Online Security Essentials: Protect Your Business and Your Customers From Scams

Cybercrime is an increasingly serious threat to businesses. From ransomware attacks to hacking, it’s more important than ever for companies to take online security seriously.

Did you know that South Africa ranks an alarming 6th in the world for cybercrime? We’re averaging 97 victims per hour in contrast to the six victims per hour from 2001 statistics: online payment fraud ranks 3rd on the list of most impactful schemes, second to investment fraud and confidence/romance scams.

As South Africa becomes immersed in the digital realm, we seem to be attracting more attention from cybercriminals. This is especially true for mobile transactions, which account for over 50% of website traffic.

New and Improved Online Scams

The internet is a scary place. It’s full of scams, and it can be hard to tell which interactions are legitimate and which are trying to rip you off. Here are some examples:

Phishing Scams

Phishing is when someone tries to get your personal information by emailing or texting you—and it’s one of the most common forms of scamming on the internet. The emails look like they come from companies or organizations like Amazon or PayPal, but they’re actually just trying to steal your passwords and other sensitive information.

Fake Shopping Websites

Formjacking is when a hacker takes over your computer through an embedded form on a website—usually by tricking you into clicking on something that lets them in! If successful, they proceed to take over your accounts, your money and/or put viruses onto them enabling the hacker to keep hacking your computer over and over again!

Fake Antivirus (Scareware)

This type of scam claims that your computer has been infected with viruses and malware, then offers you software that will “fix” this problem. This software is actually malware itself, and once you install it on your computer, it will start showing fake alerts and pop-ups about infections on your computer. It may even lock you out of your own system.

Debt-Relief or Credit-Repair

These scams offer to help improve your credit score by removing negative items from your credit report or helping you find more affordable loans and credit cards. They often charge exorbitant fees for their services but don’t provide any valuable services.

Technical Support Scams

The scammer pretends to be from a company like Microsoft or Apple and claims you have a problem with your computer that requires technical support. They may claim your computer is sending spam emails, or that it has an infection, or any other number of things. They then offer to help you fix the problem for a fee. This can be as low as $100 or as high as $500 or more.

Often, these scammers will even phone you directly, but sometimes they go through email correspondence and then use the promise of a refund if you don’t receive satisfactory service as their hook.

Either way, they’ll ask for some kind of payment upfront before they begin working on your computer. If you refuse to pay them upfront, they will often threaten to remotely wipe your hard drive clean—and while this threat isn’t real (they usually don’t have access to do that), it can be very convincing when combined with all of the other red flags associated with tech support scams: unsolicited phone calls; vague threats about viruses and infections.

Why Online Security Matters

It’s clear that online security matters. For your business and for your customers, it protects you from scams and data theft, identity theft, and so much more.

Online security protects businesses by preventing fraud and stopping criminals from stealing data that can be used to commit fraud against them or other companies. In addition, it protects businesses from fines or penalties if their systems are breached, which could be disastrous if the necessary precautions were not taken.

Of course, we want to keep our businesses safe, but we also want to ensure the safety of our customers.

Cellfind offers up two security tools that are proving effective in the ongoing battle against online fraud.

What is ValiPort?

ValiPort ® offers additional layers of security and fraud prevention for mobile transactions.

 Using patented techniques, the ValiPort® system validates SIM cards for mobile networks. Connected applications are better able to determine risk levels based on this data from mobile devices. This is achieved by processing (depersonalised) SIM information, assessing risk, and utilising the most current data for effective fraud prevention. The system constantly reviews real-time customer details to ensure their data’s accuracy and the transaction’s validity.

Stolen phones, fraudulent SIM swaps, and other mobile infractions pose a high risk to businesses offering mobile transactions. ValiPort mitigates these threats by assessing information such as:

  • The age of the SIM
  • How long it has been in the current device
  • How long it has been on the current network
  • Whether it’s on a blacklisted network or in a blacklisted country
  • The current location of the phone

Too many question marks on a SIM, device, or customer will result in a declined transaction.

What is Mobile ID?

Mobile ID is a service that accesses various types of data during a mobile experience to confirm customer identity. It provides a non-interruptive, secure and seamless way for customers to shop or share data on your website or via your business app.

This system checks aspects such as the phone number and device used, the device location, biometric information and other data validated by the user’s service provider. As technology evolves, we’ll see more in-depth identifying information offered up, such as face and voice recognition and even an assessment of a customer’s walking gait.

Mobile ID offers smoother checkouts, additional security, and faster mobile interactions.

Peace of Mind With the Right Protection

As a business owner, you have a lot to protect.

  • Your reputation: Online security protects your brand so that customers can trust you when they make purchases over the internet.
  • Your money: When customers are safe, they’re more likely to make transactions with you and recommend your business if they’re happy with the service or product they received.
  • Your data: The information that businesses collect from their customers is often worth more than the products or services themselves—but it’s also highly vulnerable to hackers looking for ways into the system.

With everything we must deal with daily, it can be tempting to just let things happen as they do in the hope that everything will work out. Perhaps we won’t be a target.

However, this is a risky game to play. Instead, we should all take responsibility for our own online security and use services like ValiPort and Mobile ID from Cellfind or any other tool that helps us protect ourselves from scams and frauds.

The sad fact is cybercrime will continue to evolve; we just have to do what we can to stay ahead of their game.

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