Cybercrime: Protecting Your Customers

Posted on in Blog

Businesses small and large have a growing concern over cybercrime, and for good reason. An article posted by E-Commerce Times provides statistics proving that cybercrime is on the rise. The article states that, according to security firm Symantec, “during the first half of 2005, 74 percent of the top 50 malicious attacks contained code to steal account logons, passwords and other sensitive data, compared with 54 percent the previous six months.” It goes on to say that both keystroke logging programs and the hijacking of online accounts are escalating as well. In fact, The Sans Institute points out that with an estimated 9.9 million U.S. households using computers for online bank transactions, cybercrooks have potential access to an estimated $24 billion in deposits.

It’s no wonder why cybercrime has become such a major concern. Not for users, though. A survey conducted by America Online Inc. revealed that 20% of home computers were infected by a worm or virus, 80% of systems contained spyware or adware, and more than two-thirds of home users believe they are safe from online threats. This misconception of safety is causing a lack of precaution, and perhaps an excess of trust as well.

Millions of people shop online everyday. They willingly give out their credit card numbers trusting and sometimes falsely believing it is safe to do so. But shouldn’t it be? Companies not only owe to their customers to provide a secure channel for e-commerce transactions, they owe it to themselves. Optimizing your site will eventually lead to an increase in traffic and sales. But what’s the point if you’re not protecting the sensitive information your customers have given you.

Cybercrooks are becoming savvier. They are finding ways to circumvent firewalls and anit-spyware programs, making it important for companies to update their spyware protection software on a regular basis. What if your computer is already infected, though? This possibility makes it just as important to be aware of evidence that spyware is on your computer, such as an onslaught of pop-up ads, a sudden change in your Internet’s homepage, new and unexpected icons in your toolbar, or sluggish performance. For more clues that spyware is on your computer and the steps you can take to lower the possibility of becoming infected, visit OnGuard Online.

So, you’ve optimized your site. You are now positioning well. And these positions are leading to conversions. Conversions that are the result of trust. If a customer provides his or her credit card information to your company, they trust you. If you are not taking the proper precautions to ensure a safe and secure e-commerce transaction, you are betraying that trust. Word-of-mouth is a powerful thing, and with the proliferation of Internet blogs, it has become even more powerful. E-commerce is great, and not only for businesses, but customers as well. But it can also be great for cybercrooks. So if your company is involved with e-commerce, just make sure you arm yourself with the knowledge and tools necessary to use it safely.

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