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Ecommerce Woes: How to Protect Customers from Theft

Ecommerce sites know that data security is vital to protect customers from theft. Many people have experienced fraud, spams, or credit card theft which stems from poor website security.

Fraud can also be in the form of hidden charges, paying for a product that was never delivered, product rip-offs, or using fraudulent payment channels. There are a lot of ways fraudsters can wreak havoc on your e-commerce site.

  1. Hacking of website
  2. Stealing of credit card details
  3. Injecting malware to servers
  4. Plagiarizing blog or web content
  5. Replicating personalities or products of your company

As a small business owner, you see how these problems can hurt your trade. So, how to fight fraud and protect customers from theft?

hacker holding credit card

Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Do you know what an SSL certificate is? It’s more than just the lock icon on your URL bar or the change of HTTP to HTTPS. An SSL certificate adds further protection and an extra layer of security when customers sign up on the website, check out the item, and pay for their products. SSL prevents fraudsters from stealing their credit card info or password details.

Other than security, SSL builds customers’ trust and improves SEO score. By making your site look trustworthy, prospects can visit your e-commerce store without any fear, thus, ranking you higher on Google. It’ll also make them feel comfortable when making purchases on your site.

Make your website Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant

The PCI DSS mandates security standards for sites that make use of accredited credit cards from fraud. The mandate has a set of practices one can follow to protect credit card data. With e-commerce sites, it’s also best to use third-party payment integrators like Stripe to store your customers’ credit card info. That way, attackers can’t steal their data and wreak havoc on your payment system.

PCI DSS compliance is a requirement. All e-commerce sites should follow the mandate when instilling better practices with online payment. Your payment processor, as mentioned above, can even help you with your PCI DSS compliance.

Use Card Verification Value (CVV) and Address Verification System (AVS)

Reputable e-commerce platforms ask this three-digit number upon checkout, but, PCI DSS requires e-commerce sites not to store the customer’s CVV. It’s helpful when fraudsters found a way to steal your credit card numbers and names because they still won’t be able to use it without your CVV number.

Likewise, the AVS allows the site to check whether the address in the billing address matches the address of your credit credit card. Your payment processors often handle that information as well, so that no hackers get to steal sensitive info on the site.

Use a trusted platform and update regularly

Platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce are trusted sites when creating an online storefront. They have backend developers to monitor activities regarding security issues and construct plans to protect customers from theft.

Also, run the latest version of the platform and your operating system to support it. Updated software fortifies its security measures to protect you from fraud and vulnerabilities.

Have a dedicated server

When you’re using a dedicated server, you keep some info in one place only and it’s only you who gets to access that info. However, when you’re using shared servers, other companies will likely access your files. When you share servers, you give up the ability to fully secure your site according to your needs. Technically, you’re at the mercy of that hosting company that served you those options.

Maintaining a dedicated server will cost you an additional charge. However, it’ll provide you with added security needed for your e-commerce site.

Secure payment on mobile

Further tips to protect customers online

Security is vital when operating an e-commerce site. Not protecting your customers’ data is devastating. Data breaches and hacks can be devastating, particularly for small businesses. To protect customers from theft, you need online tools and information that speaks against fraud.

Create a privacy policy page

A privacy policy page lessens the liability that arises when a customer files a complaint on how his or her data was used. Your privacy policy should explain what information you collect from your customers, how you will use it, and what are the measures of protecting their data.

Understand what and where your customers’ data are stored

Too many e-commerce owners don’t know what or where their customers’ data are stored. Sensitive data shouldn’t be stored in multiple locations or servers. Save it in one place or opt for trusted third-party access to store customers’ info.

Use online fraud detection

Your e-commerce site most often integrates a fraud detection tool to spot suspicious persons. While you have to pay extra for this, it’s pretty a big deal when dealing with fraudsters online. If security is that important to you to protect customers from theft – get yourself a fraud detection tool.

Use a strong password system

Fraudsters use programs to steal your password. They have ways to take your identity and money just by cracking your password. Believe it or not, most people still use passwords such as “abcdefgh” or “password123.” Likewise, tell your customers upon sign up that they should use strong alphanumeric passwords worth 8 to 20 characters.

Release notices or security announcements regularly

These notices can be in the form of emails or blog posts telling customers to be wary and not give their personal information like credit cards or passwords. Once your store gains traction, hackers will likely steal your identity and forged emails similar to yours.

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