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|Hayley Matthews • 11/08/17|
The Short Version: From anti-piracy to domain management, MarkMonitor offers a spectrum of threat-monitoring and fraud-protection services for businesses worldwide. The company’s comprehensive anti-phishing solutions are especially useful in the dating industry where fraudulent claims can put singles at risk for blackmail and identity theft. Some cyber criminals have begun duplicating the login pages of known dating websites to trick online daters into divulging personal information such as their passwords and credit card numbers. This serious issue undermines the trust between dating websites and single people. To defend its brand and membership, a responsible dating company can partner with MarkMonitor to go after any bad links and phony apps associated with the site. Since 1999, over 180 partners and 1,300 customers in 50 countries have trusted MarkMonitor to safeguard their online brands and make the web a safer place for everyone.
I’ve created accounts on a lot of dating websites. Like, definitely more than 20. Maybe more than 50. Some I use regularly in my personal life, and others I used for a day so I could write an advice article. Either way, the sites keep my contact information, and many follow-up with “Hey, someone sent you a message” or “We miss you — come browse our new members” emails.
Every day, I receive dozens of promotional emails that I send to the trash unopened. Most are probably legit, but it’d be too easy for a phishing scam to slip under the radar and tempt me to “see who’s viewed my profile” or “update my photo” using a fake or malicious link. Those type of scams can get online daters into serious trouble if they’re not careful.
Sometimes a login link in an email isn’t harmless — sometimes it’s a ruse designed to steal passwords, plant malware, and prey on unsuspecting online browsers. Thankfully, MarkMonitor has been fighting back against phishing scams across the web by giving businesses the tools to detect and block the fraudulent links that use top brand names for nefarious purposes.
Founded in 1999 by a team of lawyers, MarkMonitor began as a trademark protection company and has evolved over the last few decades to adapt to the security concerns of a high-tech age. Today, the company pioneers mobile brand security and is the domain registrar for all of the top 10 most trafficked sites on the internet. Backed by decades of experience, the global team is a passionate and knowledgeable resource for companies seeking to shield consumers from online scams.
MarkMonitor’s protection services are vital in the dating industry where reputation is currency and brands live and die through word of mouth. When criminals hide behind your brand name, it can hurt your business as well as your customers, so MarkMonitor has engineered high-impact strategies and solutions to prevent scams and preserve the overall integrity of the web.
“In recent years, internet usage has broadened so our solutions have broadened as well,” said Charlie Abrahams, Senior Vice President at MarkMonitor. “If you think about it, everything we do online these days has a log in, and that puts people at risk.”
In offices spanning from San Francisco to London, MarkMonitor operates as part of Clarivate Analytics, a far-reaching analytics company focused on fostering innovation in the online world. The forward-thinking team works to create tools that empower companies to control and protect their brands.
With its anti-phishing solutions, MarkMonitor offers zero-hour fraud detection and notification technology to help companies put an end to phishing, identity theft, malware, trojans, and other online scams made in their names. Real-time analysis detects suspicious links and warns browsers about potential online threats before they land in trouble. This proactive solution stops consumers from accessing fraudulent websites and becoming victims of identity theft.
What began with simple IP monitoring tools in 1999 has since expanded to provide online and mobile brand protection to over 1,300 customers worldwide. MarkMonitor currently partners with well-known tech, fashion, pharmaceutical, automotive, entertainment, and dating companies, and implements top-notch security tools that increase consumer confidence in the brand.
“Originally, phishing scams were mainly a problem in the financial sector,” Charlie said, “but, over the last few years, banks have armed themselves and used vendors, like MarkMonitor, to remove these threats, so phishers have moved on to take advantage of other areas of the web, including dating websites.”
Now phishing scams and online fraud threaten the bottom lines of businesses in all sectors — about 93% of top brands experience online fraud, and up to 7% of annual revenue is lost to counterfeiters. However, case studies show that working with MarkMonitor yields positive results in the area’s of customer experience and business revenue.
According to MarkMonitor’s Verizon case study, “To reduce the incidence and cost of phishing attacks, Verizon successfully integrated MarkMonitor solutions with other internal security measures as part of a larger concerted effort to educate and protect customers and prevent Verizon fraud losses.”
Charlie’s number one piece of advice for online consumers is never click on links in emails, especially if it’s asking for login information. Some phishing scams involve convincing duplicate pages that simulate trusted brands and trick people into giving out their passwords, payment information, and personal details.
MarkMonitor’s security expert also warns against urgent “your account is going to expire unless you click here” language in emails. Don’t let these emotive pleas fool you. Go on the site to seek out information from a trustworthy source. Sometimes dating profiles get switched to inactive status if you haven’t logged on in a while, but dating websites don’t generally delete accounts for no reason, so be wary of any email claiming you have to click a link or be kicked off the site.
“You should be suspicious of any urgent call to action to something via the web,” said Charlie. “You can call to validate the email, but make sure the phone number you have is genuine. Don’t use the one in the email; look it up off the official site.”
Lastly, Charlie recommends looking at the address sending an email to ensure it’s a credible source. Sometimes criminals come up with deceptive email addresses to fool the untrained eye, so verifying the address via phone or web search before you click on anything is always a good idea.
MarkMonitor is a gratifying place to work because employees know they’re doing good work and making the web safer for businesses and consumers alike. Charlie has been with the company for over 10 years now, and he said many of his colleagues have been there as long, if not longer, than he has.
Whether they’re helping the NFL put a stop to illegal streaming or giving Nissan tools to prevent the sale of counterfeit airbags, the team keeps people honest on the web and ensures greater security for consumers.
They work closely with law enforcement on criminal cases and often play a critical role in identifying crimes across the web. Their resources help officials extend their reach and nab the bad guys. “Everybody enjoys the fact that we’re on the side of the good guys,” Charlie said. “Our job is to be a modern-day police force on the internet, to a certain extent. Major law enforcement agencies look to us to provide them with evidence and lead them to the perpetrators.”
To keep up with the times, MarkMonitor has begun shifting focus toward mobile security solutions as well. The goal is to keep bogus apps that counterfeit well-known web brands from gaining traction. Some phony dating apps attempt to mimic reputable websites to gain sign-ups, which jeopardizes the good name of large brands in the industry.
This is a challenge the MarkMonitor team is excited to tackle and solve in the coming years. “The reality is mobile usage is moving incredibly fast. More people in the world have a mobile phone than a toothbrush,” Charlie told us, “so that’s a big area where fraud can take place.”
To many dating websites, my deleted or inactive accounts probably look like low-hanging fruit. The team reckons if they send me an email about a new message or fun feature, maybe I’ll be tempted to reactivate my account. Unfortunately, all that marketing effort is going straight to my trash. If I want to go to a site, I’ll go to it on my own time — not by clicking on a free-trial, new-message, go-log-in-and-chat email that could’ve come from anywhere.
Many singles choose to play it safe while on the web and avoid spammy emails or sketchy sites. However, sometimes legit services get lumped in with the bad guys, and that’s not fair to upstanding businesses trying to expand a membership base in the online dating scene. Fortunately, security-focused companies can effectively preserve brand integrity and increase user confidence by enlisting the services of MarkMonitor.
With a range of services, from registering domain names to preventing phishing scams, MarkMonitor goes the extra mile to assist and support brands in an ever-changing online space. Hundreds of top companies in the dating industry have partnered with MarkMonitor to build trust with online daters and keep members safe from various forms of identity theft.
To use the words of the website, “We envision a global online community where brand owners can finally realize their rightful revenues and reputations — and where the tools needed to take action are always just a click away.”