eCommerce businesses need to keep their online assets and their customer’s data safe from a host of threats. From spyware and malware to the corruption of relevant data such as client details, online retailers aka your eCommerce shop, the Internet can be the wild west for websites that don’t take security seriously and use solutions to prevent sophisticated cyberattacks.
This article looks at online security basics and common mistakes you can avoid along the way.
Online Security Basics
Starting with the basics, i.e., using a username and password to access your email account.
Hackers love email as it’s a natural entry point to your personal data. Most phishing etc. is now automated, and if you’re really unlucky to be targeted with ransomware, it may be using AI and machine learning.
Lengthier passwords up to 12 characters that include a mix of capitals and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols should be used at all times for accessing your systems and anywhere you’re required to log in.
Website & Ecommerce Store
Another basic yet effective security solution for your online assets, i.e., your eCommerce store and your website, is the protocol known as SSL encryption.
What is SSL Encryption?
SSL is an acronym that stands for “Secure Sockets Layer”. Originally developed as far back as 1995, SSL provides one-time codes required to send and receive information between two parties. For instance, let’s imagine that you make an online purchase. The seller’s portal and your personal device will be sent one of these codes. If each string of letters and numbers does not match exactly, the transaction will not be completed. As such codes are very long and complex, the chances of a security breach are dramatically reduced.
How Can You Ensure a Secure Point-of-Sale Interface?
As the seller, it is your responsibility to ensure that your website is always equipped with the latest security features. You should also take a proactive approach, as this can help identify a small issue before it becomes a massive problem. Here are some basic actions to take:
- Download and install a powerful anti-virus suite
- Manually check your computer network for any threats by running virus scans
- Use a CMS like WordPress that has security features as well as plug-ins
- Delete any client information that is no longer valid
- Engage a trusted and well-known e-commerce and or security provider
- Use a proven payment gateway for your customer payments
Anti-virus software can protect against computer virus, malvertising, and includes firewall protection, so this is critical for all users accessing the Internet.
Many CMS solutions have security features. However, WordPress has thousands of developers, and their plug-ins can help you run your eCommerce site and help keep it secure from brute-force attacks to adherence to privacy laws, including GDPR.
Plus the last bullet point is especially important, as modern enterprise ecommerce solutions come fully equipped with a host of security features within their point-of-sale (POS) portal.
Partner with Experts
A trusted eCommerce provider will ensure your site, network, and systems remain secure with fix packs and software updates and that you’re using a PCI-compliant payment gateway provider.
As the business owner, you can not do it all, and internet security is specialized and continually evolving as it tries to keep up with hackers and cyber-criminals who find new ways to break into systems.
Software updates are critical, and you’ll have peace of mind that you have a team focused on keeping your systems, including your customer data, secure.
Common Errors to Recognise and Avoid
There is little room for error with online security. If you leave your systems vulnerable, they will be compromised eventually, and this will damage your trust with customers and affect your reputation.
Avoid these common securities mistakes:
- Failing to secure any data kept in the cloud
- Allowing unauthorized personnel (such as a new employee) to access sensitive information
- Mishandling passwords
- Not backing up important data
- Forgetting to install any recommended updates
Some of the reasons many eCommerce sites lack the basics of internet security include the business owner being too busy to look at it; or not enough investment. Plus, they are in denial that hackers will attack their site. Also, a lack of interest in and attention to online security and privacy ‘best practices’.
Now you’re aware of what you don’t know or you’re not adhering to, take action immediately to secure your systems. Start with learning more about the basics of security to prevent cybercrime. Then get into action by changing passwords, using a secure password manager, upgrading your anti-virus, and reviewing your processes for managing customer data. Finally, check you’re using a reputable payment gateway that is PCI compliant.