When you run an e-commerce site, ensuring the security of user data is a critically important task. E-commerce sites often save a lot of sensitive user data, and if it’s stolen by a hacker, it can do irreversible damage to your business. Fortunately, securing the data of your e-commerce site is not difficult. With the right guidance, you can ensure the security of your customer data in a few simple steps. And here, we’re going to provide you a list of eight such steps that you can take today to secure the data of your customers. Let’s get started:
#1. Collect a limited amount of data
This advice may seem contradictory in this data-driven world, but it’s one of the best advices that we can give you. The more data you collect, the more responsibility you take on your shoulders. That is something not recommended if you want to run your e-commerce business with efficiency. So, collect only as much user data as you need to run your business.
#2. Use a trusted platform (or secure your platform)
When you start building your e-commerce site, one of the first choices that you need to make is that of a platform. There are many e-commerce platforms available in the market, from Shopify to WooCommerce to Drupal, and so on. These are all secure platforms with plenty of safety measures in place to keep your e-commerce site safe from attacks. By choosing any of the widely popular platforms for your e-commerce site, you can put a solid foundation for the security of your website.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to build your site in a custom CMS, or if you’ve made it already and switching to these platforms is not an option, you’ve taken the security of your site entirely in your own hands. In that case, you need to ensure that all necessary security features are available in your e-commerce platform.
#3. Install SSL Certificate
If your sites load over the default HTTP protocol of the internet, you already have more vulnerabilities on your website than you can think. DDoS, phishing, spoofing, packet-sniffing, and many other types of cyberattacks become quite comfortable on those sites which are not loading over HTTPS.
So, if you’re starting a new e-commerce site, ensure that it loads over HTTPS from day one by installing an SSL certificate on your web server. If you’ve already launched your website but didn’t install the SSL certificate yet, get it installed ASAP. We can suggest one of the reputed certificate authorities naming Comodo for cost effective and strong encryption SSL certificate. You can choose any single Comodo Wildcard SSL in case of a single domain for your website.
#4. Ensure compliance with PCI DSS
PCI standards for Payment Cards Industry and DSS for Data Security Standards. So basically, PCI DSS stands for the data security standards laid out by the Payment Cards Industry. These standards, as their name suggests, have been established by various players of the financial industry to ensure that credit and debit card data of customers remain secure. If you’re collecting payments yourself with the help of a payment gateway, you must make your site compliant with PCI DSS.
#5. Make strong passwords mandatory
Strong passwords may be painful to remember, but they make the job of cybercriminals very difficult. Brute force attacks can be ruled out if all your customers, as well as employees, use strong passwords, and therefore you should make strong passwords mandatory on your site. A password that includes both uppercase as well as lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers is considered a good password. It should also be longer than eight words.
#6. Trademark your brand and keep looking for fake apps/websites
As businesses have got smarter, so have criminals. Today, they not only use the old school hacking techniques of breaching into systems of a site, but they also create identical versions of your website or app and fool the users into entering their login credentials on those fake sites/apps. To protect your users from this type of fraud, you should trademark your logo, your name, and other elements of your brand identity.
You should also keep an eye on the fake apps/websites with similar names appearing on the Web or Play Store. If you find any app or website trying to copy the identity of your business, immediately report it to the Play Store, Google, and relevant authorities of your state. You should also teach your customers how to recognize your official site/app.
#7. Pay special attention to your admin panel
Your admin panel is from where you control the entire site, so you should certainly pay some special attention to it. Change your default username to something tricky, and again, use a strong password. You can also consider taking some advanced steps like changing the login URL of your admin panel, enabling 2-factor authentication and login lockdowns after three or more wrong login attempts. All these steps can be equipped easily with the help of 3rd party plugins or a little bit of coding.
#8. Backup your data
Finally, keep a data backup. The threat to user data doesn’t come from hackers alone – sometimes, your servers may also suffer from physical damage or a virus that wipes out everything. In those cases, if you’ve backed up your user data, you’ll be able to resume your business as usual on a new server. On the other hand, if you don’t have the latest backup of your user data, you may have to start again. So, backup all your user data and save it in an encrypted format.
As we said in the beginning, it’s not difficult to ensure the security of your e-commerce site data with the right guidance. These eight simple steps can go a long way in ensuring that the data you collect and store to run your e-commerce business remains far away from the hands of cybercriminals.
Implementing these steps is also not very difficult, which is why we call them “simple steps.” Just apply them today to get complete peace of mind from the nuisance of cyberattacks.