The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed the world and the last year has brought challenging times to all industries. The pandemic has forced a sharp shift in the payment industry as many companies have gone digital in order to survive.
Many companies had two options for facing the crisis: close the business down or adjust rapidly. We are lucky to live in an era with so much technology available at our fingertips. However, this increase in technology and online presence comes with a security threat which we need to be constantly aware of.
Online fraud has always been an issue even in a pre-pandemic environment. However, over the past few months there has been a resurgence in online fraud.
The fact that we put all our personal information on the internet places us in a vulnerable position and we need to ensure that we only put information in secure and protected places on the internet.
There are many reasons why online fraud has increased during the pandemic.
The primary reason is that many first time online payment users have been forced to use the online platforms for the first time. These first time users are often unaware of online security best practices to ensure their personal data is not compromised. “This puts them at risk of schemes that involve submitting personal information to unauthorized sources.” (Law,M. 2020).
Hackers are taking advantage of these uneducated individuals and are encouraging and successfully convincing naive individuals to enter passwords or other authorization details into fraudulent websites that resemble bank portals.” (Law,M.2020)
Another reason for the increase in fraud is that we are all shopping online, freely giving out our credit card details on websites that can potentially be accessed by cyberattackers.
So, how do we reduce fraud when we are all banking online?
It is essential that all banks and financial institutions work collaboratively to share information and resources about new scams and hacks as and when they occur and are discovered.
It is also the responsibility of all financial institutions to educate their customers on best practices to ensure their security when using online banking or online payment messages. Education is the greatest way to combat this threat.
It is important to note that if you see an email from your “bank” or financial institution asking for specific personal information or to enter a password – call your institution immediately to confirm the validity of the request. Don’t ever click any links before you can confirm with your bank.
When shopping online ensure that the website is secure with a lock at the top of the page next to the web address.
OrangePay provides safe and secure payment processing services for all industries. Contact us today to find out more
—-Law, M., 2020. Will a Cashless Society Be the End of Financial Crime. Northrow. Available from: https://www.northrow.com/blog/will-a-cashless-society-be-the-end-of-financial-crime/ (accessed on 16 April 2021)