Top 7 Ideas for E-Commerce Business Owners to Secure Customer’s Data
As an e-commerce business owner, there is no doubt that you get access to a hoard of sensitive data from your customers and site visitors daily. However, such data that include credit card numbers and customer’s personal identification details are at risk of the data breach. This is owing to the growth of attacks like phishing, malware attacks, and many other types of cyber-attacks. Well, you need to protect your customers’ data to ensure that you don’t lose their trust, while at the same time, protect your e-commerce business from a breach. Now, let’s look at some simple ways to do so.
Tips to help you secure your customers’ data
Ensure to collect only the necessary data
As the business owner of an online store, you are likely to collect such data as customer email id, credit card number, and telephone number as well. However, before you request that your customers give you their personal information, it is crucial to determine whether the data is necessary for the transaction that your customers need to process. Remember, you can be held liable in the event of the data breach. So, only amass the essential data that you can manage.
Choose a secure host for your e-commerce platform
According to a 2019 report by CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust, many customers online had cited data cyber security issues had influenced them to change their online purchasing habits. This is one of the reasons why you ought to secure your eCommerce site.
You should make efforts to ensure that you choose a safe place for storing the information you collect. As such, you should choose a reliable web host company that is security-minded that will also allow you to scale up or down depending on the customer traffic and the levels of sale. That will help you in competing fairly in the online retail business by winning the trust of customers. Moreover, it will help you ensure that the confidential data is secure.
Demand that customers create strong passwords
Your customers can also contribute to the safety of their data, by creating passwords to log in to their customer profiles on your site. In fact, according to a research done by Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, a majority of data breaches are caused by poor password security. Therefore, you should demand that customers create strong passwords.
A strong password should include a mix of meaningless words, a number, and a symbol. Such a password will be complicated for a hacker to crack and thus relatively safe. It is by ensuring the safety of the customer data that you can keep unauthorized parties away from accessing it. Besides, you can reduce liability in the event of a data breach.
Tighten the authentication process
When visitors request for permission to log in to your site, it is important that you authenticate their identity. You should, therefore, put in place a Multi-Factor Authentication process that will verify the user’s identity by accepting multiple credentials other than just a password. Such extra credentials could be a code from the user’s phone, a response to a security question, or even fingerprint or facial expression. The additional identities authenticate the user’s identity and therefore reduces any security loopholes to your site.
Besides, you should ensure that you install an SSL certificate for your site, to boost security on your eCommerce shop. The SSL certificate will build an encrypted tunnel between the client and the server. This will make the transaction of such data like credit card information, the account login details, and customer’s personal information safe from access by unauthorized persons. You can choose SSL certificate as per website’s requirement like multi domain SSL certificate requires when you have numerous domain/subdomains.
Educate your customers
A digital survey revealed that online purchases had increased tremendously over the years, with the highest growth of customers being witnessed in 2019. The purchases involve customers creating profiles on the e-commerce sites and therefore using sensitive personal information which could be a target by hackers.
Some security lapses do not originate from your site. Instead, they are a result of customer’s mistakes, such as using weak passwords or sending sensitive data to phishing sites unknowingly. These are some of the reasons why you need to help your customers protect themselves from possible cyber-attacks.
You should know that unauthorized parties can use various tactics to steal valuable data from customers. The best way around this is to educate your shoppers on the best online security measures to take when shopping. Insist on simple practices like changing their passwords regularly and creating strong passwords. Besides, you may advise them to use virtual private networks to hide their IP details and location when entering sensitive information such as credit card numbers and PIN.
Always ensure to back up your data
The data you collect from your customers can be lost quite easily due to issues like hardware malfunction, cyber-attacks and the likes. In other words, if you don’t back up the data regularly, you stand a very great chance to lose your customers and even your business. You must protect your ecommerce data via regular backups.
You can create automatic backups on your own on a cloud or remote server. You can even go a step further and create a local copy of the backup. That will allow you to have a contingency plan in place if you lose the data. Besides, you can choose a managed eCommerce web hosting service that automatically creates backups for you to store your data.
Make sure to keep your admin panel air-tight secure
The last thing you would ever want is a third party getting unfettered access to your admin panel and denying you access to the same panel. Your admin panel is the core backend of your eCommerce site. It is from there that you get to create custom posts, links, and new posts. You also get to change the theme files, add widgets, and activate plugins.
So, add a layer of security on the login to the admin panel. You can change the login URL from the default one known to hackers, use two-factor authentication, use a firewall to monitor traffic to the page, limit login attempts, limit login IP range, etc.
The eCommerce industry has grown tremendously, but so has insecurity. If you are in the eCommerce space, then you always must protect your business and your customers. You ought to take these and other precautionary measures to protect both the customers’ data and your site from a costly data breach.