Currently, a day doesn’t seem to go by without a report of yet another internet scam. Industry group UK Finance suggests from its research that more than £500 million was stolen from the British banks of customers in just the first six months of 2018. £145 million of that sum was from authorised push payment scams, which is a tactic whereby people are tricked into sending money into another account.

Internet scams shouldn’t just concern members of the public though — businesses are often targeted through them as well. In a very competitive online market, firms should be doing everything possible to make sure that customers trust them. To help, holiday park WiFi providers Infinium, which also provides a selection of IT security services, advises that businesses ask the following six questions so that everyone can be assured that a firm’s interactions online are indeed legitimate…

  1. Is everyone able to access your privacy statement?

You’re likely to be able to quickly find a legal privacy statement of a major retailer when browsing their website. 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.

  1. Can members of the public check your ISO certification?

Have the logo of the certification body that issued your firm with an ISO certification on display across your website too. 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.

  1. If necessary, do you lead customers to a trusted payment gateway?

Have you opted not to set up your own payment service on your site? 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.

  1. Is your registered address and a landline phone number displayed on your website?

Customers should have no trouble finding a registered address and phone number on your site if you are indeed a legitimate online business. There are some additional considerations to bear in mind here too.

Notice people visiting your company’s registered address? Potential customers may sometimes make the effort to head along to the address you provided just to check that all is genuine before they commit to an investment. 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 a business phone number, try and opt for a landline number. 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.

  1. Is SSL security protocol in place across your website?

SSL stands 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.

Once you’ve implemented SSL security protocol throughout your site, customers will quickly take notice that you’ve carried out this action. 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.

  1. Can your business be found on the FCA register, if you deal with financial products & services?

There’s a comprehensive database filled with details about every financial firm that is registered and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to be discovered if you take the time to explore the FCA register. 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.