5 Ways to Prevent Fraudulent Credit Card Use

Prevent Fraudulent Credit Card Use

Loss from credit card fraud and unnecessary chargebacks are not 100% preventable. However, online retailers can take measures to make it more difficult for scammers to cheat them through online credit card purchases.

How can online retailers reduce chargebacks and credit card fraud? Learn to recognize the warning signs of a possibly fraudulent transaction and use the measures below to prevent it from going through or discourage the scammer.

7 Signs a Credit Card Purchase May be Fraudulent

Set alerts to monitor these types of transactions and require additional security steps before the customer may cash out:

  • signs of fraudulent credit card purchaseDifferent billing and shipping-to addresses
  • Total order size far above average
  • An order consisting of several big-ticket items
  • Several orders to the same address using different credit cards
  • International shipping (lack of international laws makes prosecution difficult)
  • Overnight or same-day delivery request
  • Orders with several of the same item if this is unusual

It might seem counterproductive to a goal of expediting the check-out process to add extra steps; however, most consumers are understanding if the site explains that these measures are necessary to prevent loss from fraud and subsequently higher prices.

5 Online Purchasing Security Measures to Prevent Credit Card Fraud and Chargebacks

Online Purchasing Security Measures to Prevent Credit Card Fraud and ChargebacksIt is not necessary to add all of these extra steps to every purchase. However, buyers who set off a red flag based on the warning signs above should have to comply with one or more of these additional verification measures:

Address Verification, or AVS– This system verifies that the billing address provided matches that on record with the cardholder’s bank. This does not prevent fraud if the scammer has the cardholder’s address.

Credit card security code verification – Different credit card companies use different codes, but this security measure requires the buyer to enter a code printed on the card. This prevents fraud if the scammer does not physically possess the card.

Display contact information and a return policy prominently on the site and in an order confirmation email to help with fraudulent chargebacks. The onus is on the merchant to prove the transaction was valid; this helps demonstrate that a chargeback was not the only option.

Require a signature on receipt of an item, especially for big ticket products. Incorporate the cost of this shipping feature in the price of the item. This is useful in proving delivery in chargeback disputes.

Use the company name on credit card statements– Most chargebacks are a result of the customer forgetting they made a purchase, especially if the credit card statement shows a numbered company instead of a name.

Credit card fraud and chargebacks are unavoidable. Reduce loss and the amount of fraudulent transactions with extra security steps. One particularly troublesome problem is that access to an international customer base opens the door to online purchasing fraud from countries well known for these kinds of activities.

Why International Shipping is Risky for Internet Merchants

Many countries have been identified particularly high-risk for online retailers because surveys found out that the vast majority of the orders from these countries are fraudulent:”

Extra red flags to alert online retailers that a purchase may be fraudulent include a lack of concern over shipping prices, a bounced back order confirmation email, or an incredibly large order in the online shopping cart, as scammers often try to get as much as they can before they have to leave their delivery address behind and move to the next one.

Reducing Loss Due to Fraudulent Credit Card Purchases- The True Cost of Online Cons

Internet merchants lose millions to online fraud annually as the total online spending increases in the same year.

Use an Address Verification System, verify credit card security codes, and consider stopping international shipping altogether if fraud losses are high. Budget for these losses each year, based on previous experience.

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How to Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

shopping cart abandonment

In order to complement marketing’s efforts of bringing more traffic to the website, the website should reduce the likelihood of shopping cart abandonment. Shopping cart abandonment occurs when customers decide to leave the website during the checkout process. Reducing this abandonment will increase sales without having to attract more visitors to the website.

According to a white paper entitled Digital Window Shopping, published by McAfee, which uses results of a survey by comScore on why shoppers choose to abandon their carts and not push through with a purchase, it found that cart abandonment is usually due to the following reasons:

  • Why people abandon their shopping cartsHigher than expected shipping fees: 46%
  • Decided to comparison shop before purchasing: 37%
  • Still looking for discount coupons: 27%;
  • Preferred to shop offline: 26%;
  • Limited payment options: 24%;
  • Item out of stock was unavailable upon checkout: 23%;
  • Unsatisfactory customer support: 22%;
  • Credit card and data security concerns: 21%.

Determine Where Website Shopping Cart Abandonment Occurs

In addition to using reports and statistics from the shopping cart program, the e-commerce business should consider using programs and services to find out the source of shopping cart abandonment and give you valuable information on what needs adjustment.

