There doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by without reading about an internet scam in the news, with industry group UK Finance going as far as to claim that more than £500 million had been stolen from customers of British banks in the first six months of 2018 alone. Authorised push payment scams accounted for £145 million of that total, which is where individuals are tricked into sending cash into another account.
Customers shouldn’t just be worried about internet scams, however. Businesses are usually targeted through them as well and in a very competitive online market, firms need to be doing everything they can to get the public to trust them. Therefore, caravan park WiFi provider Infinium, which provides IT security solutions too, has provided businesses with the steps they should take to make sure that everyone is aware that a company’s interactions online are indeed legitimate…
1. Place a registered address and landline phone number on your website
Both a registered address and a phone number should be easy to find on your website if you’re a legitimate online business. There are some additional considerations to bear in mind here too.
There is a chance that a potential customer will visit a company’s registered address, for instance, to make sure that everything is genuine. Therefore, ensure there’s either a sign or some indication of your business’ presence within the office or building where the address is linked to.
Try and pick a landline number when setting up your business phone number as well. While a mobile number doesn’t mean that a firm isn’t legitimate, its presence will instantly see potential customers put their guard up. Of course, people may call the number to check that it’s genuine as well, so make sure it’s always a member of staff who answers the call and that they introduce themselves with a professional greeting and mention of the company name.
2. Make your privacy statement accessible to all
Every major retailer will feature legal privacy statements somewhere on their website. It’s important that your legal privacy statement is filled with details about how you work to protect the information that consumers give about themselves — such as their personal details and credit card information.
3. Put SSL security protocol in place across your website
SSL means Secure Sockets Layer. It’s a security protocol whereby the channel of information between a customer and a business’ website is encrypted. Therefore, credit card details will be ‘scrambled’ and hackers will not have the opportunity to intercept the information that consumers ae sending to retailers.
It’s simple for a customer to know if your website has an SSL in place. This is because your site’s URL will alter from ‘http://’ to the more secure ‘https://’. What’s more, on the left-hand side of the address bar will either be an unbroken key or a closed padlock — if these icons look to be broken or open, it could well indicate that there’s something wrong with the site’s SSL.
4. Lead customers to a trusted payment gateway, if necessary
Not wanting to set up your own payment service across your website? Then make sure you opt for a trusted payment gateway which can conduct online transactions on your behalf. PayPal and WorldPay are two firms which instantly come to mind, with both helping to make consumers feel secure.
5. Have your ISO certification available to check
Ensure you’re displaying the logo of the certification body that issued an ISO certification to your business somewhere across your website. This is because customers can then search for the certification body in question and get in touch with them to verify that your company is in fact legitimate.
6. Place your business on the FCA register (when dealing with financial services & products)
An in-depth database, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) registeris the place to find the details of all financial companies which are registered and regulated by the FCA. It stands to reason then that your company should be on this register if you deal in financial services or products, as consumers can then easily check your firm’s credentials by just searching for your brand’s name and/or the postcode associated with your business.
Your customers should be able to see that your online business is indeed legitimate by following the six steps above.