Online fraud can often come across as being a little mysterious and confusing for business owners and consumers alike. While it’s a complex issue, there’s some truth to this, as the landscape of internet fraud is constantly changing and hard to keep up with without some level of dedication.
However, despite the complexities of online fraud, it’s vital that business owners know what they’re up against and understand how best to protect their customers, employees, and reputation. Stories of internet fraud are on the rise and you should never fall into complacency by imagining that your business is somehow exempt from the risks.
So that you can feel confident in your ability to protect your businesses against the threat of online fraud, we’ve compiled a list of essential tips you have to know about. To learn more about fraud prevention, continue to read on, or head over to our Small Business page to find more of our articles.
Take the time to fully understand the different types of online fraud
Online fraud exists in many different forms and the criminals responsible shouldn’t ever be underestimated by small business owners. There’s a whole range of scams to be aware of, including: credit and debit card fraud, identify theft, phishing, and malware threats.
Keeping on top of these threats is a real responsibility for any business; no matter the size. Failing to do so could be catastrophic for your brand’s reputation as well as being financially and legally damaging. But, with that being said, it’s important that business owners don’t lose sight of the growing expectations and concerns that consumers have when handing over personal data or making online payments. Try to base your approach around what your customers and business require when it comes to fraud prevention.
Utilise the tools you have for fraud prevention
Thankfully, there are a number of tools and security processes that are available to businesses when it comes to tackling online fraud. Typically, credit and debit card fraud is the most common type a business will face when taking payments.
More often than not, stolen and cloned credit or debit card won’t come with the cardholder’s address. Thankfully, Address Verification Systems crosscheck the entered billing address with the registered address of a credit or debit card holder; it then blocks any payment with incorrect information. In addition to this, the three or four-digit CVV/CV2 code on the back of debit and credit cards acts as a further barrier to stop criminals making fraudulent payments online.
In your office, it’s crucial that you keep your antivirus software up-to-date as well as install a robust firewall and spam filter for your incoming emails. You will receive a high number of phishing emails and it only takes one to infect your entire computer network and compromise your valuable data.
Backup all of your valuable data
Your data is like gold and as mentioned before, any successful breaches by fraudsters could land your business in very hot water and leave you facing legal action. The best way to protect your company’s data is by scheduling daily, weekly, quarterly, and annual backups that are then stored offline or on a secure cloud network.
Educate your staff on internet fraud warning signs
While you can very easily put every safeguard in place, human error will still remain a threat you’ll face internally unless you create a proper training programme. Training your staff to spot potential internet fraud scams will play a big part in keeping your business safe and your reputation positive with consumers. Make sure you highlight best practices, current online threats, and explain the importance of creating strong passwords that are changed weekly or monthly.
While you may be able to filter out a lot of phishing emails sent to your business, your employees could still fall victim to this scam if they use their personal email at work or simply browse the web. Post training, you should make sure your employees have a way to report any suspicious online activity to your management or IT department. Perhaps, even think about incentivising the reporting process to help spot emerging threats more frequently.
Create a robust security policy for employees
Training your staff in fraud prevention will certainly help to mitigate some of the threats your company will face online. But, you should also put a robust security policy in place to compliment your training programme. Ideally, your new policy should spell out company standards and expectations when employees access data, emails, and the internet in general. Have your employees read over your new security policy whenever it’s updated to ensure they’re always up-to-date.
Would you like to learn more about online fraud or other methods for effective fraud prevention? To find out more, please contact a member of our team now or head over to the Small Business page for all our latest blogs.