How To Protect Yourself From Online Fraud This Christmas

Unfortunately, Christmas time is a peak period for fraudulent activity online. There is nothing worse than ordering gifts through a fraudulent website and not realising until it’s too late, or discovering unauthorised payments on your bank statement. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, we have put together five ways in which you can protect yourself against fraud this Christmas.

1. Change your passwords regularly

You would be surprised at the number of people who still use predictable words for their important passwords, such as birth dates, children, and pets’ names. These are easy to crack if someone has your information, so you need to use something unique. Never use your company name either and don’t give the password to more than one person. You should regularly change your password too for extra protection.

2. Manage your users

Ensure that staff has their own individual log in details and security protection for those details. Limit divulging sensitive information to only those you can trust and make sure you track activity that’s happening online.

3. Bank details and credit cards

It’s vital that you never send any sensitive bank and credit card details via an email. These can be picked up easily by hackers. If you need to share them do it via a secure online form, especially when you are online shopping with card payment services. Make sure the page you are using is protected. The https will be secure and green.

4. Be aware of email hoaxes

If it seems like it’s too good to be true, then the chances are, it’s not true. If you receive an email offering you a lucky win, rebate, or anything Christmas prize/winnings/discounts related, and you don’t recognise the sender, then do not open the email. Sometimes we open emails by mistakes, just make sure you don’t download any attachments and delete asap.

5. Invest in anti-virus software

This is necessary. Never let your anti-virus lapse. It’s important to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date so you don’t use any useful data. Backup your files just in case this does happen. Follow these five tips to ensure you don’t get caught up in fraudulent activity this Christmas! If you’re interested in secure online payment solutions for your business, we offer online payment solutions which are fully PCI & DSS compliant to help protect your business from online fraud.

“At this time of year, it’s important to keep card details safe and secure.  Ensuring websites are encrypted using SSL certificates is one way to keep cardholder information safe.  It is useful to know that data is encrypted as it is transferred & entered into browsers, so keep safe by looking out for the secure padlock in the address bar.  If you’re making purchases online, only use authorised payment processing apps or plugins on websites, making sure the software or app is verified and accredited by companies like Visa and Mastercard.  For merchants accepting card details over the phone, never repeat the details back to the customer, as you never know who is listening. If taking card details in store, ensure that card details are never written down or shared. Change your passwords regularly and use random words, special characters and a mix of UpPer & L0wer CaSe LeTTErs & Numb3r$.  It is important to follow PCI guidelines throughout the year, not just at Christmas.”

(Mark Harris, Head of ICT & Facilities, Chip & PIN Solutions)

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Jenna Hamlyn