Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention

7 Ways That Business Owners Can Increase the Safety of Online Shopping

Are you launching an online shop soon?

Having an online store means accessing the lucrative market it offers. But the best way to become a major business is to improve your customers’ online shopping experience. This can prove difficult if you have no prior experience in maintaining your business security.

Don’t panic yet, we’re here to walk you through it.

With this guide, we’ll discuss tips related to the safety of online shopping. That way, you’ll know what to do to become reliable. Read on and find out more:

1. Comply with the PCI-DSS

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council mandates the PCI-DSS, a collection of compliance regulations. This applies to your business if you use credit card data to facilitate transactions. This aims to keep your customers’ payment information safe and secure.

As an online business, the PCI-DSS is a headache to deal with because of its complexity. It’s especially when you have no IT specialists around. Regardless, staying compliant means conducting an on-site data security assessment each year.

This includes using SSL authentication on your website. Don’t hesitate to take your time and read more about the PCI-DSS guidelines. This will give you an idea of where your online store stands in terms of online shopping safety.

2. Never Store Customer Payment Data

Safe online shopping starts with a feeling of protected privacy. You can guarantee this with secure online payment methods and wiping out their data afterward. 

Authoritative groups implement strict standards on the customer data you can store. A good example is not to store their CVV data. It’s because 95% of credit card breaches happen through issues with small businesses and their security.

A good practice to develop is to get rid of all payment information after completing a transaction. If you must store customer information, install measures to protect it. You can either use a private network, cloud-based storage, or data encryption to ensure it’s unreadable to intruders. 

Also, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 forbids you to show your customer’s full credit card details when emailing a receipt. At most, you can only display its last five digits. It’s a protective measure for both parties.

3. Pick a Secure eCommerce Platform and Processor

Even when regulations enforce strict punishments, some eCommerce platforms and processors neglect security. When you look for these providers, always pick reputable companies. To start, look at online reviews and see whether they have good reviews.

Also, trustworthy companies are transparent about their security methods. Another great website you must consider is the Better Business Bureau. It’s because they have the company information you can research before committing to them.

4. Educate Everyone About the Safety of Online Shopping

Most data breaches happen because of human neglect or error. Even when you’re compliant with various regulations and use the best security systems, you’re still human. If you and your employees lack training in basic security measures, you’re putting your customers’ private information in danger.

The best way to remedy this situation is to inform your employees about the latest online security threats. More importantly, each person must verify transactions and learn good security practices. For example, they should know the risks of opening unsolicited email attachments and sharing sensitive information with outsiders.

To simplify, the best way to prevent security breaches is by curing technological ignorance. Never be complacent and strive to stay current. This ensures your online business operates without the fear of succumbing to attackers.

5. Verify Transactions

The good news is that several methods exist to verify customer transactions. It holds even when the customer’s card isn’t around. Make it necessary for customers to enter their CVV and look for an address verification match.

Always suspect patterns outside your customers’ normal behaviors. Abnormal situations like ordering in exceptional amounts should raise concerns. When this happens, call the customer as soon as possible to verify whether they made the order.

Review small details such as weird email addresses. Check with your customers if they ship products to areas known for fraud instances. It’s especially important when they aren’t opting for deals like free shipping.

Also, consider accepting eChecks. If customers pay using their bank accounts, verify it using the ACH network. This will prevent fraud from happening and make customers feel secure.

Do you want a better form of payment for your online business? If so, learn how integrated payments work with this guide here.

6. Update All Systems

Outdated systems are favorite targets for cyber-attacks by malicious third parties. It matters not what component you have, whether it’s your WordPress, SQL, PHP, or antivirus applications. Always download new updates as soon as they appear.

Most of these programs will update themselves automatically. But it’s better to be cautious and double-check. Ensure that you run the latest software version for the ones you use for your online business.

Having updated components ensures that all previous vulnerabilities get patched. Otherwise, hackers can exploit these and find ways to access your customer data. When this happens, you’re unlikely to recover the lost trust.

7. Use Encryption and Tokenization

These terms are popular security terms, but most people mistake them to be the same. The primary difference between these two concepts is the way they handle data they’re replacing. Tokenization gets rid of data from a system while replacing it with a corresponding value.

Encryption uses an obfuscation or scrambling tool. This will maintain the data’s original form, but it’s almost impossible to access without the right key. Some of the most complex encryption methods out there can delay hackers for a long time, making them feel like it’s a waste of time.

Regardless, when you store customer data, ensure it’s encrypted. A good method is to accept payments using digital wallets. It’s because it automatically encrypts data for your customers’ sake.

Improve eCommerce Security Today!

These are some methods to improve the safety of online shopping. Use these to ensure your customers have a safe and pleasant shopping experience.

Is this guide helpful? If so, browse our other posts and learn more valuable information related to business improvements.