Thanks to the improvement in technology, humans make many transactions online. Daily, there are millions of transactions taking place online. For such transactions to be successful, customers need to give out sensitive and personal information online. This makes it critical for an e-commerce store to treat customer’s data with utmost care and protection.
Besides the moral obligation that binds e-commerce stores to treat customer’s data with the utmost care, they are required by law. Many small businesses, however, overlook this due to the cost implication or time involved. Yet, the aftermath of a data breach could be devastating, both on the business and the customers.
How Someone Can Attack Your Website
In designing your eCommerce website, strong security should be on top of your to-do list. The absence of robust security puts you, your business, your customer, their data in severe risk of fraud and identity theft. Bear in mind that if your credit card gets to the wrong hand, it can wreck your business.
No matter the size of your business, you need adequate security. Small companies are often more targeted compared to large and established ones. This is not surprising as cybercriminals expect their security to be weakt. Sadly, they are usually right.
The threat to small eCommerce sites is significant. Information from Bad Bots 2018 report reveals that 29% of the traffic trying to access an eCommerce website is harmful bots.
A few of the ways cybercriminals could target you are:
Also known as Structured Query Language, it is one of the most common ways people attack websites. It is a standard rogue coding language people use to breach databases. People can use it to execute commands, manipulate the database, and retrieve people’s data. With rogue commands, people can design rogue commands to gain illegal access to essential data.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
With XXS, malicious people can launch an illegal attack using harmful scripts to execute an unlawful command in a web browser. This happens through the injection of the malicious code to a webpage. Your webpage typically becomes a delivery system for a malicious script. XXS can deface your website, and redirect your traffic to another website.
Malware is one of the common ways attackers access your e-Commerce website. They use every nasty thing like a virus, worms, spyware, etc. to attack your website.
The idea is to steal customer’s data or hold your website hostage.
How to protect Your Customer’s Data
Now that we have examined a few ways attackers can steal your customer’s data, here are proven ways to protect your customer’s data on your eCommerce website.
Information you do not need will eventually be a liability. You will be burdened with the stress of securing this data. Failure to adequately secure it will come back to haunt you.
It makes no sense to demand so much information from your customer if you do not need it. If you are not shipping directly to their home, you do not need their physical address. For every information, you collect like contact number, physical address, credit card info, and others, be sure you need the info.
When you have too much sensitive data to secure, it becomes a challenge to secure the data effectively. In considering storage repositories, make sure to consider those with data encryption..
Avoid Storing Customer’s Credit Card Info
Credit card details are sensitive info that is always the target of attackers. However, an eCommerce website has no business storing this data. Besides the fact that it is a dangerous endeavor to store such data, such is a violation of the PCI standards.
Loosing such vital data will end putting you in severe trouble. There is the risk of a soiled reputation and legal cases for damages customers might encounter. With this, make it a rule not to store such data on your website. You are better off handling such data to payment facilitators like PayPal, Stripe, Payoneer, etc.
Incorporate SSL to Pages that collect Customer’s Data
You need an SSL certificate on all pages where customers input their data. Such pages are signup pages, checkout pages, customer login pages, etc. With SSL pages, attackers will not be able to compromise your website traffic, let alone access their password, credit card info, and other sensitive information.
An SSL certificate gives an extra layer of security to your website. This gives your customers peace of mind while transacting on your website. Many online shoppers have associated “https” with a high-security level. Its presence on your webpage will increase trust.
Consider a Secure E-Commerce Platform
You should consider many important factors before choosing your e-commerce platform. Ideally, you want to consider things like user convenience, themes, available design, plugin, better functionality, etc. Make sure the platform you are going for prioritizes security as well.
Consider a series of security features like SSL certificates, HTTPS feature, and authentication procedure for buyers and sellers, among others. Above all, the security features should allow your business to grow.
Ensure Customers Have Strong Password
Make sure that you mandate it for customers to use a strong password. This password is a combination of alphabets, symbols, and numerals. Besides, you can encourage double step authentication on your website.
There are many reasons you need to protect the customer’s data available on your e-Commerce website. Besides the fact that it helps your reputation and helps you scale your business, you get to protect yourself from an unnecessary lawsuit that might wreck your reputation.
We have discussed crucial steps to ensure the security of your customer’s data. Install the necessary certificate, collect only the data you need, and use a reputable e-commerce store. Make your password hack-proof so that it gives hackers a hell of a time trying to decrypt it.