E-commerce is a vast market in which entrepreneurs and companies put lots of effort into providing the best experience to their customers. From accessible web pages to friendly customer support, a typical internet user can expect a wide range of products and hassle-free transactions.
There is, however, one thing that you should pay extra attention to – online safety. Even with the current development of information technology, the internet can still be a dangerous place. And as an E-commerce site owner, it is your responsibility to keep it safe and secure from malware and hackers.
In this article, you will find several practical ways to keep your E-commerce site secure against cyber threats, including switching to HTTPS, updating your software regularly, setting strong passwords, installing antivirus software, applying multi-level security, and more. Read on!
Switch to HTTPS
HTTPS is the secure protocol that makes sure the connection related to E-commerce transactions is safe from hacks and cyber threats. When accessing an HTTPS page, a computer or mobile device sends a request to the web server, which generates the encrypted message sent back to your device to establish a secure connection.
This makes it impossible for any third party to intercept your users’ connection and read the information sent between them and the website.
Keep Your Website Up to Date
It is a good habit to check if there are any updates available for your website’s plugins or other extensions on a regular basis. Updates are designed mainly to fix bugs and security vulnerabilities found after the software’s initial release. If you ignore them, you could leave the door open for hackers who use the security flaws they find while using outdated extensions on your website.
So, like it is crucial for digital marketing specialists to provide website visitors with up-to-date content to keep them engaged, it should be crucial for you to keep up with the website’s updates to ensure their security. Make sure you regularly check if there are any new extensions and plugins available – it takes just a couple of minutes!
Set Strong Passwords
In most cases, cybercriminals hack into accounts using weak or simple passwords that can be guessed easily, mostly because people tend to use their birth date or just a couple of random characters. That’s why you should avoid such common mistakes and use strong passwords with at least 8 characters that contain both numbers and symbols.
And if possible, make sure your password can’t be easily cracked by using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Also, try to change your passwords every few months.
Install Antivirus Software
Malware carries out many malicious activities, including stealing your login information, infecting your computer with viruses, worms, Trojans, and other malicious programs, disclosing confidential data about your customers and employees, hijacking your computer for illegal activities, etc.
Even though it is still not easy to infect E-commerce sites with malware, installing antivirus software on your computer or other devices with access to your website is essential. Hackers use hundreds of different methods to inject malware onto your computer, so it is vital to protect yourself against as many of them as possible.
Implement Payment Gateways
Most E-commerce sites accept several payment methods, which makes buying from them easier for customers. However, if you want to keep your customers’ personal information safe from hackers, you should consider integrating a secure payment gateway.
This way, all their personal information will be encrypted before sending it to your site. In addition, most payment gateways offer two-factor authentication and fraud protection services, so you can be sure that every transaction made on your site is secure.
Apply Multi-level Security
It is a good idea to implement different types of security protocols in order to keep your customers’ credit card data safe from hackers who try to steal it and use it for illegal purchases. For example, you can use database encryption methods, such as Transparent Data Encryption (TDE), to prevent unauthorized access to the private database containing sensitive data about your customers.
It is also recommended to use a separate backup database, which may be stored in a different physical location than the main one. If the primary database is compromised, hackers will not be able to access the backup database as well. You should also make sure that both databases are regularly backed up; it will help you restore data if needed.
Keep Regular Backups of Your E-commerce Site
A good backup plan will help you prevent data loss in case of an emergency or a hacker attack on your website. It is recommended to keep daily backups that include all necessary data about your site’s users: their logins, email addresses, orders placed, etc.
If you notice any suspicious activity or suspect that someone has hacked into your account, you can easily roll back to the previous version of your website, where everything was fine, and nothing was changed.
Be Careful with Using Cookies and Tags
Cookies and tags are used for marketing purposes in most cases – they allow you to track your visitors’ actions on your site, analyze their behavior and interests, and so on. However, if you don’t use these tools properly, they can easily expose some sensitive information about your customers – such as their name and email address – which can be used by hackers to get unauthorized access to their accounts.
Make sure you track visitors anonymously using a unique number instead of their real name and email address. Also, make sure that cookies don’t contain any sensitive information about your customers and remove them at once if they do. Finally, never use third-party cookies when conducting transactions on your website – they may record data about your customers for malicious purposes.
As you can see, there are lots of things you can do to keep your E-commerce website secure against cyber threats. The key is to be consistent, follow all the best practices we described above when creating and maintaining your website, and implement a backup plan that will help you recover your data in case something goes wrong.
Just keep in mind that there are no 100% secure websites, so it is crucial to put all your efforts into minimizing the risk as much as possible and make sure that your customers’ data is safe.