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Tips for Securing Your E-commerce Website

There’s a lot that goes into keeping your e-commerce website secure and a lot you need to know and become proficient with as someone who is running one. Here are some good ways of helping secure your e-commerce website from bad actors and online criminal elements.

Choose a Good Website Hosting Service

Perhaps your first line of defense when securing your e-commerce website is to ensure the trustworthiness of your website hosting service. If you’re paying for web hosting and not running your own webserver, you need to be confident that the hosting company you select is an expert and can keep your hosting platform secure. Many of the bigger and more reputable web hosts will make mention of their hosting security and some of the steps they take to ensure the integrity of their hosting platforms. To make things easier for you to choose, look at the big names in web hosting, and those that offer an ecommerce website builder integrated into their offering and service are worth a look.

Pay for an SSL Certificate

Usually, your web hosting provider will offer the added extra of purchasing an SSL certificate for your domain and website. For e-commerce websites, this is an absolute must. A free DV (domain validation) SSL certificate is a good start, as it ensures the website using the certificate has the rights to the domain, but it doesn’t provide much in terms of user trusts. Paid options that validate your company is legitimate and your application for the certificate matches the official registration of your business, as well as many other checks, are better. These certificates called the OV (organization validated) or (EV) extended validation SSL certificate are of much more value but do come at a cost. This cost is ultimately worth what it offers your business.

Keep All your Website Software Updated

Tips for Securing Your E-commerce Website

If you’re running your own CMS or e-commerce platform application, you should understand that these applications are often open source or widely available online. This means that bad actors have the ability to look for bugs or code that can be exploited and to create exploits that can harm your website’s security and integrity. These exploits are then fixed and patched by the developers of the platforms and released as updates. It is important that you keep applying these new updates, particularly if they are security-related. Do note that you should always test an update in a non-production environment to ensure it doesn’t cause any unwanted behavior to your e-commerce store, particularly if you’ve made code changes to the platform.

Make Regular Backups

Your e-commerce website is crucial to the income of your business, so being without it for any period of time or losing it completely would devastate your ability to make money as a business. Creating a solid and reliable backup system for your website is critical. Often good web hosting providers will offer a backup solution, but it’s ultimately your responsibility to ensure that your website data is stored safely and off-site for both your own premises and those of your web host. Remember, a backup might feel like a redundant copy of data until you need it in a crisis.

Insist on Strong Passwords

Your weakest link in the security of your user’s data on your e-commerce site is usually going to be the users themselves. This means that securing your e-commerce site should start with educating your users – or just forcing them to increase their security. There is a balance here though. You don’t want to make your users’ login or registration process so difficult that they stop using your platform, but there are easy wins too – like user passwords. Insist that users use strong passwords for your website. While there is some debate as to what qualifies as a strong password, almost all experts agree that length is one of the most important factors. Have a look at some other tips for strong passwords and implement them in your password policy.

Make Use of Third-Party Services

The easiest way to quickly and easily improve the security of your e-commerce store is not to have to do things yourself. That’s where third-party services come in to play. The most common of these when it comes to e-commerce is the payment gateway and using third-party payment processors. These partners will process payments for your customers without you having to handle the most delicate of information like credit card data. Even though all their payment information isn’t going to be coming through your services, you’re still going to be collecting personal data about your users like their name and date of birth or other information, so your data security is still important.

Internet security is a massive industry right now and for good reason. The proliferation of online scams and crimes is on the rise as we rely more and more on e-commerce and internet-based financial transactions.

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