While the web has offered the businesses the huge number of new marketing opportunities, it has also brought an increased insecurity.

It’s too easy to lose your web traffic (which in many cases constitutes 80% of your leads) in one day. Besides, business presence is subject to other major risks including ruined reputation and data leaks.

In many cases, these threats are directly imposed by your competitors who cannot find more effective ways to build online exposure or want to steal your customers.

Here are five major shady competitors’ tactics and how to protect your business from them:

  1. Buying negative reviews to hurt your online reputation

How does it work?

Your competitor is paying other people to post negative reviews about your products or services across the web.This one is real and the bad news is that businesses are poorly protected, even when the attack is obvious.

One of the most ridiculous attacks in my experience was this case[1] where a local business’s Facebook page got slammed with negative reviews and there was nothing to be done. The reviews had no comment (so they couldn’t be flagged or reported) and even the fact that they all came from Brazil (the local business is in Texas) couldn’t convince Facebook support that they were not legit.

How can you protect yourself?

Monitor your brand mentions through Mention.com[2] and fight back as much as you can. This includes flagging reviews where possible, posting official replies, contacting the platform customer support, etc.

In the worst cases try to turn the situation into big news (this could be a great PR opportunity). Contact news outlets,

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