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How to Protect Your Business from eCommerce Credit Card Fraud

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Ecommerce is growing at an alarming rate. While there is nothing new to the concept of names like Amazon.com and Jet.com wiping out retail locations around the world and killing ‘mom and pop’ businesses, it should be noted that it’s not all bad for businesses owners. Instead of succumbing to the big name giants that dominated the world of ecommerce today, it’s actually become quite the level playing field and opportunity for anyone looking to create an online business of their own — especially with ecommerce and through the power of dropshipping.

However, there are many things an entrepreneur or marketer might need to consider when starting up their first online store. It’s not just about choosing the right products and knowing how to target to your audience, it’s also about using the right platform and always being sure your customer data is safe. Just as important, is making sure you know how to handle online payments and make sure credit card fraud isn’t a disaster lurking around the corner.

Just like most of us are already aware of how affiliate networks can get wiped out if one big advertiser doesn’t make a payment or goes belly up on payments owed, the same can be said of a credit disaster for an online store. It’s sad to say, but one good run of chargebacks against your ecommerce store could put you out of business. This is why preventing e-commerce credit card fraud is of paramount importance.

Adhering to the policies below will help you protect your business.

1. Maintain PCI Compliance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is designed to ensure the safest possible environment for credit card data. The standard includes precautions such as changing factory default passwords on all network equipment and establishing a firewall between your Internet connection and any system that stores credit card numbers.

2. Implement Transaction Velocity Limits

Yes, this means you’ll be limiting your customers to a set dollar amount in purchases each day. (What merchant in their right mind would want to do that—right?) On the other hand, you’ll also minimize the potential take, should a fraudulent transaction make it past your safeguards. (What merchant in their right mind wouldn’t want to do that—right?)

3. Require Two-Factor Authentication

In most cases, when a thief gets a customer’s credit card information, they do not have the Card Verification Value (CVV) data. This three- or four-digit number, printed on the back of credit cards, is a secondary authentication method to prove a customer has the card in their possession. The PCI DSS prohibits storing this information alongside the credit card number and cardholder’s name. In fact, best practices recommend not storing it at all, but rather asking the customer to provide it with each transaction.

4. Monitor Transactions and Reconcile Them Every Day

The fastest way to spot fraud is to know what a typical day’s transactions look like. Reconciling your accounts on a daily basis trains you to spot anomalies. The sooner you notice something is amiss and take steps to do something about it, the better chance you have of apprehending the culprit. You’re looking for red flags such as mismatched billing and shipping information. Pay attention to the physical location of customers to ensure it matches the information provided too. Some online store hosting can help you in this regard by tracking orders automatically.

5. Use Tracking Numbers on All Shipments

You will occasionally run into less than scrupulous customers who will try to claim a chargeback on the grounds their products were never delivered. Tracking all packages and requiring signature confirmation on orders above a certain dollar amount will thwart these perpetrators.

6. Keep Software and Platforms up to Date

Make it a point to install software updates as soon as they become available. In most cases, they’re issued in response to an incident, or the discovery of a potential threat. Similarly, always keep your anti-malware and anti-spyware up to date. Given the nature of what you’re up against, only business-grade products will do for these tasks. The consumer stuff isn’t robust enough to adequately protect financial data.

7. Force Customers to Use Strong Passwords

Set requirements including numbers, letters (both lower- and upper-case), and special symbols for repeat customers who want to establish accounts. Do not permit the inclusion of any of their generally available information as part of the password.

8. Instill Employee Security Consciousnesses

Employee passwords should be just as strict (if not more so) as customers’ login information. Train them to spot potential fraud and empower them to stop a transaction if something feels amiss. Do everything possible to help them understand how fraud can cost them their livelihoods and how important their vigilance is for the health of the business.

9. Maintain a Gallery of Rogue Attacks

Keep a file of all attempted (and successful) breaches. Use these incidents as teachable moments, so your people can avoid falling victim to the same scam twice.

