Protect your business from phishing scams

 

 

 

If you have an email address, then at some stage you would have received a fraudulent email trying to steal your personal information. It’s known as phishing and happens when a cybercriminal pretends to be someone else in order to persuade you to part with sensitive information, such as bank details, credit card numbers, passwords, or log-in details. It might sound like it’s easy to avoid, but most of the time, the email is formatted in a way that makes it appear to come from a source you can trust.  

If you’re running a business, a phishing scam can threaten your entire operation. Every member of your staff with access to company email address is a potential risk, greatly increasing the chances of security breach. So, it’s vital that you take steps to protect your business. Here are some ways you can do that. 

 

 

Know what to look for 

 

We’ve all seen the obvious phishing attempts. These are the ones that typically end up in your junk mail box, such as a message from a prince of small African country promising a large sum of money in return for a favour. But some are much less obvious, using advanced techniques that can mimic the branding or website of the organisation they appear to come from.  

Certainly, if an email promises too much, this is a sign that all may not be right. These phishing attempts could include a tax refund, an interest-free loan, or free product from a supplier – all in an attempt to make you part with your bank details, log-in details or account information. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.  

Look out for suspicious attachments too. Most genuine organisations won’t send emails with unspecified attachments, especially .zip files. Once opened, these can release a virus that could infect your computer, record your keystrokes or steal personal data. 

Other tell-tale signs include spelling mistakes/typos, a strange tone of voice, a sense of urgency or the threat of a penalty if you don’t respond. 

 

 

Check the URL 

 

If you are suspicious, but not entirely sure, it’s a good idea to check the origin of the email or the site where you’re being directed. If you hover over the link, you will see the actual URL, which will allow you to see if it’s a randomly generated URL. Sometimes the address will be a shortened, such as http://bit.ly/xxxxx/. In this case, you can check whether it’s genuine, by going to https://checkshorturl.com/ 

If you right click on the address, you can also copy it to your clipboard and use tools such as Google’s Safe Browsing Tool to check if it’s genuine or safe to visitSome antivirus/firewall products may have features that can help with this too 

Still wary about visiting the link? Try googling the link without the URL. That way, you can check that the link isn’t a fraudulent mirror image of the actual site. 

 

 

Protect your company email 

 

The big problem with email is that it’s a completely open system. In practice, anybody can email anybody else – as long as they have a bona fide email address. One way of getting round this at work, is by using an internal messaging service for communication between colleagues in your business. 

However, it’s equally important to raise awareness of phishing. Train your staff to identify, avoid and report phishing scams. After all, everyone with access to email is a security risk and could become a victim exposing your company’s sensitive data and financial details.  

Finally, ensure your company uses a reputable, up-to-date antivirus and firewall system, ideally with anti-phishing capabilities. If your employees use email at home or on other personal devices, either ensure these devices are protected by the same system, or only allow business email to be conducted on authorised work devices. 

Phishing is on the rise and cybercriminals are using ever more sophisticated technology to scam people into giving out sensitive data. Take these simply steps and you can greatly reduce the chance of a phishing scam affecting your business.  

How online payments are keeping your business safe

 

 

When it comes to online payments, security has always been a major concern for consumers and businesses alikeCustomers were reluctant to pay for products and services online and businesses had to invest heavily in the infrastructure in order to take payments from customers.  

But, in the past few years, digital payment technology has come on in leaps and bounds. Today, more people than ever are paying for goods and services online and businesses are discovering that setting up the systems to take payments in this way is cheaper and easier than ever before. 

Online payments are the future 

 

The new technology was much needed. Cybercriminals were becoming more sophisticated and taking advantage of outdated systems. As cases of identity theft and security hit the headlines, the FinTech stepped in and put new technologies, such as Blockchain, to help create new online payment services that were able to eliminate fraud and exclude the most persistent hacker.  

As customers and businesses saw how safe and effective these services were, they started using them more – especially since these new services also made carrying out transactions quicker, more efficient and convenient 

Even payment cards have become more secure for online payments. Newer smart cards offer more security and functionality thanks to the improved chips and other technology.   

This new level of security means that more customers are using online payments. Smart businesses are updating their systems and partnering with online only companies, such as KoalaPays, to leverage the benefits and win more clients.  

The use of secure online payment technology is growing 

 

The good news is, the technology is still getting betterNew online banks and payment companies are now using encryption technology, duplicate authentication factors and SSL certification to protect transactions. 

One of the latest advances in security technology is tokenisation, whereby you substitute a proxy set of identifying information for the actual payment card data. This means that merchants don’t have to handle private data at all. This also enables the use of more stringent ID checks, such as biometrics. 

Up-and-coming demographics such as millennials are spearheading the shift to new online payment systems. Companies have started to target this generation as they see a potential to significantly grow their businesses.  

Fewer people are making cash and POS payments due to the Covid-19 pandemic and this trend is expected to continue after the crisis ends. To tap into these new markets – businesses must partner with online payment services and offer secure payment options their customers expect to see. 

There are other benefits for businesses too. For instance, chargebacks have become a real problem, affecting reputational value, as well as profits. But this is one area where the customer isn’t always right. Technology such as Chip & Pin and fingerprint recognition is now being used to lower fraud and reduce the rate of chargebacks.  

Trade with confidence and win more business 

 

The best way to protect your business and thrive when it comes to online payments is to use a payment provider that uses the most up to date technology in the fight against fraud. Here, at KoalaPays, our platform is fully PCI compliant and we’re always looking at ways to improve security for our customers. Our e-wallets are one example of that. These are now recognised as one of the safest (and most convenient) ways to pay in multiple currencies.  

Choosing an online payment provider that has an understanding of the security risks out there and all of the contingencies in place to avoid fraud, should be a key focus. A good payment partner is also one that will take the time to understand your business model and then advise and implement the best security measures to reduce your risks. 

But security is only one part of the bigger picture. New functionality is coming that will help companies run their businesses betterKoalaPays is already designing new services that will help our clients manage their entire accounting and finance systems more efficiently.  

For firms that partner with the right payment solution provider, doing business with your customers online has never been safer or more profitable.  

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