Security breaches remain a constant threat to e-Commerce stores. From small startups to billion-dollar corporations, everyone is a potential target for hackers targeting customers’ confidential data.
Whether it’s credit card details, Social Security numbers or other sensitive information, this data is considered valuable, and it’s your job to protect it. Use the following strategies to enhance the security of your e-Commerce site and help prevent fraud.
Choose a secure platform
When it comes to choosing an e-Commerce platform, what features do you look for? Multi-channel functionality, product management, inbuilt SEO capabilities, mobile friendliness? While the particular needs of your business may differ from those of others, the one thing you can’t ignore is security.
Many of the big platforms out there, such as Shopify and Magento have a good reputation for security. However, while popular platforms may be more secure, they also draw a lot of attention from hackers.
That’s why it’s important not just to choose a secure platform, but also to keep it secure. Make sure your website is up to date by applying any patches and performing security updates as soon as they become available.
Keep your admin area secure
A simple way to enhance the security of your site is to protect your admin area. The admin panel is one of the easiest targets for hackers; all it takes is one weak password, and they’re in. To avoid being the easy target, start off by changing the default username to something unique.
The next step is choosing a secure password. Hackers these days use sophisticated programs that are very good at finding passwords, so you will need to go beyond the standard 7 characters, a single symbol, and capital letter. If you’re worried about forgetting your password, then be sure to store it somewhere safe and not on an easy to locate file on your desktop.
Finally, set up a custom path to your store’s admin URL, so your panel is a lot harder to find. The default URL is typically something like yourdomain.com/admin or /wp-admin if you’re using WordPress. Don’t make it easy for hackers to find you. Changing the login URL is quite simple to do these days, yet it can make a big difference to your security.
Other things you can do to secure your admin area is to restrict access by only permitting known IP addresses. You can also set it up so that you receive notifications if there are login attempts from unknown IP addresses or failed login attempts to help make you aware of any potential threats.
Don’t collect or store data you don’t need
It makes sense; if you have nothing to steal, you won’t be robbed. Therefore, do not collect or store sensitive information if you don’t have to. There is no reason to store things like credit card numbers, expiration dates, and CVV2. Not only is it bad practice, but the risk of a security breach heavily outweighs any convenience you may be offering to your customers.
If your systems are compromised, not only will you lose the trust of your customers, but you may also have to pay a hefty fine. Smaller businesses that are on a budget can use trusted services such as PayPal, or if you have a bit more money to spend, then you could opt for a payment gateway provider who can manage this sensitive data for you.
Anything you do store needs to be adequately protected to remain compliant with the law. Be sure your business is up to date with any new regulations, such as GDPR security, to not only ensure you are compliant but also to ensure you are implementing the right security measures.
Encourage customers to protect themselves
Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to keep your customers’ information safe. However, there are ways you can encourage your customers to help protect their details. Strong password requirements that include a minimum number of characters and the use of symbols and numbers will prevent people from creating profiles with passwords that are easy to crack.
Use a layered approach
There really is no one solution for making your website more secure. For the best results, try using several layers of security. This may involve using different tools and techniques, but it’s the best way to prevent various types of attacks.
For instance, you can set up a firewall to defend yourself against SQL injection attacks, which are pretty common attacks against e-Commerce sites. If you haven’t already done so, you should also make the switch to HTTPS. The process requires a few steps and an SSL Certification but is relatively simple to do and necessary these days if you don’t want to lose out on customers.
You can also use security plugins to help add an extra layer of security, just be sure that you keep them updated. Outdated versions may leave you open to attacks, so updating your plugins is not a step you want to skip.