How do you protect yourself from internet fraud?

Well, that depends on whether or not you approach the subject as a cardholder or an ecommerce merchant.

As a cardholder, you might be surprised at all of the avenues by which fraudsters, phishers and other criminals can grab personal information. The best way to protect yourself against fraud is to guard your identity closely, both online and in-person.

There are several common-sense tips that have been floating around for decades:

Shred any documents that contain sensitive information.
Lock your mailbox.
Use the latest fraud detection and prevention tools for your computer.
Check both your bank account and credit report regularly for anomalies.
Don’t let anyone borrow your credit card or use your passwords.
Don’t use the same password for all your accounts.
Make sure your passwords are a complex mixture of letters, numbers and symbols. Use a password storage tool to prohibit unauthorized access.
Most thieves, intent on stealing information, use tried and true techniques. Therefore, common sense against well-known threats is your first line of defense. There is one new threat that is often overlooked though.

Mobile devices have emerged as one of the greatest points of liability.

Do not conduct any important business over a public Wi-Fi network; instead, use only your own private connection. It’s worth using a little data in order to keep your identity safe.
Keep track of your devices, even ones which you no longer use. British researchers recently conducted an experiment, buying a handful of used phones then checking to see how much information they could pull from each device. The team was able to find everything from home addresses to text and picture messages, friends’ lists and even banking information.
Do not save passwords to sensitive profiles,such as banking or credit card information, on your mobile device.

From the merchant’s perspective, although you hear about criminal fraud most often, the impact you are most likely to feel from fraud is in the form of a chargeback.

This is a situation in which the customer disputes a charge made to their account, and the bank forcibly withdraws money from the seller’s bank account and returns it to the cardholder after the sale is completed.

When this happens, the merchant will lose the profit from the sale and any merchandise already shipped, plus you will also be responsible for an extra chargeback fee imposed by their acquiring bank.

There are only three sources of chargebacks and merchants need a comprehensive plan to mitigate all three.

Merchant Error: Provide excellent customer service with attentive and concise communication, as well as clearly explained business policies
Criminal Fraud: Take advantage available security and card verification tools such as fraud filters, affiliate fraud alerts, chargeback alerts, 3D Secure, CVV code and EMV chips
Friendly Fraud: Document all transactions, use delivery confirmation, and pursue third-party assistance in creating a personal plan for friendly fraud mitigation.
Regardless of whether you are a consumer or a merchant, professional help might be needed if your defenses fail and you're victimized by fraudsters. I'd recommend both my companies: eConsumerServices helps consumers get their money back after fraud and Chargebacks911 helps merchants reduce risk and optimize profitability.

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