The convenience afforded by online shopping has endeared it to many people. Ecommerce websites enable shoppers to buy a wide variety of goods and services from the comfort of their homes and offices. The process is quite simple. All you need to do is find an item you need, click on it, provide credit card details and voila! Thereafter, you wait for the product to be shipped to the address you specified. As an owner of one or several ecommerce websites, you are aware of the potential this has towards increasing your business revenue. However, the risk of someone hacking into your site and stealing customer data is always imminent.
Online shoppers trust web-based merchants with their debit or credit card information. If this falls into the wrong hands, it could highly jeopardize your business. Someone could wipe out a customer’s funds from their bank account. It also puts your ecommerce business into disrepute not forgetting the legal implications involved. At best, you should take measures to protect client information. At this juncture, take a moment and ask yourself whether you have taken enough precautions to secure your website. If you are worried that your site could fall into the hands of hackers, here’s what you must do:-
Purge customer data
Normally, ecommerce websites keep a lot of data. This includes credit card numbers, dates of expiry, customer names and card-verification value (CVV2) codes among others. Check your database on a regular basis and remove such old records. Keep only what is necessary especially if you anticipate refunds and charge backs. This way, in the event that your website is hacked into, the exposure will be minimal.
Prohibit use of emails
Always advise your customers not to use emails to share transaction information. There are customers who believe, wrongly so, that emails are secure for transmission of personal information. In any case, this is not secure in the first place and no business should encourage it. Bring this to the knowledge of prospective clients. You can emphasize this through a data security page or indicate it on the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section.
Use card verification systems
As a matter of practice, ecommerce web owners should have an address and card verification system (AVS) in place. Speak to your webmaster about it. Have the latest AVS software installed. Insist on a system that also does card verification value (CVV) before processing a transaction. This will eliminate any attempts at fraud.
What about passwords? Every customer knows that they must create a password in order to access your site. Unfortunately, what some do not know is that there are clever people out there who can hack into simple passwords. Help your customers get out of this ignorance by requiring them to create passwords in a specific way. For instance, you could make it mandatory to have a mix of alphanumeric characters. Complex passwords make it difficult for criminals to crack them.
These security tips are not exhaustive. Nonetheless, always keep abreast of security threats to your ecommerce site.