The recent events of 2020 have created a cascade of cultural changes in its wake and helped along trends we were beginning to see earlier in the year. Online shopping has seen a huge spike in the past year due to its apparent safety and convenience – but is it always safer?
Business owners operating online eCommerce websites are constantly reminded of the data breaches and information theft hitting larger companies in the news. However, it is important to understand that cybercriminals are hacking into small businesses too, as they are finding customer data is commonly less protected and easier to access. In fact, 60% of small businesses will go out of business within months of a data breach or cyberattack. More than just the profit loss and personal data being compromised, an attack compromises the trust your customers place in your business.
Read on to learn why online shopping and security should go hand in hand, and how you can ensure both your business and your customers are protected from cybercriminals.
How You Can Protect Your Website and Customers
#1. Get an SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate allows you to use the HTTPS in the address bar to encrypt the traffic between the website visitors and the website. This is important because, in doing so, it protects the information shared. It does this by using encryption. This means all the data is safely passed along and is available to who it is meant for – and no one else!
Having an SSL certificate means that sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers are not being intercepted by hackers. Contact your hosting provider and ask for them to setup an SSL Certificate on your server for your website. This is typically around $100/year and is well worth the investment.
#2. Protect Your Passwords
A simple enough step that is so commonly overlooked. Be sure you are creating passwords that are not easy to guess and are updated regularly. As a best practice, it is important to change your passwords every 90 days.
Some tips to keep in mind and recommend to your staff:
Do not keep passwords written on anything physical like on a notepad on a desk or stored on your phone
Passwords should be a mostly random combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
Passwords used for online shopping and business should be different from those used on personal accounts
Equip all computers used for business with an administrator password required before entry and to time out after a certain time amount of time no longer in use
#3. Be Up to Date on PCI Compliance
PCI compliance is a well-known regulation in place to protect customer’s credit card information from theft and disclosure online. Any organization that stores or transmits credit card payment information is required to abide by established guidelines to comply.
Storing credit card data on your server is not only a sure way to compromise your customer’s information, but it also means your business is not compliant. Wp EasyCart provides a built-in safety net by integrating with payment companies to ensure payment information never stops on your server and flows securely and directly to the payment company.
For this reason, WP EasyCart does not allow customers to store cards for use when they return to shop, as this would add a level of PCI compliance requirements. Many small businesses are unaware that storing a payment token can allow a hacker to purchase from their site if this feature is enabled and that level of risk is not worth the cost.
By combining the SSL certificate mentioned above and locking your customer’s carts to https:// only, the credit card information is safe, secure, and PCI compliant.
#4. Install Security Plug-ins and Stay on Top of Software Updates
As cybercriminals continue to improve their methods used to illegally collect information from your website – so should your software. This is why having the latest versions of plug-ins and software is so important. Hackers will look for vulnerabilities and will seek out weak points in your online security.
With WP EasyCart Professional & Premium licenses, you can connect to over 30+ different payment gateways. This is a great feature because our key payment gateways do not store credit card info on your website. This makes your life easier by having easy remote access to payment data and simultaneously keeping all data protected automatically.
Interested in more ways you can keep your website and customers protected when shopping online? Check out our video library full of helpful tutorials and gain valuable insight from current WP EasyCart users in our community forums!
New to WP EasyCart? Get started with the free version today and set your online store up for success!