Hackers and fraudsters are like a playground bully. They fight dirty and they are trying to steal your money or your customers sensitive financial data. And the best way to defeat bullies is making sure their attacks are prevented in the first place.

If you and your employees know these data security essentials, you can help prevent fraud, hackers and scammers from impacting your business. Read up on how to bring these bullies down!

Data security essentials

1. Make sure you and your employees understand the basics of data protection.

Hackers and scammers are a crafty, clever bunch. They will use every trick in the book to try and find a way to breach your security and wreak havoc on your business. So first, learn the types of fraud and how they work.

True Fraud: While that may sound like an oxymoron, it is actually one of the oldest types of fraud. Using stolen credentials, criminals open accounts under the victim’s names or stolen credit card information to make purchases online.

Friendly Fraud: Another counterintuitive sounding name, but this fraud happens when someone gets a chargeback for not receiving an order when they did actually receive the order.

Phishing: This type of fraud is where scammers like to pretend to be legitimate businesses, banks, online resources and credit card companies in order to trick people into sharing personal information, passwords and possibly financial information.

Refund Fraud: Talk about a double whammy! This type of fraud is when someone steals credit card info, buys stuff, then returns the goods to the store for a refund to a different account, cash or store credit.

Card Testing: This happens when a scammer is trying to make sure they can effectively use a stolen credit card account by making a large amount of small authorizations or purchases. Because the amounts are low, they often go unnoticed by the actual card holder.

2. Maintain PCI DSS compliance to keep your business running smooth.

PCI DSS applies to businesses of any size that accept credit card payments. Simply put, these regulations and standards are in place to protect cardholders’ data. It is important for your business to pay attention to this because in many cases, if a fraud is committed and the business did not maintain proper PCI DSS compliance, the small business is typically at fault which can result in additional fines and a hit to your business' hard-earned reputation.

It can get complicated, but Elavon can help with a team dedicated to helping you become or maintain PCI DSS compliance.

3. Protect data with tools like encryption and tokenization.

These are some of the most effective weapons against fraud. Encryption uses an advanced hardware-based security module to protect card data. Hackers cannot attack what they cannot see. Tokenization protects card data during transactions as well as when the account is idle by creating a unique token ID for the account separates transaction information from the user's personal information, which can limit the potential impact of any breach.

4. Anticipate fraud before it happens.

Here are some simple additional tips to keep crooks out of the cookie jar, or your cash flow in this case. These can help stop fraud and protect your business before fraud happens.

  • Use the Address Verification System or AVS
  • Require CVV codes for purchases
  • Set tight password requirements
  • Look for red flags
  • Do not ignore software updates
  • Monitor for chargebacks when they happen

Remember, hackers and fraudsters often act like playground bullies by exploiting vulnerabilities. As with any bully, the best way to win is through prevention.

To find out more or find out who an Elavon team can help protect your business, contact us.

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