Hacking is one word we are all familiar with. I am sure we have all faced some sort of hacking at one point in time. I have seen many companies face losses because of fraud and hacking in their online store. Even with super easy access, the internet is a very dangerous place to carry out business.
Are you one of the people who worry about the safety of your e-commerce website? I won’t lie and say that you can’t be hacked. On the contrary, e-commerce websites are a bigger target as compared to normal websites. The reason is that they are lucrative. There is personal data, payment information and credit card numbers on your website. This information attracts hackers to hack the site and use it for malicious activities.
Once they get this information, they can misuse it. Once this starts, the customers will lose trust in your website. This is not even the only problem. If any search engine detects a hacked website, it blacklists it for security purposes. At times, the account for web hosting the website can also get blocked permanently. This can be very costly and complicated to get your account and website back.
The good thing is that there are many ways in which you can ensure the security of your e-commerce website against fraud and hacking. The following 10 strategies will help you.
The first thing to do is to see what hosting service you are going to use. Make sure you use the best hosting service. The things to look out for in the best host are 24/7 availability, a RAID data protection system and excellent backup services. The hosting server should also have proper protection measures to keep the hackers away.
When the backup services are efficient and effective, you can always be sure that you can get the eCommerce website back on track. With the RAID protection system, a copy of the website is stored on multiple platforms which ensure that your website is saved.
Even if someone is not buying from your website, when a visitor comes, there is some transfer of data between the web server and browser. This data can be anything. It can also be important and confidential information like financial data or login credentials. Generally, HTTP is used to transfer this data.
The data transfer happens in plain text, making it hackable and unsafe. To make sure that the data is encrypted, go for HTTPS. If you have HTTPS, hacked data not be of any use as it is encrypted. Shifting from HTTP to HTTPS is not very complicated and does not take up much time.
Most eCommerce websites allow users to make their own passwords. The website owners think that once the user makes a password, the responsibility of the owner finishes. This is not correct. Most customers keep a very easy password. This allows them to remember the password. What no one realizes is that hackers can easily hack easy passwords.
Once the accounts are hacked, they can use all the personal and financial information of the users. Messaging and contacting every user is not possible. The trick is to keep the requirements for setting the password. Applications like WP White Security allow you to set specific requirements for setting passwords.
Things like including numbers and symbols, character limit and lowercase and uppercase letters. With strong passwords, hacking the accounts becomes difficult.
In case you don’t put this limit, the customers are going to blame your Ecommerce website. If anything happens, all they will say is that it was the responsibility of the website that they lost money and were a victim of credit card fraud.
The login page is the most highly targeted area of any Ecommerce website. Hackers aim to get hold of the login credentials to enter the website and make fraudulent purchases etc. With unlimited login attempts, this becomes much easier.
The best way to overcome this is to put a limit to the number of times a person can try to log in to the website. A maximum of 3 attempts should be provided to each user after which they need to select the “Forgot Password” option and proceed forward to recover and change their password. This simple step will keep the hackers out and inform the user that someone is trying to hack into their account.
Some data is sensitive and some is not. To make your website secure, the best way is NOT to save this data on the website. Data like credit card info, personal info and medical records. This is highly risky because if your website gets hacked or compromised, you can provide the hackers with sensitive information without any effort. This will make your customers lose their trust in your website. Tokenization is an excellent method to avoid credit card fraud.
Make it a point only to save information that is required, for instance, information necessary to track packages and parcels, refunds and returns etc should be saved.
Some websites take the easy way out and don’t save ANY INFORMATION. Instead of being helpful, this ends up bothering the users. No one likes to sit down and provide the same information again and again. So, choose which information to save and which to delete.
We don’t realize how important it is to backup your website properly. This is important as if the website gets hacked or compromised, you can easily resort to the last version of the website that you have saved. Some hosting providers have the option of automatic backup. It is best to talk it out with your hosting provider to make sure you have this option. Otherwise, a weekly or monthly manual backup is necessary.
To be honest, most frauds happen because of some human error. There have been instances in which the customer support team have provided people with their ID and password as a result of a complaint without proper verification. Similarly, there have been mix-ups. Support reps reveal passwords and account numbers during their lives or on social media.
To avoid this, proper training should be provided to all the employees. This will reduce and eliminate any human error which can lead to hacking or fraud. Strict company policies and verification methods need to be put forth to ensure that only the relevant people get the password and ID.
Security standards like PCI DSS complaints should be in place. This is an amazing security standard that allows the admin to have control over the card information. This helps to reduce the credit card frauds that occur all around. Applying these standards allow you to detect any breach or potential breach happening in your Ecommerce website. Hence, there will not be any ADC (account data compromise) event.
Website vulnerabilities are the way that hackers get inside. If you don’t frequently update your website, things can get difficult for you. When a vulnerability is found, developers come with better versions of the software. If you don’t update your software frequently, your eCommerce website can be a victim of hacking. Therefore, frequent updates are required and necessary.
Remember that different website development tools like WordPress have their security plugins and ways to detect malware and hackers. Conduct proper research before you select both a hosting service provider and a website construction software/tool.
No one can deny the fact that a lot of investment, as well as time and effort, go into building Ecommerce websites. It does not happen overnight. When you have so much to put at stake, taking the maximum security measures is necessary. Don’t think that your eCommerce website is not well-known or famous so it will not get hacked. This is a misconception. All the hackers need is a door to enter and when they find that, they enter.
There have been many instances in which security breaches have led to shutting down eCommerce stores. To avoid any such instance, it is best to make use of these simple, cost-effective and easy to use methods to save your eCommerce website from internal and external threats.
Once your website is secure, the chances of being hacked will reduce manifold. Small measures like limiting the number of login attempts and having the users keep stronger passwords can save you money and gain the confidence of users and clients.
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