Is your business appearing legitimate to customers online?

Industry group UK Finance has found that over £500 million was stolen from customers of banks across Britain during the first six months of 2018 alone, as well as claiming that £145 million of this sum was as a result of authorised push payment scams — cases of fraud where individuals are conned into putting money into another account. It’s clear that internet scams are becoming more and more common these days.

It is not just members of the public who should be worried about internet scams though — businesses are often targeted through them as well. To ensure that companies are doing what they can to make sure that customers are aware that a firm’s interactions online are always legitimate, caravan park WiFi provider Infinium has provided the following tips…

Where necessary, set up a trusted payment gateway on your website

There will be companies who choose not to implement their own payment service across their website. If this is the case for your site, just 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.

Display both a landline phone number and registered address on your website

Customers should never have any trouble finding your registered address and phone number on your website if you’re a legitimate online business. There are some additional considerations to bear in mind here too.

Noticed that some potential customers are visiting your company’s registered address? This shouldn’t surprise you, as they’ll be making sure everything is genuine ahead of buying a product or investing in a service. 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.

Choose a landline number when setting up your business’ phone number too. 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.

Your ISO certification should be available for customers to check…

On your website, you should have the logo of the certification body which issued your business with an ISO certification. 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.

…as should your privacy statement

Check out a major retailer’s website and it will be very likely that you’ll be able to read their legal privacy statements. 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.

Set up SSL security protocol on your website

Secure Sockets Layer is what’s meant by the acronym SSL within this context. 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 quick and simple to discover whether a website has implemented SSL security protocol or not. 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.

Deal with financial products & services? Put your business on the FCA register

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register is comprehensive and includes the details of every financial company that is 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.

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