Preventing e-commerce credit card fraud is essential to protecting your business. There will always be people out there willing to work harder to steal than they would at a regular job. These tips will help you force them to move on to easier pickings.

It’s Not Just About Protecting Your Customers… It’s Also Your Business

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to put precautions in place to make sure your customers and eCommerce transactions are safe, but at the end of the day, you also need to remember this is your business and its reputation is on the line. The last thing you want is to lose the trust of your customers, and let word start to spread online about possible attacks or customer loss of data. These can be some of the most detrimental issues when trying to grow an eCommerce site on the internet today.

One of the best ways to get around many of these issues is to simply go with a trusted eCommerce platform that already has a payment platform, third-party security and customer management already in place.

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Affiliate Marketing

Save Time and Increase Earnings with Binom Pro Tracking Solution

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For entrepreneurs, business and brands, and of course affiliate marketers — time is money. As a performance marketing professional, you don’t want to be wasting your time working on campaigns that aren’t contributing in a meaningful way to your bottom line. You also don’t want to be wasting your time looking for the right kind of data on which you can base those kinds of decisions. The more time you’re able to save, the more money you’ll be able to make.

Designed as a tracker for professionals, Binom puts speed first and foremost. From the speed of click processing to the speed of report generation, Binom strives to save your time and increase your efficiency.

Pro Tracking Excellence with Binom

A self-hosted tracking platform, Binom offers an incredible bounty of data and functionality. Everything is just a couple of mouse clicks away.

And even though you are presented with such a wealth of information, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The core metrics and data are broadly organized across intuitive tabs, so you can easily sift through your campaigns, landing pages, affiliate networks, offers, traffic sources, trends, conversions, clicklog and users.

This may sound overwhelming at first, especially for beginners, but Binom has been designed such that even novices can use it. Tracker-related errors are minimized if not eliminated altogether. You’ll also find detailed documentation and an extensive FAQ to help you get a better sense of how best to use the product. And then support is always there to help when you need it too.

What’s Better?

Binom is certainly not the only tracking platform on the block, but it confidently boasts that it is better than the competing software. Whereas some other solutions charge you based on click volume, Binom offers one low monthly price for unlimited traffic, handling millions of clicks per day.

But again, it really comes down to speed and this really is something that Binom prioritizes in its solution. Whereas other trackers can suffer from long redirect times, performance drops under high load, and click loss, Binom promises a click processing time of just 5 ms under any server load. You don’t want to lose clicks just because the server can’t handle it. Processing speed does not depend on volume and Binom guarantees zero losses.

Look at this stuff. Isn’t it neat? It really does look like Binom is complete. The sheer size of this feature list is remarkably impressive, handling just about anything and everything that you would need with click tracking, traffic redistribution, detailed analytics, and even a full API for more advanced functionality.

Traffic Distribution

At the most basic level, you look for an appealing offer on an affiliate network, you grab your affiliate link, and then you start to promote that offer using your link. However, this can be far too simplistic of a model if you really want to maximize your earnings.

That’s why it is so valuable that in addition to all the tracking and reports, Binom also offers a robust traffic distribution solution. You can work with simple A/B split-testing if you want, but the system can also handle multivariate testing for more complex combinations.

You’ll also find a great rotation system, multiple paths, multiple landings, redirecting of proxy traffic, distribution rules based on 20+ metrics, and the list goes on and on. By setting these rules, you can redirect traffic based on a wealth of parameters, like country, browser, language, part of day, lander, connection, device and more.

It’s when you leverage more powerful implementations like this, coupled with the incredible depth of data analysis, that you can really elevate your earnings. Look for where you’re getting the most clicks and if those clicks are actually converting into revenue. How much is this traffic costing you? What is your ROI?

Dig Into That Data

If you’re only running a small handful of campaigns with a couple of landing pages, getting a handle on the data can be pretty easy. When you’ve got hundreds or even thousands of campaigns at scale, you’re playing in a different league and that’s when you’d need something like Binom.

