Agents at the Advantage conference have been warned to beef up their cybersecurity to help reduce the risk of their website being cloned or customers’ data being stolen.

Alejandro Fernandez-Cernuda Diaz, director of communications at the Global Cyber Alliance talked through simple, free steps that small and medium sized businesses – victims of 43% of cybercrime – can take.

They included asking staff to use secure browsers, such as Quad 9, and accessing the GSA’s Security Toolkit for Small Businesses, which has been developed with the Center for Internet Security (CIS) and reduces the risk of cybercrime by 85%.

He said getting the certification allows businesses to use the CIS and GSA logos on their websites, so help drive consumer confidence in its security.

Advantage’s David Moon said some of the consortium’s members had fall victim to clone websites, adding: “It’s very important to prevent this” and report it to Action Fraud.

David Scott, partner at law firm Horwich Farrelly, said internal fraud was “one of the key risk areas” because staff in smaller businesses are “in a position of trust”.

He urged delegates to take steps to reduce the chances, such as strict checks of references, credit, criminal records and Companies House searches on new employees and creating an open discussion in the office to make sure staff “know you are looking at cybercrime”.

Scott said fraud should not be a “taboo subject” in the office and that setting unrealistic targets can inadvertently lead to sales staff “cheating” to hit them.

Agents were also advised to sign up to updates from travel anti-fraud group Prevention of Fraud in Travel (Profit), which recently launched a Secure Our Systems campaign with Travel Weekly.