According to the Global Fraud Index, online retailers have suffered a 300 percent increase in fraud attacks since October 2015, primarily due to bots surreptitiously stealing customers’ personal information. Experts say the findings came to light after the transition to EMV chip-enabled payment processing readers in October 2015, indicating more security measures are needed than just a reliable payment process to keep e-commerce stores secure.
Running an e-commerce business and earning a living from home may sound like a dream, but it comes with its fair share of risks and headaches. As a business owner, you are responsible for the safety of both your business and your customers’ data. To prevent your business from falling victim to hackers and data breaches, create a culture of security and look to adopt these five steps to keep your e-commerce website secure.
1. Choose the Right Platform
It’s crucial to choose the right e-commerce platform from the start or migrate your store over from an outdated system. An e-commerce system like Shopify is not only secure and easy to set up, but also offers a safe payment gateway. But any platform you use should be compliant with the latest security standards, including payment card industry and data security standard regulations. For example, PCI and DDS helps increase online safety controls and credit card data to reduce fraud. Your e-commerce provider should also regularly monitor and test its networks, while also maintaining a vulnerability management program.
2. Use Secure Socket Layers
Additionally, all e-commerce websites should use secure socket layers as the standard security protocol. This technology helps encrypt data between the web server your store is running on and your customers’ browser. That means every time your customer places an order, the SSL helps keep all data private and out of a hacker’s reach. Savvy customers look for SSL on sites they shop on, but established e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce already house this feature to simplify the security process for business owners.
3. Encrypt Your Devices and Data
Storing sensitive business information, financial statements or customer data on your devices leaves your e-commerce site open to malicious attack. Smartphones already provide encryption, but not all Androids enjoy the same security. Only use devices with encryption built in and avoid storing sensitive information directly on your devices.
Instead, store your data securely on the cloud with a service like Mozy, which offers military-grade protection and allows you to back up your devices on your schedule. Mozy can also help cut off hackers at the source. But how, you ask? Well, people fall victim to ransomware when their data is stolen and held unless a ransom is paid. But e-commerce owners can simply wipe their devices and restore files from Mozy to stay safe.
4. Employ Two-Factor Authentication
Show customers you care about their security by using two-factor authentication. This extra layer of security to validate whether a user is who they claim to be can keep hackers from phishing and stealing sensitive information. Usually, two-factor authentication requires a user to create a username and password before receiving a code in real time to their phone or email for validation purposes. And, because the code expires after a few minutes, it makes it difficult for hackers to access and steal this information.
5. Use a Password Manager
Refrain from using duplicate passwords, or those that use personal information like a pet’s name or the street in which you live. Instead, create hard-to-crack passwords or use a password manager service to help keep them all straight. In fact, a service like LastPass can help generate tough-to-crack passwords and store them in an online vault with strong encryption algorithms.
Don’t wait for an attack to happen before establishing your security game plan for your e-commerce site. With the right security protocols in place, you can enjoy more time working on growing your business instead of working to manage the fallout from a data breach.