melbourne, Australia’s government has done a lot to set things back in order. Melbourne city in itself has played a part in ensuring cybercrime does not grow in the city. For example, the Melbourne Joint Cyber Security Center (JCSC) has come up with seminars like one on Business Email Compromises (BECs) to help businesses rise against cybercrime.
It is not all gloom and doom in Melbourne. Like other great cities globally, Melbourne is just a victim of modern technological advancement, and jobless youths are twisting it to their favor at the expense of businesses. Next time you want to invest in Melbourne, do not fret, just get things right, and you will be good to venture.