A good example is Google Analytics. This web analytics software provides detailed statistics about the visitors to the website, as well as allows the business to create multiple codes to place on each check-out page to track where customers are exiting during the process. Another method is by setting up the funnel.

General Tips to Reduce Online Shopping Cart Abandonment

Tips to reduce online shopping cart abandonmentIn addition to reviewing the statistics and reports generated from Google Analytics as well as from the shopping cart software used, an e-commerce business can take the following general steps to reduce shopping cart abandonment:

  1. Reduce the number of steps.
  2. Disclose shipping costs early in the process.
  3. Clearly display a link to the shipping and return policy.
  4. Secure the form and display a security icon.
  5. Display a money-back guarantee.
  6. Offer a variety of payment options.
  7. Seamless integration into the website.
  8. Encourage customer reviews.
  9. Allow customers to save their shopping cart or add items to a wish list.
  10. Send a reminder e-mail to customers that left without completing the checkout.
  11. Add a live customer service instant messenger.
  12. Offer a price guarantee.
  13. Use an exit survey for visitors abandoning the cart.
  14. If the site uses cookies, ensure cookies are not needed to complete the checkout so sales are not lost from those with their cookies turned off.
  15. Provide cross- and up-sells at the checkout to add value to order.

Adjust the Checking Out Process to Increase Internet Sales

Reducing shopping cart abandonment is an effective method for increasing Internet sales without having to attract additional customers.

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What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization?

Using Keywords to Get Internet Traffic On the Web

Search engine optimization or SEO is important to get Internet traffic to a website. If operating a website for profit, using pay per click ads is even more important.

When operating a website for profit, using proper keyword search engine optimization (SEO) is important to get Internet traffic to the website. No traffic translates into no profits. There are certain methods of keyword SEO that are built-in or embedded into the web pages that can help get Internet traffic to the website, but there are no guarantees. Pay per click advertising, if done properly, is a better method to get top page ranking on an Internet search.

What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization?

Writing content for the web, whether it’s an article, blog or website page should be written in a manner that attracts Internet users. That’s where SEO comes in. It’s a style of writing that optimizes certain words or phrases that people are searching for. These words and phrases are known as keywords.

Using Keywords for Search Engine Optimization

Keywords are the actual words that Internet users type into a search engine to find what they’re looking for on the Internet. Most people that search on the Internet know that using more words will narrow their search. For example, if someone is searching for homebrew beer kits, they normally wouldn’t type in the word “beer.” By searching for the keywords “homebrew beer kits” their search is narrowed to the exact product they’re looking for. Niche markets are much better for keyword SEO than a broader market.

Applying Keywords for SEO on a Web Page

Search engine companies computers (a.k.a. spiders) search the Internet for keywords that are embedded in web pages. Each page of a website is treated as a separate website by the spiders. So specific web pages may show up on a search other than the home page (a.k.a. index), depending on the keyword usage on a specific web page. In order to get better SEO page rankings, you can use the services from a specialized marketing agency, so that the spiders give priority to specific keyword placement.

  • Bold-faced keywords separated from the main text like titles, subtitles, and headings.
  • Keywords placed in the first few words of the text main body.
  • Keywords placed in the URL name of the web page and website.
  • Keywords placed within the caption of a photo or image.

Choosing the Right Keywords for SEO

In order to choose the right keywords that an Internet user will use, the webmaster has to think like a common Internet user. In the home brewed beer example, the common Internet user that wants to learn how to make their own beer might use words like “how to brew beer at home.” Another way they might phrase a word is “instructions on home brewing beer.”

Pay per Click Ads – Natural Search vs. Sponsored Search

Natural searches are the searches that the spiders pick up and list for free. Sponsored searches are searches that are listed and the advertisers are charged a fee every time an Internet user clicks on the ad, or pay per click. The Internet search engine companies call them cost-per-click or CPC. The sponsored ads are generally listed on the top, on the side and on the bottom of the search page. They will also be listed with the word “sponsored links”.

It’s important that a business website use both SEO for natural searches and CPC sponsored searches to get Internet traffic. Learn how to use sponsored searches to get Internet traffic. With natural searches, the webmaster has little control over how the website will be placed or how it will appear on search engines. With sponsored searches, the webmaster has complete control on how the ad will be placed and how it will appear on a search engine.

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How to Prevent Online Fraud

Prevent Online FraudPersonal information doesn’t simply fall into the hands of criminals by chance. Knowing how information is attained is the first step towards online fraud prevention.

Online fraud is still growing at an alarming rate and that doesn’t even take into account the large volume that is never spotted or reported. The number of online fraud increase of every year without fail.

