E-commerce websites have been a great method for small to large businesses to get more customers and make more sales. With e-commerce websites, customers can carry out transactions online without needing to visit the store or business. However, e-commerce websites are prone to cyberattacks and hacking. The reason hackers often target these e-commerce websites is that it will give them access to customers’ data, which is valuable when you consider credit card information, bank records, etc. This makes it increasingly important to secure e-commerce websites.
What is E-commerce Website
An e-commerce website is a platform that enables businesses, brands, and people to carry out online business transactions. It makes it possible to buy and sell products and services online. Customers can browse, choose, and buy goods and services from these websites’ virtual marketplace without leaving the comfort of their homes or any other place with the help of internet access. There are product catalogues available, shopping carts, payment getaways, etc. to help people purchase on the e-commerce website.
Ways to secure an e-commerce website
Securing an e-commerce website is a proactive decision that must be made. Doing this will prevent your e-commerce website from being hacked. A hacked e-commerce website causes many problems for a business, which needs to be avoided. So, below are the ways you can go about securing your e-commerce website:
Use good passwords
One way of securing e-commerce websites is by encouraging the use of good and secure passwords. As the e-commerce website owner, even when you do all you can to keep your website secure, hackers can still access your website through your customers. Most people are used to using just one password on every site they try to log in. Using the same password on different accounts can be beneficial to the user because they will not have to struggle with remembering their passwords to different accounts. However, the problem is that when a hacker figures out their password, that hacker can use it to access other websites or accounts.
So, on an e-commerce website, encourage customers to use a strong password. A strong password usually consists of not less than eight (8) characters that are made up of lower and upper cases, numbers, and symbols. The password should be complex and not easily guessed by someone. If it is possible to put two or multiple-factor authentication in place on the e-commerce website, it will be good. This will ensure that even when a hacker can guess a password, it will be impossible for them to use the correct biometrics or get the one-time password (OTP) that will be sent.
Use Plugins for your e-commerce website security
A quick approach to secure your website is with security plugins. People who have used plugins on their e-commerce websites attest to the fact that it is good. They offer defense against malicious bots and other serious threats. Security plugins are among the best in terms of security, usability, and feature-richness. Your e-commerce website will be automatically secured. You can manually implement many of the functionalities offered by these plugins. All-in-one security is significantly more practical. Your website will be more secure from hackers if you use dependable, well-designed security plugins. Therefore, you must look for the best ones to implement on your website today.
Use SSL Certificate
Another way you can ensure that your e-commerce website is secure for you and your customers is by ensuring that you have a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate in place. There are so many people selling SSL certificates so, you can get a low priced or cheap SSL Certificate that you can use on your e-commerce website. When you have an SSL certificate in place, the HTTPS instead of HTTP will show on your website’s URL. A padlock sign will also be attached which lets visitors of your e-commerce website know that your website is secure and not just any website that will want to steal their login credentials or valuable data.
Besides building trust for your e-commerce website and ensuring that data is secured, using an SSL certificate on your website will make your website appear on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) when related keywords about your website or content are typed in by users. Search engines like Google do not display websites that are not secured and if it is not secured when a visitor clicks your website, they will get a warning, which will make them exit your website. When you lose visitors to your e-commerce website, you will miss the opportunity of making sales.
Look out for a secured e-commerce platform
There are several e-commerce platforms available. However, you need to pick the best out of the lot out there. To do that, you need to choose a secure e-commerce platform. A secured e-commerce platform has a good payment gateway that will ensure the protection of sensitive data that will be shared on your website. The payment gateway you choose should comply with the industry’s standards and best practices; this will ensure that data breaches are completely ruled out. The e-commerce platform you choose should also have solid authentication protocols for buyers and sellers, SSL certificates, etc.
Avoid storing sensitive data
Most hackers when targeting e-commerce websites often look out for customers’ sensitive data that have been saved on the website. The sensitive data could be the financial and personal details of the customers. This data, if wrongly accessed by people, can be a source for phishing and other forms of frauds. It is often advisable that e-commerce website owners should not ask for data from their customers that is not necessary especially when it comes to credit card details.
Also, avoid storing sensitive data, only keep the data that is needed and send the rest to an online repository that keeps data safe. As an e-commerce website owner, you may want this data to help your customers make a return purchase later, share valuable information, help give those better products or services, etc. However, ensure that you do not keep sensitive data, and if you do, ensure it is safe.
Constantly be on the lookout
Keeping your e-commerce website secure is an unending task that you must carry out because hackers are often looking out for e-commerce websites to attack. Therefore, you must be on the lookout. Some important changes and steps must be taken to keep e-commerce websites secure, so look out for them. It is expensive and stressful to deal with a hack or a compromised e-commerce website. As the website owner, you will have to explain to your customers about the hack, cancel orders where necessary, make refunds, etc. which can be damaging to your business. The e-commerce platform you should choose should be a credible one. They should also send newsletters to you on how you can keep your e-commerce website secure and recommend ways to fix issues that come up. Do not also relent on making research where necessary.
For your e-commerce business to last long, you have to ensure that your website is secure. You can do that by following all the steps listed in this article and ensuring that users and employees keep their data safe. Keeping an e-commerce website secure is the duty of both the customers and the website owner.