7 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Help Protect Us Against Online Fraud

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In the fight to protect our private data from cyberattacks and criminals, an increasing number of businesses are relying on artificial intelligence to identify problems before they start. Take a look at a few ways AI is helping insulate our data from online fraud, brought to you by Mental Floss and Discover.

1. AI can react immediately to suspicious activity.

When humans stop to review potentially suspicious transactions, it creates a delay between the time of the activity and when a consumer is notified about it. With AI, transactions that fall outside of normal spending habits can be flagged and an auto-notification given to the potential victim immediately. Quick intervention can help shut down any further transactions and restore control of an account back to the user. Until AI steps in, get a credit card that will help keep you in the know. Discover will alert you if it finds your Social Security Number on any of thousands of risky web sites or if new accounts are opened in your name on your Experian® credit report. It’s free for cardmembers to sign up for both alerts. Learn more at Discover.

2. AI can help spot fraudulent online ads.

Not all of the banners or clickable advertising online is legitimate, but that’s not always easy for the user to understand. Some ads may even link to legitimate sites or businesses to establish trust before switching to an illicit system designed to collect your private data. AI will help ferret out these links.

3. AI is helping humans do more work.

It’s a misnomer that AI can make complete evaluations of fraudulent activity without any human participation. While it can look at a larger set of data points, a good portion of the information it needs to “learn” comes from human-based investigation. With AI focused on statistics, employees can explore data the software is not yet aware of.

4. AI learns from a variety of businesses.

When an online merchant uses AI to examine information, it’s not a closed system. The software they choose to employ typically aggregates data from all of their business relationships. It’s looking at information from a spectrum of experiences to analyze and verify legitimate transactions. That’s especially good for small businesses that may not have the same wealth of knowledge to draw from as a larger entity. It’s also good for the consumer, who benefits from “smarter” machine learning no matter who they’re dealing with.

5. AI could make transactions faster, not slower.

When we think of online security, we often assume we’ll be subject to a number of verification prompts. But efficient AI programs can recognize when businesses are at higher risk of fraud and take appropriate steps to help those businesses reduce those threats. The result should be a more secure online experience that actually takes less time to navigate.

6. AI can assess where the most likely threats are coming from.

Like a digital fingerprint, IP addresses can help security experts identify regions where fraud seems to be prevalent. Even a transaction executed by an “anonymous” address is worthy of suspicion. By looking at areas where fraud is more likely to occur, AI can better isolate potentially illegal activity.

7. AI can help us identify social engineering hacks.

Not all attempts at fraud come from brute-force hacking. Many fraudulent transactions are the result of hackers posing as online merchants via email and asking for confidential information from the consumer. AI can learn language typical of these attempts and then dispatch a warning.

AI may be the path of the future, but there are still steps you can take to help protect yourself today. Discover will monitor thousands of Dark Web sites and alert you if they find your Social Security Number, or if new accounts appear on your Experian® credit report. The service is free for cardmembers who sign up and is a good first step to putting you in the know. Terms apply. Learn more at Discover.com.