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Six ways that businesses can make sure they appear legitimate

BySteve Stones

Oct 29, 2018

The news is often packed with details about yet another internet scam. Industry group UK Finance has claimed that over £500 million had been stolen from customers at banks across Britain in the first six months of this year alone. Accounting for £145 million of that sum was authorised push payment scams, whereby individuals are deceived into putting money into another account.

It’s not only customers that need to be concerned when internet scams are mentioned in the news though, as businesses are also often target through them. As the online market is extremely competitive, a company cannot afford to have members of the public struggling to trust them. Infinium, which is a caravan park WiFi provider that also offers IT security solutions, has therefore detailed six things that businesses must implement on their websites to ensure everyone knows that a firm’s interactions online are legitimate…

1.      Is your privacy statement accessible to everyone?

Legal privacy statements will be present on the websites of all major retailers. 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.      Is your ISO certification available to be checked?

The logo of the certification body which issued your business with an ISO certification should be on display somewhere 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.

3.      Is SSL security protocol implemented across your website?

SSL is the acronym for Secure Sockets Layer. 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 will easily know when a website has SSL security protocol implemented. 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.

4.      Does your website contain your registered address and landline phone number?

When you’re a legitimate online business, both your registered address and a phone number should be simple for your customers to find. There are some additional considerations to bear in mind here too.

To ensure all is indeed genuine, people who are thinking about investing in your products or services may pay a visit to your company’s registered address. 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.

A landline number should be selected when deciding on 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.

5.      Do you lead customers to a trusted payment gateway, if necessary?

Have you chosen not to set up your own 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.

6.      If you deal with financial services & products, have you placed your business on the FCA register?

A comprehensive database, people can head to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register when they want to learn about the details of every financial company that’s 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.