How retailers can protect against online credit card fraud during the holidays

Retailers will run millions of credit cards by the end of the holiday shopping season.

That's millions of opportunities for criminals to hack credit card data and use it for fraudulent purposes. To ensure credit card fraud doesn't occur at their store, business owners should implement credit card payment software to catch any malevolent activity as it occurs. And with the increasing prevalence of online sales, businesses with an e-commerce component need to beef up security for their e-commerce as well.

Instances of online credit card fraud increased by 35 percent between October 2015 and October 2016, according to Bankrate. But there are several things retailers can do to protect themselves against fraud and significantly reduce the threat of illegitimate purchases:

Determine whether to use a third-party to process transactions
Business owners should figure out if they want to store customer data on their site or let customers go to a third-party vendor to complete a payment. There are significant benefits to choosing a third-party vendor over companies storing it themselves, such as freeing up space on company servers, but this also has an added security benefit. Using an outsourced website specifically designed to process payments keeps sensitive customer data out of a business' database, which mitigates the risk of a security breach if hackers gain access to it, according to PC magazine.

Track IP addresses
Entrepreneurs should work with payment processing companies to monitor suspicious IP addresses. This allows owners to remain vigilant against fraudulent transactions by giving businesses access to IP data and the ability to block any from individuals who have been linked to suspicious activity in the past, according to Business 2 Community. Not only will this help deter fraud during this holiday season, but it will also provide businesses with valuable data for years to come.

Keep payment forms simple
Retailers often collect more information than necessary from consumers as they fill out online checkout forms, according to PC magazine. To reduce the risk of fraud, retailers should minimize the amount of information customers are required to provide. Doing this will give hackers less information if they manage to access a company's database and make it more difficult to verify card information when they attempt to make future purchases.

Business owners who are concerned about their susceptibility to fraud should consult professionals at Cloud9 Payment Gateway to discuss their cybersecurity options.

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