An e-commerce website is a wonderful platform for both buyers and sellers to come in contact with one another and conduct business which is favorable and profitable to both parties. Inasmuch as this is commendable, online stores draw the attention of fraudulent people and hackers just the way ants are drawn to sugar. There is a juicy amount of personal information on the cards of shoppers which the hackers target for their fraudulent activities. For people who run and own e-commerce websites, keeping hackers and frauds away is very serious and important business. Hackers have the potential to wreck an e-commerce business and the issue of fraud must be to the priority of e-commerce website owners. Below is a list of 10 essential steps that e-commerce store owners can take to ensure the security and safety of their clients and their cards while shopping.
1. Choose a Secure E-commerce Platform
The kind of e-commerce platform which a business is using for its website is very important. This is so because some platforms are more secure than others. It is important that website owners to choose platforms which have a proven track record of being secure so that their clients do not get hacked. Popular platforms like Magneto, Shopify, woo commerce and some others put a lot of money and measures to ensure that their platforms are secure. Anyone of the platforms mentioned above will provide a secure stage for the conduction of business without the fear of accounts and cards being tampered with.
2. Use SSL certificates and ensure PCI compliance
To ensure customer satisfaction in the services being offered by an online store, the customers must feel that their data is safe. One of the ways to ensure the safety of data as it flies between the website servers and the computers of clients is encryption. Encryption ensures that data that is being exchanged by the parties involved in the transaction is secured and coded in such a way that it cannot be easily decrypted or deciphered by a hacker. This is important and when clients see an SSL certificate or seal on an e-commerce store website, they feel secure knowing that all their communication on that site is fully encrypted. It is also good for websites to ensure PCI compliance and adherence to their regulations which include making sure that data is not stored beyond a particular time. Constant changing of passwords as well as other different measures to ensure that the website is safe and secure.
3. Do not store sensitive data
It is very important that on a very regular basis, a website purges all the personal data of clients which are on their servers. Businesses owe their clients the duty of ensuring that any data which they do not need is constantly purged from their system. This is necessary because such information attracts hackers and they can put to evil use information gleaned from these websites. Except for information needed in case of a chargeback on a credit card, any other card which has been used and business concluded without a hitch must be deleted. Along with not storing sensitive data is also the fact that websites should harvest from cards only information which is absolutely necessary for the transaction to go through and nothing else. This is good for client safety and security from hackers.
4. Ensure DDoS protection with cloud-based services
There is a kind of service being offered by some companies which are called Distributed Denial of service. These companies ensure that they clean out any kind of unwanted flow of traffic through a website and ensure that only the right kind of traffic finds its way to the servers of their clients. Such companies usually provide cloud services such that all the data must pass through them to ensure correct cleaning out of the communication pathway so that just pure and real customers are interfacing with the e-commerce site and not crooks, frauds or people with suspicious characters.
5. Install security patches on your system regularly
During the diagnosis and analysis of sites which had suffered severely from cyber-attacks by fraudulent people and hackers, there was one reoccurring problem. All these sites were running outdated versions of the different software they were working with. Both security software as well as even the e-commerce platforms, it is important to ensure that the site is kept up to date very regularly. This is the only way to keep the site safe. Whenever a new version of software comes websites must do the upgrade promptly owing to the fact that support for the older version dwindles and makes such a software easy target for the wrong crowd.
6. Provide security training to employees
It is important to train employees regularly and frequently on how to detect and block fraudulent activity. This is important because the IT world is a fast paced and ever changing world, with hackers and frauds evolving new systems by the day to cause havoc to people’s finances. Using naivety as an excuse for not being able to ward off attacks is not tenable and it is certainly bad for business. Employees must know how to sift through the information of shoppers to determine when a person is trying to use a stolen card or stolen information from a card to conduct a transaction. There are some regions of the world with a higher number of frauds and crooks than other places. Transactions coming from such places need to be scrutinized to ensure that fraud does not happen.
Little details such as shipping addresses which is different from the addresses on the cards and other minute details can serve as telltale signs in other to be able to determine and flag a transaction as a dubious and fraudulent one. Hackers and frauds also like to go for high-end products which have very expensive price tags. They do this so they can make a lot of money from selling this item when they have obtained them with stolen cards. It is important that there are serious security and vigilance on these kinds of items and products to ensure that hackers do not have a field day in our stores.
7. Set up a system alert for suspicious activity
As part of means to making our sites more secure, businesses could set up system alerts for activity which is suspicious. When a particular card is to be used for a particular region of the world there could be a system alert for that. When a particular threshold of dollars is passed like maybe 500 dollars, there should be an alert for such activity. The idea behind this is that any activity which can lead to fraud needs to meet with resistance and scrutiny such that such a transaction does not go through seamlessly. The idea is to create markers and toll gates to ensure that frauds are kept out of the system ad only people with genuine intentions and genuine cars get to perform certain transactions.
8. Eliminate Software which is not safe
It is important that all the software which is hooked up to the eCommerce website, as well as the language in which the site is written, must not be prone to attack. Any software which is not safe or fraught with many loopholes which can be exploited by hackers must be done away with. Adobe Flash and all its version are culprits as they have been used as conduits for hackers to get into systems. Java also has its limitations which make it not as desirable as HTML for use in writing the scripts for the website.
9. Test your site regularly
It is important to regularly test your eCommerce website for its vulnerability and susceptibility to external attack and malware. In fact, some business owners go as far as hiring ethical hackers to consistently attack their websites and search for its weaknesses and then fix these weaknesses. It is important that for a website to be safe it must be immune to all sorts of attacks and so it is good practice to test the site as regularly as possible even on a daily basis.
10. Regularly back up your data
It is important to regularly back up all the data that is on an e-commerce website. This is good because in the eventuality of an attack even after so many precautionary measures have been taken, it is good to have back up. This will help site owners retrieve their information which will almost be up to date with very minimal damage being done to their business and their clients.
These tips are important to ensure that an e-commerce store is safe from attack from external forces in the form of crooks, frauds, hackers and all sorts of evil people on the internet.