We are writing to communicate upcoming changes to our Terms of Service agreement. Beginning August 1, 2022, Todhost will start taking additional steps to verify user accounts when the credentials supplied are in doubt. For example, a client setting up a suspicious website for a Chinese firm while he is resident in Lagos, Nigeria will be required to provide additional details regarding residential address, company registration, contact address of website owner and active telephone numbers.
Where doubts exist, we will require additional information to verify client claims regarding their specific location, evidence of payment of utility bills and name ID verification. Verification could include requests for IDs such as driver's license, utility bill or some other form of photo and residence ID.
These basically are aimed at weeding off spammy and fraudulent websites from our network and to maintain the integrity of our network.
Targeted websites will basically include those who offer investment opportunities, suspicious ecommerce websites, disputed claims on residency particularly outside the countries we primarily serve. Currently, Todhost targets clients in the U.K, Ghana, Nigeria and has clients in the U.S and Canada but the bulk of our clientele are in Nigeria. Clients offering inducements and investment opportunities such as FOREX and Bitcoin trade will be targeted in this exercise.
We will continue to fight phishing, fraud, spam to protect the integrity of our IP addresses and our network. Ensure that our servers and services are not interrupted due to IP suspension regarding phishing, spamming and financial fraud.
We have to take this decision to sustain our current uninterrupted service provision in the past two years. Where serious breaches are detected and confirmed, we may take very severe measures including a suspension and possible termination of client accounts.
Will Legitimate Businesses Be Affected
The short answer is no. Legitimate businesses need not worry about this warning at all. We have an internal mechanism to verify legitimate businesses including visiting client physical location, conducting verification with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and other measures we take to protect internet and enhance the safety of the internet. Even for unregistered small scale businesses like retailers, we still have a way of verifying business locations. Besides, no penalty will be applied without contacting the client for some questioning.
When we find a deliberate intention to commit fraud, we blacklist the domain name thereby ensuring that it cannot be allowed to run on any other network of hosting companies. We may further submit the domain name to permanent blacklist networks which will mean the domain will be permanently blacklisted for life.
Why These Changes Are Necessary
It is important that we support the global move towards safer internet and to also protect the integrity of our network. Imagine an entire server placed under limitations because of the activities of one fraudulent person we couldn't catch. This effort is to ensure that before they cause any damage, we have detected and eliminated the risk.
Websites These Changes Will Target
We will monitor the entire network but more specifically, we seek to target certain key industries or categories:
Non Governmental Organizations including Church websites.
Suspected phishing websites
Bureau De Change
We do hope that these moves will not only help to protect our network and guarantee our 99.99percent uptime offer but also enhance the goal of making the internet safer for every user.
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Ways to Identify a Fraudulent Website
We provide this guide, though inexhaustible, to help you with some quick ways you can protect yourself from internet fraud. Here are they:
1. Check the Domain Name
Carefully check the domain name and double check with the authenticated website address to be sure the fraudster has not made some minor changes to the name or domain etension. This is important because one common trick of fraudsters is to slightly alter a domain name by including or removing one or two characters or by registering a different extension of the same name. An example will be changing a domain from gtbank.com to gtbanking.com or simply registering gtbank.net. You need to be careful about such tricks and be sure to confirm the actual domain name you intended to visit so that you are not tricked to do business with phishing sites.
2. Is it an Investment Website
If you stumble on a website that is not linked to a well known brand and it turns out that it is an investment site, then you need to carefully check every detail and verify the authenticity of every information. You may want to do some additional check in Google search about the legitimacy of the website to be sure you are not falling into the wrong hands. If you find any suggestion that questions the integrity of the website, we suggest you stay away unless you find overwhelming evidence that it is actually legitimate.
3. Is it Offering Banking Services?
Any website offering ebanking services, requesting that you login to access your account or view payment information is a suspicious website and you will need to thoroughly review such websites to determine if you will have to deal with them. Check their website address and check the URL source.
4. Hidden URL
When you see a hidden URL like a social media shortened link offering benefits and inducements to register, you must not jump at such offers because they could simply be fake and a ploy to defraud. Usually, these offers entice you to register for free rebates, health benefits, government grants and similar offers. They will usually be fake and fraudulent. Do not go for them whether they are originating from social media channels or any other platforms.
5. Password Reset Requests
You can sometimes receive notifications by email informing you of changes to your banking channels and the need to reset your password, verify your funds or some similar actions. These are fraudulent emails that you should blacklist their sources and not even bother to open.
6. Review Company Social Media Presence
Most legitimate companies maintain an active social media account. Check for the links to their website, their logos and other signs that can suggest the company is legitimate.
7. Check Grammar and Spelling
Legitimate websites will be careful about their presentation and will make sure things are accurate. When you find a website with lots of spelling and grammatical errors, you are most likely on a fake or fraudulent website.
8. Do Some Simple Research
Basic checks with online reviews and comments can help you decide if the site is trusted. Do not just jump into doing business with a site without background checks.
9. Validate The Website Website With Google Safe Browser Transparency Report
The Google Safe Browsing Transparency Report helps you to check how Google assesses the safety of using a website by allowing you to paste a URL into a field, and it gives you a report on whether you can trust that website.
10. Be Careful With Offers That Are Too Good to be True
Be careful with super attractive offers and investment outlooks that look brighter than normal. Though it can be understood that some retailers will offer incredible discounts and drive business with such cheerful pricing, such moves should trigger a pause and careful examination before you accept such offers. In fact, it is advisable to simply walk away when offers are too good to be real. It is better to miss a discount offer than be a victim of internet fraud.
The internet is a very complicated market place. Just as there are genuine and legitimate businesses providing value, so also are there some fake businesses seeking to exploit vulnerable users. You need to be extremely careful about whom you deal with, especially each time it involves a registration, credit or debit card usage, a request for some validation or password reset.
Sunday, July 10, 2022