Millions of individuals use online shopping websites to buy products and services they’re interested in. Unfortunately, as the number of ecommerce websites and users grows, so does the number of security threats they face.
Attacks against businesses, both large and small, are becoming increasingly common. According to statistics, 43 percent of small businesses were targets of cyber-attack.
Hackers commonly target ecommerce websites to steal customers’ credit card data.. If you operate an ecommerce website, it’s your responsibility to keep your site secure. This will prevent malicious individuals from getting access to sensitive information.
Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to protect your site and your customers. Here are five tips that will help you keep your store secure from cybercriminals:
Ensure Basic Protection
Installing security software on the PC you use to manage your ecommerce site is extremely important. Using antivirus and antimalware software will help protect you against a variety of security threats. This will reduce the chances that a security exploit will allow a hacker to use your PC to gain access to your online store.
Using a firewall adds an extra layer of security. A firewall is able to detect suspicious activity on your network and block it automatically.
There are many different applications to choose from. Try finding an all-in-one solution instead of using multiple products. You may find that some security solutions are more affordable than others. Yet, investing in a high-quality product will definitely be worth it.
Use Secure Sockets Layer
Most information exchanged between servers and clients on the Internet is done in plain text. This means that the information can be intercepted by third parties. If an unauthorized user intercepts the data that is transmitted between a server and its users, they could obtain sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers or your customers’ other personal information.
To keep data secure, every ecommerce website should use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This certificate encrypts all communications between a website and its visitors.
You can also use Extended Validation Secure Sockets Layer (EV SSL). EVSSL not only secures the data by encrypting it, it also displays a green padlock symbol in the address bar. This gives your visitors the assurance that they’re at a legitimate website
Require Strong Passwords
Brute force attacks are one of the most common ways hackers gain access to users’ accounts. This method involves using automated software to generate a huge number of guesses to discover a password. Depending on the complexity of the password, it could take anywhere from a few minutes to several years to crack a password.
In case a hacker discovers one of your customer’s passwords, they can gain access to their personal information. As a result, your customer could become a victim of identity theft. One of the ways to prevent this is to enforce password length and complexity standards when your customers sign up for an account. Strong passwords are at least 12 characters long. They should include a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
Make sure you and all your employees set up strong passwords for your online store as well. Never use the same password you use to log in to other accounts. You should also change your online store’s password every few months.
Don’t Store Sensitive Data
Many companies collect and store a lot of information about their customers. However, some of that data is not relevant to the company’s needs. As a result, you and your employees may end up wasting valuable time and resources collecting, storing and analyzing it.
More importantly, when you store sensitive information such as credit card numbers on your server, you increase the risk of your customers’ data being compromised. For this reason, you should avoid storing payment card numbers and other sensitive information on your own server.
Spend some time analyzing the data you collect from your customers. If it’s something you don’t need, don’t store it on your server. The data that you collect from your customers and store on your servers should only be the minimum required to process their orders and stay in touch with them for marketing purposes.
Every ecommerce website runs on a platform that allows businesses to show their products to their customers, as well as process their purchases. Many of these platforms give you the ability to use custom templates, extensions and plugins. While many plugins are very useful when it comes to adding functionality to an online store, they can also be a source of security flaws. This can create potential backdoors that hackers can exploit to gain access to your website and its stored data.
Update your ecommerce platform regularly, to keep it as secure as possible. Any third-party plugins you use need to have the latest security patches as well. Many publishers will notify you whenever an update is available, especially if it fixes and important security vulnerability that has been discovered.
If you use WordPress, you need to be aware that it’s well-known for many vulnerable plugins that could pose a threat to your website’s security. Therefore, only install plugins that are recognized as safe by the community.
A growing number of people are now shopping online. At the same time, ecommerce sites have become a more common target for hackers. If you run an online store, you should make every effort to keep your site secure. A a security breach can have a highly negative impact of your reputation. To reduce the chances of a security breach, take advantage of SSL technology. Make sure you require strong passwords and limit the amount of data your store on your server.