Top 10 Security Tips For eCommerce Websites
If you are running any kind of eCommerce business, it is essential to make sure that your site is secured at all times. Corrupt security will result in bad site experience, customer exploitation, and you may end up losing your business.In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 10 security tips that you need to be aware of if you own an eCommerce website or planning get started in this industry.Before getting started, take a look at a site that is an excellent example of how your website security should be. Chef Cart. This site checks in all the marks for security and reliability.
If you are new then, here’s what eCommerce website is.
Ecommerce Website relates to buying and selling products and services via various online mediums. All of the consumer interaction and money transactions are done through the eCommerce website’s own or other third-party sources.
- Use Trusted Hosting Service
Hosting is the first thing you will need, so let’s talk about it first. There are countless hosting services available online. The price will vary depending on which service you use. People often think that all hosting services are equal, but that’s far from the truth. Each will have its pros and cons. Some provide consistent server connection but may lack in providing customer service. Some will offer you a cheap price and will host your website on an outdated server.
When choosing a hosting service, check the company status and popularity. Your hosting company’s customer support should be available 24/7. They must have their server and network connection operating in at least 99% uptime. Also, make sure you keep in mind what type of business you will be doing. For an eCommerce website, you may need to handle a lot of traffic, so you may need a dedicated server for it. See who can provide you with a reliable and fast server. Don’t go for the cheapest package to save some cash. Think about the long term approach and invest a little more on a better option.
- Use a Trusted eCommerce Platform
Your eCommerce website is where all the business will take place. Thus, making it extremely necessary to make it secure from all sorts of malware and hackers.Different platforms have different levels of security built-in. Some are free to use and others are paid. I’ll recommend that you use WordPress. It is free, open-source, and accounts for 33.5% of all websites available online. There’s a huge community that is actively working to improve the system. By default, WordPress is a normal CMS site but by using plugins you can completely transform it to be an eCommerce platform.
WordPress is secure, trusted, and considered as the first choice for most people with a lower budget. It has a built-in store where you will find thousands of plugins that you can use for your site.You can also use alternative eCommerce business platforms like Shopify. It is paid but you don’t need to manually set up your eCommerce store as you would have to do using WordPress.
- SSL Certificate is a must
Most payment gateways won’t allow you to make any financial transactions without an SSL Certificate. This certificate ensures that your website’s data is properly encrypted and have greater potential in avoiding attacks from hackers.Once you have an SSL Certificate, your site URL will change to ‘https’ replacing ‘http’. Here ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’. It also raises your chances to get higher ranks by Google.
Example: In ‘http’, hackers will see “Hi! How are you?” as “Hi! How are you?”.
But in ‘https’, they will see something like “aoufbaorijawijoeirlnfkboahlknfdgu”.
- Use Proxy Firewall
A proxy firewall checks messages at an application layer. It is effective in protecting against XSS attacks, malicious traffic, SQL injections, and various other attacks by hackers. A firewall can be implemented as a software system or can also be implemented inside the system hardware. It acts as an intermediary between the client and the server. It filters any message exchanged between two endpoints. As a proxy firewall has its dedicated IP address, outside networks will never receive the data packets sent from the sender. Because of preventing direct contact with other systems, it is known as one of the most secure firewalls.
- Don’t Store Sensitive Data
For convenience purpose, many websites store customer’s sensitive data such as their credit card details and passwords in their server. If any hacker manages to breach into your server, you and your customers will be at a huge risk. Hackers can use a customer’s credit card to make online transactions, which can lead them into serious financial difficulties.
You will need a huge budget and an in-house security team to manage customer’s data securely. If you are a small business owner, then definitely don’t store any confidential data.
- Two-Step Authentication
Enable Two-Factors Authentication for all users. It is an excellent way of validating your users. It will prevent fraud and unauthorized people from accessing customer accounts. It will force anyone to go through an additional layer of security that ensures the original user is making the transaction.Two-Factor Authentication usually sends a one-time access code to the user’s mobile phone, which they have to enter to proceed further. If you have a WordPress site then you can install the google authenticator plugin.
- Monitor Suspicious Activity in your Website
Check from which country your visitors are coming from. If you are a US-based eCommerce platform then having too many visitors from Nigeria is most probably unnatural. It might indicate something is not working as intended. You may want to check your security setup. Check for unnecessary login attempts, it may be a sign of a brute force attack. Keep an eye on what page they are visiting, for example, site.com/wp-admin. These types of pages are only for the site’s original admin and general users shouldn’t be visiting it.
- Keep things Updated
Update your plugins, themes, and other tools whenever a new version rolls out. Often these updates come with various security patches and new features. Your tools need to be always up to date to function properly. Also, make sure you update your SSL certificate once it expires.
- Make Regular Backups
Make scheduled backups. If your server gets destroyed or you get hacked, by having a backup you can quickly get your site up and running. If your site is small then do weekly backups and if you have a very large eCommerce business website and you are concerned about storage space, then do a monthly backup.
- Train your employees
Often site breaches happen because of employees unintentionally opening malicious messages, emails, or clicking on links. Educate them on how to avoid these security threats. Conduct regular training programs and keep them updated with the latest security guidelines.
Technology changes every day, you need to be aware of the changes and track the security trends that are being talked about in the industry. For any eCommerce business site, security should be the owner’s top priority. Once you are done with maintaining the security of your site, you can focus on other important aspects of your online business.