Remember that Binom is a tracking solution that is geared toward professionals, so this means that is geared toward handling just about any volume you can throw at it. With those super fast click processing times, the traffic you generate will reach where they need to go more quickly and this provides a much more positive user experience.

The next step, of course, is to dive deep into the wealth of data at your fingertips. Everything that you need is here, and it’s all easily filtered, sorted, and searched through. Look for parameters that are offering the best CTR or look how you’re doing with EPC or CPC. This can reveal new opportunities for growth, as well as what campaigns you should probably drop.

Visually, it can feel like a lot, to be sure, but that’s kind of the point. Binom has done a great job is presenting this data in such a way that is more easily digestible, including convenient color coding and sorting. Filter by network, time frame and more, looking for where you’re getting the best ROI (and where you’re not).

One of the best ways you can get a good handle on how Binom works is to have a look at the product tour. You’ll learn more not only about speed, but also about how the group system will help you organize your information, how the traffic distribution can offer smart rotation, how the deep analytics can offer incredible detail, and how just powerful the tracking solution can be.

The live demo is worth checking out too.

Monthly Subscription Price

Tired of complex pricing schemes where you’re not really sure what plan is right for you? Binom has kept things very simple. You can choose to pay $99 monthly or, if you prepay for a year at a time, the monthly cost for the license is cut down to $69. In both cases, you get one server, unlimited clicks and domains, and lifetime updates, as well as a 14-day free trial.

Binom will install the tracker on your server for free. Updates are pushed out as single clicks, so you don’t have to replace files manually. Support is always available via Skype and the web with responses in five minutes or less. If you need additional licenses, they’re $49 each.

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Affiliate Marketing

How to Make Money with CrakRevenue Affiliate Network

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What do you look for in an affiliate network? You want to make sure that it’s got some of the top offers in the industry, of course, because what good is a network if it doesn’t have the right offers. You also want to have good lines of communication open so you can get the support than you need. And you want to ensure that the network is run as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

Ticking all of these boxes is CrakRevenue, the CPA network crowned with 20 international awards in the past five years, including best affiliate program and best overall company of the year. Are you ready to follow the whale?

Make Money Online with CrakRevenue

As fresh and as exciting as the new kids on the block might be, they’re unproven in the industry and you can have little assurance of where they might go next. It’s far better to work with an established entity that has proven its success, year after year, and that’s what CrakRevenue is all about.

The CPA network has been around for more than ten years at this point. From the very beginning, as Chief Operating Officer Axel Vezina, they’ve known that “having the expertise, knowledge and passion for developing new features and the knowledge of the industry” would put them “well ahead of the curve.” These days, they’ve CrakRevenue has grown to become “the largest, longest running, most reputable and the most trusted CPA network in the industry.”

You can expect to have everything you need to be successful as an affiliate with CrakRevenue. You’ll have access to over 1000 offers at your fingertips, dedicated account managers who can offer customized ad tools and insight, exclusive products to promote, high payouts, fast and accurate reporting, high CTR ad tools, and even extra earning opportunities.

Targeted Adult Offers

Generally speaking, the CrakRevenue affiliate program focuses mostly on offers that are geared toward adults. These include offers that are related to dating and adult entertainment, like cams and paysites, as well as offers that are more generally appealing to an adult audience, like crypto and gaming.

What this means, then, is that the audience that you have and the targeted traffic you intend on sending should be geared more toward this type of demographic. It’s noteworthy that because many of the offers are from adult entertainment advertisers, the corresponding ad creatives may contain nudity and other adult-oriented content.

When you log into your affiliate dashboard with CrakRevenue (more on this in a moment), you’ll be able to sift, search and filter through the list of offers to find one best suited for you and your audience. You’ll notice two toggles for enabling and disabling both G offers and 18+ offers. When you choose only to show G offers, that really means that the creatives are only “G” rated, as the advertisers may still be offering adult-oriented products and services.

Dashboards and Rankings

Getting set up as an active affiliate with CrakRevenue is a standard, straightforward affair. Logging into the dashboard, you’ll be presented with an attractive interface that is easy to navigate too.

