Fraud occurs in different ways. It can be countered in countless ways, too. You have dark web monitoring for tougher measures but simple things like password security also work.
While fraud might happen in unexpected ways, the cost can be devastating. Recent research has shown the cost to be in its billions each year. The money lost to fraud could have gone to fuelling the economy and making people enjoy their hard-earned cash. What is going on with the rising level of fraud and what can be done to prevent it?
Why is fraud so high?
Fraud will cost the UK economy over £137,000,000,000 in 2021. Fraudsters are making a lot of money and businesses need to use tools such as dark web monitoring solutions to control the situation.
If you put that figure into perspective, you’ll see that it could buy a lot of things. Some common consumer items that could have been bought include coffee cups, PlayStation 5 consoles and trips around the world.
One of the reasons fraud is so high is down to increased online activity. According to eConsultancy, e-commerce made 19% of all sales in 2020. The year before, its stake was only 16%. The spike in online activity was down to the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of people were stuck indoors and the only entertainment they had was online.
Shops were closed and many started taking advantage of online shopping. While society is slowly opening up, many still prefer to shop online for convenience and speed.
The problem with the increased online activity was that some businesses were ill-prepared to handle new traffic and keep data safe. There are still many small businesses that aren’t taking advantage of domain monitoring tools, for example. Fraudsters have found a way to go after some unsuspecting businesses and exploit weaknesses in their websites.
Password security matters
Password security matters because statistics show that:
- Only 21% of people use different passwords on different sites.
- 1 in 20 share their passwords with spouses or partners.
- Over 2.5 million people use 123456 as a password.
These are shocking statistics. They mean that passwords are easy to hack. More importantly, once a hacker gets their hand on some of your information, they can get into multiple platforms. If you want to make sure you’re safe online, then you need to focus on creating strong passwords.
Indeed, weak passwords are a big reason behind the fraud. Fraudsters are more adapt to figuring out weak passwords. It’s because these passwords are not long or a combination of different symbols and letters. It makes them predictable and easy to hack.
How to improve password security
It’s important to make sure you’re protected on the internet. One of the easiest ways is to make sure your password security is strong is through strengthening your passwords. There are a few main things that you need to focus on. These are:
- Creating a long password: your password should be 8-12 characters.
- Using a combination of letters, capitalisations, numbers, and symbols.
- Have a unique password for every account you have.
These three simple rules will help you create a strong password. The above might sound a little overwhelming but there’s a way to make password creation easier. You can use free and paid password management tools. You’ll only need one password to control the manager. The manager will create a strong password for your platforms. It can make password management quick and easy.
Aside from strong passwords, you should also turn on two-factor authentication whenever possible. It means you log in to a platform using a password and another authentication method, such as a code you receive on your mobile.
It adds another layer of protection to your accounts. Most businesses offer this solution again with other security measures and it shows they want to keep your data safe.
Keep your guard up
When you’re browsing the net, you want to keep your guard up. Strengthen your security with strong passwords and authentication methods. But remember that fraudsters are clever too.
Whenever you need to input your password, check the site’s authentication and encryption. Don’t signup with services that don’t take data security seriously. If you know a business uses things like dark web monitoring and high-end encryption to keep you safe, you know they are taking security seriously.