In this digital era where technology keeps improving each day, data hacking and breaching have become very rampant. Organizations tend to lose their data when they least expect. So as an e-commerce retailer, you should strive to secure your website in the best way possible. You need to protect your data from these hackers because your data is your most powerful asset. But sadly, the majority of online retailers don’t have the expertise required to tighten the security of their sites.
You know when you lose your data [information such as credit card details or IDs] to hackers, this can be the most terrible thing that can ever occur to you as an e-commerce retailer. So to avoid exposing your website to these unfavorable risks and to secure it, these are some of the measures that you should undertake as an e-commerce website owner to ensure that your site is highly secured.
Securing your Ecommerce Website
The following are the security measures that you should undertake to secure your website:
- Choose your e-commerce hosting carefully
Having a website is very costly because of the processes that it involves like designing, optimizing, and promoting which costs money. But are you willing to risk it all by choosing a hosting option that is cheaper? These days there are several web hosting companies that you can choose from, but you shouldn’t be tempted to choose a company that’s too cheap. Sometimes cheap can turn out to be expensive.
Most of these cheap hosting companies don’t invest in security. So the chances of your server’s IP address being constantly blacklisted is high. The best web host for a serious online retailer is the Virtual Private Server. It is the best because it balances scalable performance, with security customization options, and reasonable costs as well.
- Switch to HTTPS
Even though using secure HTTPS hosting with an SSL Certificate requires payment of your site, many website owners are shifting to HTTPS to secure their entire websites. This move was driven by Google in 2014 when they were doubling down on security, and they included HTTPS as a ranking factor. And what’s making the shift more visible is the announcement that browsers will start to penalize HTTP sites.
If you want to shift to HTTPS, you will first need to choose an SSL; it can be purchased from your hosting company or a reputable SSL vendor. They can help you to install the SSL Certificate. But there are steps involved when one wants to switch their sites to HTTPS. The steps involve updating internal links in your site, updating links in transactional emails, and setting up a 301 direct.
- Choose a secure platform and keep it secure
Nowadays, there are various e-commerce platforms that you can choose from. But you need to ensure that your choice of e-commerce platform performs well and that it is secure and updates itself regularly. The most common e-commerce platforms include tools such as WooCommerce, Magento, and PrestaShop. But it’s worth mentioning that these tools are costly as well.
Hackers are usually looking for loopholes in these tools, so security updates are regularly available. As an e-commerce website owner, you should not assume that once your site becomes live, that it doesn’t require maintenance, to be updated or that it’s the web hosting or the developer’s responsibility to maintain and update your website.
It is your responsibility to secure your website. If you are not a technical person, then you should make sure that you have someone in your team who got your back. You can also check the software of your provider’s site for updates.
- Make sure that your Admin Area is secure
According to Bigcommerce Developer, one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve the security of your website is to protect your admin area. If you use e-commerce platforms such as Magento or WooCommerce, then you will have a default admin area. By changing this, you can prevent hackers who will be looking for easy targets.
Another thing that you can do is to change the default administrator username. If you are using the default username such as “admin”, then that is very risky. Your login details should be original and difficult to grasp. You can also restrict access to the admin so that only the known IP address can gain access to the admin area.
- Perform regular data backup
One of the worst things that you can wake up to is to find that your site has been hacked. Data loss can also happen due to human error or hardware failure. This is why it is essential to back up your data. Backing up your data is entirely your responsibility.
Don’t leave that job to your hosting company or your web designer. Your data is your property and hence your responsibility. There are manual ways that you can use to back up your data. But the problem with manual back up is that you can easily forget to do so and end up losing your data.
The best way to back up your data is through an automatic backup service. When you back up your data this way, you will rest peacefully knowing that your data is backed up, safe, and up to date.
- Never hold a customer card data
Some e-commerce platforms can accept a client’s card details and store them. You should never use such platforms. Generally, that is a bad practice and it can land you a hefty fine if your system is compromised.
The best you can do is to use the service of a payment gateway provider who provides this kind of services for you and doesn’t keep the payments on your site. They have the highest levels of security for handling this type of sensitive data.
If you are just starting out and you are still working on a tight budget, then services like PayPal can be the best option because some customers prefer to use PayPal. You should also aim for the Payment Card Industry Security Standard [PCI DSS] accreditation.