Whilst there are no guarantees in terms of preventing online fraud there are a number of sensible steps that can be taken to prevent it from happening in the first place. A lot of information is gained as a result of pure ignorance and slack procedures. Here are tips that will help you keep financial Information away from fraudsters. 

Only Buy from Secure Sites

If a site is secure it will show https rather than http in the address bar. There will also be a yellow padlock in the corner of the browser. Unless both of these are displayed it isn’t a secure web site and personal information is at risk.

Use a Secure Wireless Connection
secure wireless connection

If a network isn’t password encrypted anyone can access personal information. It is like having a cash point card with no pin number – there is no fraud prevention at all. A simple password prevents someone sitting outside with a laptop from accessing information.

Regularly Check Bank Statements for Identify Fraud

It is imperative that online bank statements are checked for transactions that haven’t been authorised. Query anything that isn’t recognised with the bank as only 6 months is given to chargeback to the merchant.

Don’t Become a Victim of Phishing Emails

Most people will have received an email from a source claiming to be their bank. The problem isn’t clicking on the link, it is following the advice in the phishing email through to a logical conclusion. This isn’t an official bank email asking for the provision of security information, it is that of an online fraudster.

Look at the web address directed to and it can be seen that it isn’t a proper bank web address, it is usually a free domain with the bank’s name at the end. Sure, the web page looks alright, but the actual web address gives it away.

No financial institution will ever ask a customer to click on a link to their site from an email so don’t ever do it. Just log on at the official web site address. If there is any doubt, telephone the bank’s fraud department and ask them.

Register for Verified by VISA & MasterCard Secure Code
Avoid credit card scams

Visiting either of the respective sites allows a customer to add additional security information to their cards. Before anyone can use either card online they will now need to answer security questions and not just the CV2 code before making a purchase.

Don’t allow fraud prevention to turn into a form of paranoia. Following the guidance above will help prevent all but the most bizarre cases. If an incident does occur, be sure to report it to the bank quickly in order to chargeback and recover any fraudulently appropriated funds.

 

 

 

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Protecting Sensitive Data By Implementing a Network Security Solution

Protecting Sensitive Data By Implementing a Network Security Solution

Computer network protection can be a challenge for a company. What is the best way to implement a secure solution to protect sensitive data from attack?

Computer network security should be a concern for large small organizations alike and areas of risk need to be identified.

Business establishments that aren’t protected by a robust network security system are at the mercy of hackers who can easily get their hands on trade secrets and sensitive information and inflict malicious damage.

Any company that has computers and Internet access is at risk from attack from both within the organization and from outside. It is interesting to note that highest risk of a security breach comes from within an organization. Computer hacking from outside amounts to only about 8% of the security risk to a company.

Measures to Protect the Network

There are a number of measures that should be taken by all companies to protect their computer networks from any form of attack.

  • Invest in a good anti-virus solution and regularly update the anti-virus definitions.
  • Apply the latest security updates on all computers. These can usually be obtained from the Internet.
  • Secure possible network security vulnerabilities by installing a good firewall.
  • Physically secure mission critical servers in a server room, limiting access to only certain personnel.
  • Keep as much data as possible on a secure server as opposed to storing data locally on each PC.
  • Laptops are particularly vulnerable to theft, including the data stored on them.
  • Implement a strict password policy.

Network Security Solution to Protect From an Outside Attack.

A firewall is a vital part of a good network security solution. An organization may wish to allow limited access from outside. For example, access to the company’s mail server or web server to be allowed, while blocking access to the LAN (Local Area Network) and sensitive data.

A firewall will block connections to the LAN while allowing certain traffic trough to a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) where the company’s public servers are hosted. In this way, if a hacker were to hack into the web server, the sensitive data hosted on the LAN would be safe.

In addition, a firewall will allow the blocking of certain non essential ports. For example, the Proxy server port should never be left open to allow access to the proxy server from the outside – the reason being that spammers could use the proxy server to send out their spam, thus making it appear as though the spam is coming from within the company.

There are many organizations on the Internet that specialize in “black listing” spammers. That means no out bound e-mail. If a company is black listed because the proxy port was open, it could take days to de-list the company from the “black list”, resulting in lost revenue.

Network Security Solutions to Protect Against Virus Attacks

Always make sure that data is well protected against viruses. This can be done by implementing a dedicated anti virus server to protect all work stations from virus attack.

