‘Tis the Season to Prevent Online Fraud


Whether you’re a small business with an online presence, or a multi-million e-commerce enterprise, online fraud doesn’t discriminate.  Even as individual protecting personal investments, with the holiday upon us, it’s imperative to remain vigilant to prevent online shopping fraud.  Regardless of your angle, as a website owner you should lead by example, and provide visitors with adequate information to protect them from becoming a statistic of online fraud.

The Survey Says…

A web host industry report recently out from Webroot, a leading Internet security service firm, offers troubling results for most web host security analysts.  According to the recently conducted survey of over 2,660 participants, over 50% plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping online.  The number of online holiday shoppers increased from 38% in a similar survey conducted last year.  Perhaps online merchants are capitalizing on the convenience of customers being able to shop from home or taking five on a quick lunch break, combined with the alluring Black Friday online only specials.

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High Ranked vs. Trusted Websites

An interesting find in the Webroot survey indicates that 59% of the participants would rather trust the top listings generated from an online search engine rather than typing in an established company’s website, compared to 38% in 2009.  This is troublesome for website owners because if their respected search ranking isn’t listed within the first couple of pages of displayed results, potential customers will never even land on a trusted site.  Furthermore, fraudulent sites have taken advantage of some online shoppers’ naivety to become a high ranked website, yet be a scam in every other sense of the word.

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Weak Wi-Fi Hot Spots

With the increased number of online holiday shoppers, comes the increased potential for online fraud.  Often busy individuals take a break from a hectic schedule to “browser shop” using a personal laptop hitting a local Wi-Fi connection; however, often these enthralled shoppers don’t realize they are connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi hot spot. A caveat: submitting any credit card or other financial information is a very risky transaction unless via a secure connection.

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