Six questions to ask to make sure your business appears legitimate online

So much of the news seems to be related to internet scams today. In the first six months of this year alone, industry group UK Finance has actually found that over £500 million has been stolen from customers of banks throughout Britain. Authorised push payment scams made up £145 million of this total, with these cases of fraud seeing individuals tricked into putting money into another account.

Businesses should be just as concerned about internet scams as customers though, as firms are often targeted through them as well. Holiday park WiFi providers Infinium, which is a provider of IT security solutions too, is here to help. They have set out six questions that all companies should be asking about their websites to ensure customers know that a firm’s interactions online are always legitimate…

1. Can anyone access your privacy statement?
Legal privacy statements are present on the websites of just about every major retailer. 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.

2. Do you have a registered address and landline phone number on your site?
When you’re a legitimate online business, customers should be able to easily find your registered address and a phone number. There are some additional considerations to bear in mind here too.

Don’t be surprised to see potential customers visiting your company’s registered address, as they will be checking everything is indeed genuine. 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.

When setting up your firm’s phone number, attempt to select a landline 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.

3. Are customers led to a trusted payment gateway, if necessary?
Is there no payment service on your website? Then 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.

4. Has a SSL security protocol being implemented across your website?
Secure Sockets Layer is what SSL means. 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.

Customers can easily find 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.

5. Can your ISO certification be checked?
Display the logo of the certification body which issued your business with an ISO certification on your website. 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.

6. Is your business on the FCA register (if you deal with financial services & products)?
The comprehensive Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register is the place where you can find 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.

Sources:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45634362
https://www.money.co.uk/guides/how-can-i-check-if-a-company-is-legitimate.htm
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/moneymatters/how-to-find-out-if-an-online-retailer-is-genuine/ar-BBer5Qs
https://www.british-assessment.co.uk/guides/how-to-check-if-a-company-is-legitimate/

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