How to Prevent Data Theft and Fraud

As a business, obtaining data is not the only crucial part of data collection; protecting such information is just as important. When your users or customers trust you with their details, it is your responsibility to prevent them from getting into the wrong hands.

If not well secured and protected, this vital information is at risk of data theft, fraud, malware, etc. Data theft involves stealing information that has been stored on corporate systems, databases, servers, and devices. It is an illegal transfer of personal or confidential information. 

Data fraud is an umbrella term that classifies all activities that involve the fabrication or falsification of data. Data theft and fraud lead to severe consequences such as losing consumers’ trust, reputation damage, legal penalties, fines, etc.

This article will address how businesses can protect vital information and prevent data theft or fraud.

8 Ways to Protect Vital Information and Prevent Data Theft and Fraud

These are the top 8 ways to protect vital information from data thieves and fraudsters while running online operations.

1. Comply with Privacy Laws

The government lays down data privacy laws and regulations to guide organizations in collecting, handling, managing, and storing the sensitive personal information they collect. These rules ensure businesses handle the data they collect well. Some of the most common data privacy laws in the world are:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA)
  • Canadian Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CCPPA)
  • New Zealand Privacy Act

When you understand privacy laws and comply with them, you protect your business’s vital information from threats like fraud and theft. These laws ensure businesses are extra careful with storing and protecting data. 

Failure to comply with these data privacy laws can lead to severe penalties including hefty fines and imprisonment. Each data privacy statute has different rules that organizations should comply with, but some are common in most privacy laws. These include:

  • Informing users about the data the organization collects and the purpose 
  • Allowing users access to the data the business collected 
  • Having an updated privacy policy 
  • Informing citizens that they have the right to correct any information errors 
  • Receiving consent from a legal guardians if it involves minors (under the age of 16)
  • Ensuring strict sharing rules with third-party services

2. Have a Strong Data Extraction Strategy

Data extraction retrieves information from different data sources for further processing or storage. Also, data extraction consists of procuring data from a particular source to obtain specific information. 

Under the data extraction process, there are three steps known as ETL: Extraction, Transformation, and Loading. Extraction involves the initial gathering of data from one or more sources or systems. Transformation focuses on the refinement of the collected information. Loading involves loading that data into a data warehouse or another system.

During transformation, the data is sorted, organized, and cleansed. The last step, loading, involves delivering the high-quality transformed data to a single unified target location for further analysis or storage. 

Also, during the data extraction process, you have to ensure data security, protect all sensitive information from fraud or theft during the extraction, transformation, and loading processes. 

For each phase, ensure your security has not been breached. So, when developing a data extraction strategy, place the security of the extracted data as a top priority. 

3. Protect Against Affiliate Fraud

Affiliate fraud is any false or unethical activity conducted to generate commissions or profits from an affiliate marketing program. Also, it consists of any activity forbidden under the terms and conditions of an affiliate marketing program. 

The most common signs of affiliate fraud are inconsistent browser sessions, lots of traffic but no conversions, increased user complaints, unresponsive leads, etc. In addition, if a fraudulent affiliate gets access to a business’s vital information, they could steal and use it against the business.

To determine if your affiliates are fraudulent, log and monitor the quality of traffic they bring to your website. Also, track your conversion rates and user behavior. Finally, if you notice any suspicious activity, note them and take the necessary actions to prevent more damage if you notice any suspicious activity. 

There is software that helps with affiliate fraud detection, such as SEON. Such software filters the good affiliates from the bad, keeping your business and vital information safe.

4. Locate All Sensitive Data

There could be instances where businesses lose track of all the sensitive data they have collected. When this happens, the organization won’t be able to provide the necessary data protection. The process of locating all your data is known as sensitive data recovery.

Sensitive data discovery involves identifying and locating vital data to protect them or remove every piece of compromising information. Examples of sensitive data include biometric data, Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Protected Health Information (PHI), Consumer Behavior data, Payment Card Information (PCI), etc.

When you identify all collected data, you will be able to determine the extent of sensitive information you have and are responsible for protecting. In addition, once you have mapped out these data, you can identify the various items that could threaten the security of the information.

5. Have Stronger Passwords

Weak passwords are another way data can be vulnerable to attacks. You can easily protect information from unauthorized access using a strong password. 

A strong password isn’t easy to decode or figure out. Therefore, it should efficiently secure your data from internal or external attacks. 

Failure to protect your data with a strong password can lead to loss or misrepresentation. A strong password should be difficult to guess and consist of letters, numbers, and symbols. 

6. Encrypt Sensitive Data

It can be risky to share sensitive data over the internet. Such information can be accessed and even stolen. Data encryption helps you keep information from being accessed by outsiders. 

Encryption is when you convert your data into another form that only a special key can decode. The form which your data is converted into is known as ciphertext. It is almost impossible to interpret cipher text without the decryption key. 

The key ensures you and the other party are the only ones with access to your data. With encryption, you do not have to worry about data theft. 

7. Train Employees on Data Security

Providing training on data security is crucial for any business. Employees can easily put your company’s data at risk. This is why you must educate them on data security. 

It is not enough for you to have the best antivirus software. Increase data security awareness in your company. 

You can do this by conducting training that teaches employees more about data security. This training should include information on what data security is, what malware is, and what steps to take in order to protect data. 

8. Have Reliable Antivirus Software

Using the internet comes with the risk of computer viruses and data threats. Getting antivirus software is another way to protect data. It would help if you had antivirus software to effectively shield your data from malicious attacks. 

Antivirus software actively scans devices for all forms of malware. They then go a step further by destroying any malware they detect. Some antivirus software also protect your computer from harmful websites and emails. 

Tools for Protecting Against Data Theft and Fraud

Protecting your data against data theft and fraud risks is easier with the right tools or software. Below are the top data protection tools.

Osano

Osano is an excellent, easy-to-use data privacy platform that ensures websites remain compliant with data privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA. When you are compliant with these laws, you will avoid privacy fines, damaging headlines, and other consequences of noncompliance. 

Osano has a “No Fines, No Penalties” pledge that states that if you receive a platform-related fine from a Data Protection Authority while using Osano, they will pay the fine. This proves just how dedicated this platform is to ensuring data privacy.

SEON

Fight against fraud and fraudsters with SEON. This is one of the best fraud prevention softwares for any online business. SEON provides businesses with fraud prevention tools that help to reduce the resources and money lost to fraud and fraudulent activities.

In addition, SEON helps you spot fake accounts and block them. This fraud prevention software adapts to your business easily, making it flexible. No matter what your business structure is, SEON will protect you from fraud. You can also add an extra layer of security or prevention system with no upfront costs.

Norton Antivirus

Norton provides industry-leading antivirus and security software for your PC, Mac, mobile, and other devices. With Norton, you get all-in-one protection for your digital life. 

Also, Norton Secure VPN helps you block hackers from gaining access to your devices. It ensures that hackers don’t see what you’re doing online, whether over a public or home Wi-Fi.

This antivirus software ensures you keep your online activities private while at the same time protecting your identity. Norton’s technology protects users from thousands of threats every minute.

Conclusion

Data protection should be a priority for online businesses. Unfortunately, with the advancement of technology, there has been an increase in data thefts and fraud. This article discussed effective ways to prevent vital information from getting stolen. But with tools like SEON, data protection will become even more successful.

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Lydia Iseh

Lydia Iseh

Lydia Iseh is a writer with years of experience in writing SEO content that provides value to the reader. As someone who believes in the power of SEO to transform businesses, she enjoys being part of the process that helps websites rank high on search engines.

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