Nothing puts a customer off making an online purchase more than the feeling of the transaction being unsafe. Making sure every potential buyer on your site feels as if they can trust the security on your website is essential for securing those purchases from wary buyers. No One wants their card details stolen, least of all people who were simply looking for a bit of convenience whilst shopping online. There are many things you can do to make your website appear safe such as having a well thought out website that seems smart and put together, offering all the information you can possible about both your business and its services, giving good contact information and showing it in obvious places for shoppers to see and even displaying ‘trusted store’ icons to reassure your customers. But creating this illusion of safety means nothing if you haven’t actually backed it up with safety procedures.
There are some basic rules to follow when trying to build up a secure eCommerce website. Firstly by making sure to build it on a reliable eCommerce platform that you know you can fully trust. Use a platform that has the ability to run on internet networks to reduce the risk of attacks through outside connected networks. Make sure their authentication system is as solid as it can be, checking information more than one and providing extra check or obstacles to verify users and additions to the system. Magento and Shopify are good examples of popular eCommerce platforms that have build up a reputations of being highly trustworthy and useful when it comes to building a secure website. This is due to the fact they keep their platform fully up to date on their end and fix threats before they become issues for their users, meaning all you have to do is be sure every part of your system is updated correctly to be secure.
Another thing you must be sure to do is have a secure connection for your customers checkout systems. SSL software encrypts the link between your server and customer’s browser to ensure that all data sent between the two is kept private and as secure as possible. This data includes sensitive information such as a shoppers card details and makes sure they are fully protected throughout the entirety of your customers checkout experience. It is important to not let your SSL certificate expire to keep your connections secure. Always ensure your website uses Https for checkouts rather than Http as this is the much more secure version of the two. Use it on all checkouts and any pages that may also collect secure information from shoppers so anything they are trusting you company with is kept confidential and safe. For many shoppers who know the difference, the ‘s’ at the end of Http offers peace of mind and a stronger sense of safety for their purchase.
As an extra precaution do not store sensitive data about your clients, however protected you may keep the data it is not worth saving. Do not collect and keep card numbers or any other card information from customers on your website. Try to keep the smallest amount of data from them possible as there is no realistic reason to be keeping those kinds of records on your clients and be keeping them sitting around ready to be exploited so easily. Try not to take advantages of software that gives your customers the option to store their card information in relation to their account for convenience reasons on future purchases. Doing so poses more of a risk than there is reason to store the data, the benefit of convenience for customers simply isn’t enough reason to have such a store of data kept. If your customers really cannot seem to live without this feature, then take a good look into using third party payment solutions that will allow customers to access past entered card details on future purchases that do not require your company to personally keep their information for them.
Now that there’s less information to protect, its time to make sure what information you do have is secure as it possibly can be. Whatever kind of security systems and practices you are using it is crucial that you layer them up. Use your firewalls to protect from initial attacks and place more barriers behind it that must be passed through by hackers. Include forms and login boxes that they must navigate in order to gain any kind of access to your system. This delay in their approach can give you more time to fix any issues that may have allowed the hackers to begin in the first place and gives you more of a chance to rectify the issue at hand before it becomes a problem for your customers. With this kind of layered security it is less likely that hackers will get through anyway, but it is still crucial to have someone monitoring and doing ref#gular checks on the status of your firewalls and security just to be sure no issues sneak past.
Relying on your security systems to run seamlessly on their own is an unrealistic expectation. Companies that offer these services are constantly updating their software, and they’re not doing it just to fill their time. These updates come because they are refining their programmes to give you the best protection you can ask for, but this does mean that to have the ultimate protection these kinds of software can offer you need to be updating when every new patch comes out. Be sure to patch systems on time, preferably as soon as any new patch comes out as waiting may leave you vulnerable to the issue the patch has been released to fix, a problem you are likely unaware of. Any hole in a security system can be exploited so when one is made public it is not worth the wait to update, instead keep everything as up to date as possible. Older systems are easier to hack as they are unlikely to be as protected as newer versions are and could be missing features that protect against new methods of hacking.
These are just some simple things you can do to ensure you website is safe for use and online purchases. However there is more you can do to keep your website as secure as it possibly can be such as asking customers to make long more complicated passwords and educating your workforce on what to look for and any online security precautions they should be taking within their workday. Also ensure that you are fully PCI / DSS compliant as this is an absolute essential before you even attempt to start processing transactions through your store, many payment services will now encrypt information this keeps safe for you so there is less to worry about but you need to be sure beforehand. Keeping your website as secure as possible increases the possibility that your brand will be seen as a secure face to shop with, gaining the trust of more customers as time goes on. Keeping up with your security and keeping it up to date will only make you more favourable in the long run as you are less likely to experience any problems with customers mysteriously losing money and publicly slating your brand as untrustworthy.