How to safeguard your eCommerce business against potential fraud?
If the eCommerce business is growing, so is the menace of hacks and frauds associated with it. This highlights the fact that wherever there is sugar, bees are bound to come. An eCommerce business is all about selling and making money and this money attracts frauds, cheats and hackers who spare no effort to take a huge bite out of your cash by using wrongful and illegitimate means. They don’t know what is hook, so work only by crook.
The newspapers and tabloids are always covered with stories related to Internet frauds, hacks and leakage of sensitive information like credit card numbers etc. An eCommerce business is an easy target for such thugs and goons as a lot of online money transactions take place on such sites and user information is exchanged at a number of points. The main sufferers of such frauds are either the users or the eCommerce site. In either case, it is the complete eCommerce industry which suffers as sales and transactions are badly hit.
Today when every person wants to shop online, an eCommerce website should be prepared to take the necessary precautions to protect itself and its users against potential frauds and hackers and safeguard the sensitive user information. Lets us look at and enlist such necessary safeguards and procedures to make an eCommerce business safe and secure.
- Do away with irrelevant data
Many eCommerce websites have a habit of storing irrelevant user data like credit card numbers and credit card expiry dates. This data is only relevant while the transaction is underway. After the transaction is complete and the user has paid you, his credit card details are no longer required and so should be deleted. Hackers are always on the lookout for such sensitive data and will try to obtain it at the first chance they get.
- Keep data encrypted
Encryption of data travelling between the merchant and client site should be encrypted to safeguard against phishing attacks and hacks. Many reliable and responsible websites use an SSL (Security Socket Layer) certificate to ensure a secure transaction. An SSL secured site seal is an indicator that the site is trustworthy and safe for online transactions.
- Password protection
Online hackers are always on the lookout for user passwords to hack into their accounts and steal whatever information they can. A few precautions which you should ask the users to exercise are:
- Ask them not to share or disclose their password to anyone.
- Keep the passwords long and unique and if possible with special characters. Longer passwords are difficult to crack.
- Don’t use obvious passwords like “your_name123” or “abcd” or “12345678”. In case a user decides to do so, only heaven can help him.
- Keep changing passwords frequently.
- Use Firewalls
A firewall provides an extra bit of electronic security to your server. It protects your server form Virus and Trojan attacks. A firewall monitors the traffic coming into your server and allows only filtered and consented traffic. A Virus or a Trojan is a back door entry system used by hackers to gain access to your server. You should also use good anti-virus software to boost the efficiency of your firewall.
- Emphasis on educating and training employees
Your employees should be educated and told about the safety precautions they must take while browsing websites to prevent data theft. Many employees have a habit of using the internet and online surfing without following safety procedures. They should be told to refrain from saving their passwords in browsers and should know how to regularly clear the browsing history and cookies from browsers.
- Pay attention to your own site
More attention should be paid by you on your own site. You should regularly visit it and monitor the incoming traffic. Closely check out for any kind of suspicious behaviour on the site and take a prompt action. There are many tools available which can help you to do so. Keep in touch with your web hosting service provider and check his server for any malware etc.
- Create backups
Irrespective of whether you are handling the data backup yourself or it is being handled by a paid web host, regular data backup is mandatory and needs to be done on a regular basis. Always remember that data is priceless. It might not cost a penny to create a backup, but you might lose millions if your data is gone.
In conclusion, the eCommerce business is gaining momentum as well as customers. But an aware customer today wants security first before he can buy from your site. So in order to survive an eCommerce business must at all costs take care of all security related issues first.
Kristy Bernales is employed with Web Design Xperts, a Melbourne based Web Design Company. She hates to make compromises or take short cuts while deigning websites. To know more about her you can always follow her on Twitter and can catch her on Facebook.