With Black Friday and Christmas quickly approaching, Mastercard has rounded up their best tips and tricks for avoiding fraud this festive season.
Kiwis are now spending more time at home than ever before, and as a result, online shopping has reached an all-time high. The surge in online spending began as a result of 2020’s Covid-19 lockdowns, but changing customer preferences have kept the boom going 18 months later.
According to NZ Post, online shoppers are buying more often, across more sectors, and spending more on each purchase. Combined with a strong desire to ‘shop local,’ this has created huge opportunities for local retailers.
In the last quarter, Kiwis spent over $1.5 billion online, 70 percent of this being with New Zealand retailers. NZ Post predicts that by the end of the year, Kiwis will have spent over $6.6 billion online in 2021. However, while e-commerce offers retailers rich territory to reach new customers in New Zealand and overseas, going digital places customers at greater risk of scams and fraud.
New research from Mastercard highlights that when it comes to shopping online, Kiwis identified security and trust as their top concern. Almost two-thirds (62 percent) said they were concerned about the security of their banking and personal details. Almost half (48 percent) worried whether they were dealing with a legitimate business.
Businesses aren’t immune either, with cyber-attacks on the rise. As we lead into the peak retail season, Black Friday and Christmas, it is more important than ever to ensure your business is ready to sell online and manage the risks.
Customers expect businesses to implement cyber security precautions to ensure a safe, secure, and credible payment experience. We’ve seen it all around the world, one cyber security incident can harm your reputation and result in a loss of consumer trust.
But the good news is, staying safe online isn’t complex or expensive. With just a few steps, you can minimise the risk of online fraud for your business and customers. Now is a great time to do a Cyber Security Spring Clean.
Here are five simple actions you can take to protect your business and get peace of mind ahead of the Christmas season:
1. Keep your office networks, computers, and mobile devices secure
- Install security software and ensure it is up to date to protect against the latest threats
- Perform a complete virus scan on your computer at least once a week
2. Only provide access to your computer network and data to those that need it to do their job
- Limit how many people have authority to buy or order something on behalf of your business
3. Use strong passwords and update them regularly
4. Don’t share your banking information
- Be suspicious of unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls requesting personal or business financial information
- Don’t open an email attachment if you’re not expecting an email, messages or phone calls requesting personal or business financial information
5. Back up your data regularly
- Back up your data offline to a removable storage device such as a hard drive
If you are new to selling online, here are our tips for preventing fraud:
- Be cautious of suspicious orders, such as unusually large orders or those requiring urgent delivery
- Be cautious of dispatching goods to a freight forwarding company for new clients
- Never take payments on behalf of any other person or business
- Ensure the billing and delivery postal codes match
- Use tracking numbers and delivery receipts
- Consider the use of fraud detection software
- Talk to your merchant acquirer or bank about online authentication methods such as Mastercard Identity Check – consider using a fully hosted payment gateway provider to take care of the entire transaction process on your behalf.
Where can you go for help?
CERT NZ – CERT NZ works alongside government agencies and organisations to help New Zealand better understand and stay resilient to cyber security threats. CERT NZ is your first point of call when you need to report a cyber security problem.
Netsafe – Netsafe is New Zealand’s independent, non-profit online safety organisation that provides practical tools, support, and advice for managing online challenges including scams and security concerns.
Connect Smart – Connect Smart is a partnership that promotes ways for individuals and businesses to protect themselves online. Connect Smart is led by the Government’s National Cyber Police Office (NCPO), as part of the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, in partnership with Government agencies, NGOs, and the private sector.
Scamwatch – The Scamwatch website is run by the Ministry of Business, Employment, and Innovation (MBIE) and has information to assist New Zealanders about scams, including how to work out if you are being scammed, what to do and where to report it.
Office of the Privacy Commissioner – The Office of the Privacy Commissioner investigates possible breaches of the Privacy Act and provides education about the privacy rights of all New Zealanders.
Crime Stoppers – Operating throughout New Zealand, Crime Stoppers is an independent charity that helps New Zealanders fight crime by providing an anonymous and simple way to pass on information to authorities.
Banking Ombudsman Scheme – The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is a free and independent dispute resolution service that investigates complaints by customers about their banks.
Your financial institution – Contact your bank or financial institution when you think your account may have been compromised and had money withdrawn without your authorisation.