All the core navigational links are in the left sidebar, and it is on this initial page that you’ll be presented with key information. This includes current active promotions, like the Back2School challenge for September in this case. And in addition to a list of top offers, the latest blog posts, your payment history, your recent statistics, and your affiliate manager’s contact information, there’s also something called the affiliate ranking.

This is a brand new account that we’re using for the purposes of this review, so of course our total payout thus far is zero. That being said, seeing your ranking among all the affiliates on the network can provide a bit of “gamification” or motivation to keep you going, as it puts your efforts into perspective.

Based on what I see here, there are at least 11,000 affiliates on the network. There’s a note for how much I’d need to earn to move up one spot in the ranking, but more importantly, there’s a note on how much it takes to get into VIP status.

Affiliates with CrakRevenue fall into one of three rankings. The active affiliate is where you start. When you crack the top 200, you become a VIP affiliate with added benefits like a dedicated account manager and exclusive offers. Break into the top 50 to join the elite club. With that, you get a 20% one-month referral bump, a 10 day annual payout bump, and a Christmas gift too!

Applying for Promotions

As of the writing of this review, the CrakRevenue affiliate network boasts over 1,200 affiliate offers. Naturally, I wasn’t able to go through all of them, but based on a random spot test, it appears that as a new affiliate, you will need to apply for each offer that you want to promote individually.

So, for example, this is currently one of the top offers in the network. You get to see some of the most important information, like a description of the advertiser and the offer, as well as the payable action, payout amount, accepted countries, and the conversion flow. I found having the conversion flow helpful so it’s crystal clear what is required before you are credited for the user action.

But you will also see at the very top that you need to request approval in order to promote this offer. Furthermore, the offer is also “temporarily capped to a maximum of 25 leads/day while we review the quality of your traffic.” On the one hand, this can be a little frustrating for affiliates, as it is an extra hoop to jump through.

On the other hand, by taking this extra step of requiring approval and by assessing the quality of traffic, CrakRevenue is able to maintain a certain level of quality for its advertisers. In turn, the advertisers can then be more confident about increasing payment amounts and this, as a result, leads to more lucrative opportunities for legitimate affiliates. It’s ultimately win-win.

More Affiliate Features

As you make your way around the dashboard, you’ll uncover a wealth of tools and features as an affiliate. The SmartLink technology, for example, makes it easy to maximize your earnings as you don’t need to identify a single offer you’d like to promote. Instead, the system can find the best offer for the user on an individual basis.

You can customize the smart link based on the type that you’d like to use, like a banner ad or a simple link. From there, you may unlock additional options like banner size, language and format.

Another useful tool is the Native Ads Generator. Choose between about a dozen different templates, include vertical blocks, horizontal blocks, separated blocks, text over, three vertical banners, and more. Choose niche settings (like sexual orientation and nudity), widget settings like max width and number of ads shown, image settings, and text settings. More advanced affiliates can even apply custom CSS.

Survey Machine by CrakRevenue

As you can see, CrakRevenue has a nice selection of their own useful tools and generators for affiliates to take advantage of. This is just one of the many features that have made CrakRevenue stand out of the crowd in the super competitive affiliate marketing space.

Let’s now take a look at their Survey Machine, which helps affiliates not only better understand how much revenue they might be able to generate based on the type of traffic they have, where their traffic is from, and how much of it they are getting — but also to create online surveys, polls, content, applications and more that they can profit from in the process.

You can see a few of the tool features and concept ideas in the screenshot below.

 

Of all the tools offered by CR, this one is definitely the most popular amongst their affiliate. In fact, it even has it’s own loading page for people that would like to learn more about it. Head on over to https://www.surveymachine.com to learn more and to try the tool out yourself.

Payment Terms

When you work with CrakRevenue as an affiliate, you are treated to generous payment terms that will ensure you are suitably rewarded for your efforts in a timely and efficient manner. Payments can be issued via Paxum, wire or check and all commissions are issued in USD. The minimum threshold is $100 for all payments except for wire, where the minimum is set at $500.

