On the arrival of the internet, we did not only get to stay connected with each other and have access to any information from any part of the world, but it also became a new channel for conducting business. Since then, many businesses were started online which resulted in numerous advantages both for the business and for the customers. Nevertheless, there are some of the concerns or risks associated with online business, as in the case of Joseph’s online food business too. The paper would bring to light those risks, how they can be minimized, applying security measures to the site, and some ethics of electronic marketing.
Risks There may be any business perhaps where the frauds or risks are not there; hence, online food business is no exception. Since the customers log in, order the food, and pay from their credit cards, several risks both for the business and the customers are there. Let’s discuss the risks that can damage the business’s image and brand loyalty. One major risk is that some other online business might infringe the copyright and trademark laws, and use the same logo, tagline, and website design as Joseph’s food business already has (Spencer, 2004).
This would create multiple food business of the same name, logo, tagline, and product line that would eventually hit the original company quite badly. It would, first of all, take away the market share that it possessed before this violation. Moreover, if that fake or unregistered business is unable to provide the same products and services as that of Joseph’s then the brand loyalty of the customers would tear apart. Not only this, if any further fraud is done on part of that duplicate business, responsibility might be over the original one who would then be responsible for paying the price for it.
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Talking about the price that the customers would have to pay due to fraud done by someone else, there can be many and huge losses underlying for the customers. Since the customers order the food online by visiting the company’s website and paying online too via credit or debit cards; therefore, fraud can be done easily by those who are computer experts. There is a fraud called ‘Phishing Scam’ where certain WebPages are developed that look exactly the same as that of the original website, and customers are asked to fill in their full information such as, passwords, address, credit/debit card numbers, and yes, that is it!
Customers lose all they can at that very moment. Fraudsters can easily use their credit/debit cards by spending as much money as they can for shopping purposes (Watson & Nash, 2004). The delivery of food is something that customers would not think about, because they would have lost much more than that. So, they might file lawsuits against the company thinking that it did all that, or might go after suing it. This can further create curtains for the original food company who did not even think of doing so. Minimizing Risks
These security and privacy risks can be minimized if the company works out and implement a clear strategy to secure its networks, ensure online safety, provision of privacy for the customers, implementing new technologies, introducing new controls and management procedures, recommending the customers to install latest versions of certain softwares, antivirus, ant spam, firewalls, and purchasing the trademarks, copyrights, and other rights so that no other company could use the same name, logo, and tagline.
Not only this, the communication should be there between the customers and the food company, where customers would be required to make a call for the confirmation of their orders (Brooks & Miller, 2004). Also, asking for reconfirmation of passwords and previous purchases can prevent such frauds. Of course, businesses require marketing, especially online ones who can easily market their products or services via internet. Nevertheless, there should be some ethical considerations made by the company when it comes to electronic marketing.
The company should support latest software based websites that do not allow pop-ups, errors, or phishing scams. This can prevent both the company and customers to keep themselves at bay from frauds. Also, those colors, symbols, wordings, and characters must be used in the advertisement or other marketing tactic that abide by the cultural, social, and religious norms of the country. As far as I think, I am confident enough that if such precautionary measures are taken by the business, the transactions done over the internet by Joseph’s food business can be safe and secure without any concerns of fraud or theft.
Even though the transactions would be done the same way by entering the password and credit/debit card numbers, but along with that confirmations would be done by asking previous purchases and though confirmation call between the company and the customers. Consequently, the secure network connections and websites would not allow this sensitive information to be stolen by someone else for fraudulent purposes. References Brooks. J. & Miller. R. (2004).
Security Basics: Putting the Pieces Together. Retrieved on July 31, 2010. From http://www. certconf. org/presentations/2004/Tuesday/TB2. pdf Spencer . S. (2004). Web Site legal issues: Navigating the Landmines. Retrieved on July 31, 2010. From http://www. netconcepts. com/legal-risks-of-doing-business-online/ Watson. J. & Nash. E. (2004). Know the risks of online business. Retrieved on July 31, 2010. From http://www. computing. co. uk/computing/features/2072441/know-risks-online-business
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