In addition, the mail server will also need to filter spam and viruses before it reaches the end user. Reports and alerts from these servers will allow the network administrator to monitor and keep on top of any potential threat.

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Using Managed Monitoring Services

Monitoring website performance can mean the difference between website success and failure. Maintaining maximum efficiency of your business IT infrastructure is essential to productivity. That fact is easy to understand, but keeping up with all the daily data exchange, creation and problem solving is difficult. By using managed monitoring services, you get a high tech solution for tracking website performance, website downtime, network threats, and protecting your computers and system from unwanted alterations.

Information Collection

Monitoring tools powered by advanced technology allow you to maintain complete control over your computers, network connections, IT infrastructure and website performance. The information collected by your managed monitoring service is important data, but it does not include personal information or sensitive business data. It is fast, thus saving you both time and money in the task of tracking IT systems and processes.

Services to Obtain

website monitoring
Monitoring services are available for all IT infrastructure components and website performance activities that you may wish to have, including the following:

-Server monitoring helps to eliminate server errors and the reduced productivity that results from threats, downtime and other events that interfere with hardware. Remote monitoring from your managed monitoring service company offices allows for immediately analysis of any problems that develop on site.

-Network monitoring allows around the clock supervision of your network status to locate problems. It also lets you keep watch on all activities at your business servers, computers and remote computers.

-Website monitoring helps you gain statistical information, generate reports and have measurable assessments of website performance, including downtime.

Security Issues

Secure services are essential and they protect data and privacy. Alerts should be continuously collected from your systems and your managed monitoring service should notify you immediately if there is downtime. You benefit from top anti-virus protection methods, alerts and reports. Use provided monitoring tools to troubleshoot to identify problems that may affect performance of employees. It is a partner to you in proving to authorities what IT assets you actually do have and what their value is today.

internet security

Security and protection computer use and data collection is extremely important for any company that keeps data records. Any breach of security by employees or hackers can be caught quickly by the alert systems that managed monitoring provides. Reports of monitored activity must get into the hands of those persons authorized and required to obtain activity reports. Using managed monitoring services is one area where all size companies can utilize cloud computing to assist with important daily security issues.

Many cloud computing companies offer managed monitoring services. Compare services and pricing online before purchasing services, and check references to assure that you work with a reputable company.

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How Your Business Can Benefit from Anti-Spyware Programs

benefits of anti-spyware programs to business

Having a solid security infrastructure for your business is a must. Find out what the benefits of having an Anti-Spyware program on your computers are.

The internet is a world of its own and as it is in the physical, there are spy agents on the internet. People spy on others for many reasons which include business, social, economic, security and malice. Although most information on the internet is easily accessible, there are those who have made it their business to develop programs that goes beyond what have been given out and want to extract important data for use against you and your business. These programs are called spyware. They spy on your private content and leak it out to another without your knowledge or concern.

Spyware programs can download onto a computer disguised as a helpful addition or can often times attach to other programs that you may want to download such as: movies, programs or data. Investing in a good anti spyware program has numerous benefits. Here are a few major ones.

  1. Maintain privacy –the fact that you are connected to the internet should not spell the end of your privacy. Anti spyware will ensure that no spyware creeps into your computer to peep into what you are doing. When your private data is taken, it loses meaning and becomes material that can be used against you or your business.
  2. Security– most spyware programs intrude into your personal issues like passwords and other details. With the expanding use of the internet in business and even the coming of online payments, the internet will be carrying all that data and if a malicious person happens to get your bank passwords, it might be hard to quaintly the damage that may be incurred. In the wake of terrorism, spies may track down your movement through your online activity and harm you just because your computer was exposed.
  3. Business success- every successful business has its secrets. These are kept private to the core people and would hardly be leaked to a competitor. Spyware experts are able to creep into your secure data files in your computer and tear down your business in a short while. With anti spyware, you will be able to prevent the entry of such programs and consequently secure your secrets and your business. It can be so sidelining to spend many years and a lot of money in creating a business model only to lose it because of unscrupulous people and their malicious programs.
  4. Spyware is illegal intrusion. Privacy is a right guaranteed by the constitution and all must fight to maintain it. It doesn’t matter who is spying, whether government, terrorists or competitors, all spying is not moral and should be discouraged. The best way to discourage it is to install anti spyware.

Although spyware have widely permeated the internet, developers should also keep working on effective anti-spyware so as to keep pace and overtake the spies programs. When you have an anti-spyware installed in your computer, you don’t worry so much about what you keep there because you have an assurance of its safety. You will not also bother so much about where to keep your secrets.

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