Australian businesses are preparing for the biggest retail sales month of the year with experts predicting a tailwind for retailers this December, looking forward to pre-Christmas sales and Boxing Day. 

However, with online shopping comes risks. As more businesses move online and capture opportunity with their customers, they must be on the front foot in protecting both their customers and bottom line from fraudsters. 

Mastercard vice president of cyber and intelligence solutions & digital identity, Mallika Sathi has shared her top tips to help protect the bottom line this Christmas.

  1. Use strong passwords: Use strong, unique passwords for each online account and update them regularly – don’t store passwords on your computer.
  2. Knowledge is power: Know who you are dealing with online. Check that you are dealing with a trusted, reliable business or supplier by confirming their company details and researching online feedback and complaints.
  3. Multi-factor authentication: Small businesses should implement MFA wherever possible. The multiple layers make it much harder for criminals to attack your business. When paying anyone external, this will ensure the transactions are secure.
  4. Scam awareness: Large and small businesses can be victims of scams. Protect yourself and your business by being aware of the common scams targeting small businesses. Fraudsters are using very sophisticated phishing emails to con businesses.
  5. Anti-virus protection: Install security software for your business and ensure it is up-to-date to protect against the latest threats and remember to back-up your computer and mobile devices regularly.
  6. Educate yourself: Being prepared for a data breach is a must for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses need to have a data breach response checklist in place to ensure they understand the steps to take.