There are two payment periods each month (up to the 15th, and up to the end of the month). Depending on the arrangement that you have, you may be eligible for a net-7, net-15 or net-30 payment schedule.

How to Make the Most Money with CrakRevenue

As with any affiliate program or money making offer online, it’s all about the amount of time, work, and effort you put in to master the system. CrakRevenue provides affiliates and marketers with the tools they need to find success, while also coming out with the best offers and CPA amounts possible.

Join CrakRevenue today, then connect with your affiliate manager to start promoting the best offers today.

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Affiliate Marketing

5 Different Scenarios Where Discussing Money Is Taboo

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Being an affiliate marketer or an entrepreneur, and working in the internet marketing industry is completely different from any other business or job in the world today. Head to any major affiliate marketing or business event, and everyone is talking about how much money they made from their recent ad campaigns, promotions, mailings, and product launches. In fact, not only are people talking about how much money they’ve made, they are also helping others to make more in the process.

Jump outside of this industry, and you will find a completely different world, where the concept of talking about money or how much you make, is completely taboo!

To further stress this point, most companies consider discussing salaries among co-workers an offense for which one can be fired. Remarkably, this mindset permeates society at large. In fact, a University College London study found people were more comfortable discussing romantic or intimate matters with a stranger than to discuss financial matters.

All of which leads one to wonder, why is discussing money taboo? To answer this question and concept, let’s take a look at some of the most popular places where the discussion of money and self-made profits usually isn’t an acceptable talking point.

At Work

Employers frown upon co-workers having salary discussions because it will ultimately cost the company more. If you find out the person at the desk next to yours, who has the exact same credentials and experience as you make more money, you’re going to seek parity. And well you should. Keeping everyone in the dark about pay means employers can choose to reward individuals as they see fit—rather than base it entirely upon merit.

In Social Situations

Money is a way to “keep score” for a lot of people. They use it to measure their relative success against others. In a consumption-driven society like ours, people tend to pass judgment on others based on where they live, the car they drive and how they dress. People with money problems are (regrettably) considered unsuccessful. Meanwhile, people who aren’t doing well console themselves by believing people must be greedy to be rich. If money were discussed openly, this would only exacerbate the phenomena. Therefore, in an effort to avoid such uncomfortable conversations, people tend to avoid talking about finances altogether.

In Personal Relationships

One of the leading causes of divorce is varying expectations surrounding money. By and large, children learn to deal with money from their parents. If one partner comes from a family prone to frugality and the other comes from a household given to indulgence, the resulting disconnect can be quite jarring. Arguments surrounding fears for the future lead to strong disagreements as well as loss of intimacy. The earlier a couple discusses finances and finds a space within the topic where they can co-exist, the sooner they can get on the path to building a solid financial future together.

Fear of the Unknown

Out of sight is out of mind for many people. They believe if they never talk about money, they can live blissfully unaware. However, this attitude can create money problems. If you give your finances no thought, spend freely and worse, resort to credit to acquire the trappings of success, you could find your income incapable of supporting your desired lifestyle. You could also inadvertently pass these habits along to your children, dooming them to the same fate.

It’s OK to Consult Professionals

As difficult as it might seem at first, especially if you’re in a situation in which money problems have escalated into missed payments and collections calls, working with a financial professional can be of great benefit. On the other hand, even if things are flowing well, you could benefit from the services of a financial planner who can help you ensure the security of your future.

If you’re having problems meeting your obligations, then one might find comfort in talking with a professional financial and loan company for guidance. A perfect example of this can be seen at Freedom Debt Relief reviews where they provide a list of financial solutions that openly discuss the topics of interest rates, terms, loan amounts, and much more.

Silence Isn’t Golden

Ultimately, keeping quiet about money does you more harm than good. Talk to your spouse, teach your children, and try to learn from your friends. There really is no good reason why discussing money should continue to be taboo.

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