Fraud Fears Keeping Some SMBs Offline

Ann All

While SMBs and e-commerce would seem to be a fairly natural fit, due to the Internet's ability to level the playing field between small and large businesses, fraud fears may be keeping many SMBs offline.


According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), just 18 percent of the UK's SMBs sell goods and services online, 1 percent of which are Internet-only businesses. While only 6 percent of SMBs have experienced online credit card fraud, 19 percent of the survey respondents said they consider it a significant concern.


SMBs aren't the only ones concerned about online fraud. Gartner believes that some 46 percent of Internet users have adjusted their online behavior due to security concerns, including buying less stuff online, according to a SecurityProNews article from late last year.


IT Pro reports that the FSB's home affairs chairman is urging government officials to implement recommendations from a recent Lords Science and Technology Committee report.


"E-crime needs to be given the same status as crime that is committed against a bricks and mortar business. Only when this is accomplished, by implementing the Lords recommendations, can more small businesses benefit from having a stronger online presence," he says.


Of course, SMBs themselves need to invest in security technologies and support them with appropriate security policies, an issue that we've blogged about before.


Some good tips on preventing online fraud are contained in Cutting Online Credit Risk, an IT Business Edge interview with a co-founder of the Merchant Risk Council. Among them: Be sure to prosecute all fraud cases, and talk to peers about fraud.

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