There are already plenty of hurdles for you to overcome as an eCommerce store owner. Not only do you need to compete against larger, well-known brands, you likely have dozens of direct competitors. While there are ways you can increase your chances of success, they don’t mean much if visitors don’t feel safe placing online orders.
Cyberattacks are on the rise and eCommerce stores make attractive targets since they can easily collect thousands and sometimes millions of credit card numbers. Once your store gets hacked, it can be difficult to rebuild trust. In fact, a study points out around 19 percent of consumers will never shop at that retailer again while 33 percent would avoid the store for at least three months. So what can you do to make your eCommerce store hackerproof? In an age where people can use their phones and move from one website to the next, you have one chance to make an impression. Make a good one with your website.
Lock it Down
Although customers are more comfortable with online shopping, it still takes a lot of trust for them to enter in their credit card information on sites they are not familiar with. In order to boost that trust, make sure you use a strong SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate. This authenticates the identity of your bustiness and then encrypts any data sent over the Internet. So if there are any hackers who somehow intercept the information they won’t be able to view it. You should also advertise that you use an SSL by acquiring the SSL security seal and placing it somewhere your customers will notice.
While an SSL certificate can protect information sent over a connection, it does not encrypt data on your backend. For this, you need to use a secure eCommerce platform like StoreHippo that provides secure solutions based on cloud infrastructure for ecommerce businesses of every size.
If you want to keep your site even safer, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), especially when accessing information outside of the office. Much like an SSL, a VPN encrypts data sent over the Internet. Whereas an SSL only encrypts data sent on your site, a VPN encrypts any information sent over your Internet connection. While the most effective onesdo cost a subscription fee each month, they can protect your information effectively. Even better, there are several VPN subscription options that allow you to use multiple devices.
Educate Your Employees
One of the most popular ways for hackers to gain access to a company’s servers and databases is via phishing emails. These emails are incredibly dangerous because they look like they are from legitimate sources. Often, they ask you to click a link to verify or check something. The second you click the link; however, it opens your computer up to the hackers. It only takes one person to click the link to put your customer’s information in jeopardy. Since you need email to provide customer service, the next best option is to educate your employees. Provide regular refreshers on phishing emails and be sure to keep them up-to-date on the latest techniques.
Besides this, you should also make sure employees know that they should never send out an email or text with any sensitive information. This also includes chat sessions as these methods of communication are not secure. The only time your employee should gather this information is over a phone line. Even then, you should try to avoid sensitive information such as credit card numbers.
Keep an Eye on Your Site
You are the first line of defense in protecting your site. It’s imperative you keep a watchful eye on what’s going on. Real-time analytics tool can provide insight into your visitors and how they interact with your site. Not only does this provide excellent information oncustomer behavior it also allows you to detect suspicious activity. Some of these tools even send mobile alerts if they do notice anything that seems dubious. This way you can prevent hackers from causing harm.
If you want to take it a step further, consider hiring a cybersecurity specialist to do regular penetration tests. You might be surprised at how vulnerable your site actually is to attacks. It might not be cheap, but performing these tests can protect you from actual cyberattacks.
StoreHippo platform runs regular checks and monitors the security of the websites built on the platform. While already an excellent platform in terms of security, contacta representative and discuss your website’s unique security needs. Try to make maintenance both as thorough and as streamlined as possible so you can focus your efforts elsewhere when it comes to the maintenance of your business. The less time you have to spend managing your servers, the more value you can create from your business.
Keep Minimal Customer Information
There’s no reason you need to keep your customer’s credit card or other sensitive information on your servers. And if you do, realize that this is forbidden by PCI Standards. If you are currently storing this information, you should remove as much information from your servers as you can. Only keep enough to allow for chargebacks and refunds. However, if you plan on keeping it, make sure you encrypt everything and clean up the database on a regular basis. You only want to keep the bare minimum information possible in the case of a security breach.
Your marketing campaigns might also require information such as addresses, names and phone numbers. Just keep in mind the more information you store, the more you put your customers at risk. Additionally, inform your customers as to exactly what information you collect so there are no surprises.
It’s up to you to make sure your customers feel safe and secure when shopping on your eCommerce site. Not only does this help build customer loyalty, it also ensures your business sticks around for much longer.
How do you keep your eCommerce safe from hackers? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author: Caroline is a freelance tech and cybersecurity writer who has been focusing on consumer issues and business concerns for several years now. She believes cybersecurity should be a top priority for everyone, especially for owners of eCommerce stores.