How e-Commerce Entrepreneurs Can Protect Their Customers
by Dan Radak
When a product or a service becomes available to a large number of users, it also starts attracting attention of various scammers. On the Internet, the number of frauds is growing along with the number of Internet users.
Among many people at risk in the online environment, the most endangered species on the Web are undoubtedly owners and users of e-Commerce websites.
What e-Commerce entrepreneurs need to do to protect their assets and customers is apply some security-boosting features for the online transactions and purchases made on their websites.
Insist on long passwords
Let’s face it – today everybody can use the Internet. And when hundreds of millions of people have access to something, it means that you have to make plans to protect them.
Since we know that the first stop on every e-Commerce website is registration, website owners should insist on complex passwords.
That way, they will force their potential customers to protect their accounts by creating sturdy passwords.
For instance, the pass should contain at least eight characters and it should also have at least one capital letter.
Furthermore, if your customers are obliged to use a combination of letters, symbols and numbers, their accounts will be much safer.
Sometimes, you can do more for your customers’ protection than they can.
Using a complex password system for registration on your e-Commerce website is one of those life-saving measures.
Learn about PCI regulations
When founding an e-Commerce business, it’s extremely important that you master the international rules regarding the payments made with bank cards.
Hence, it’s necessary to study the PCI regulations, so that you can plan your next moves in accordance with those guidelines.
The main goal of this global organization is protecting card holders worldwide from data theft and asset loss.
Therefore, if your commercial website is PCI compliant, your customers will have more trust in your business, which should result in numerous visits and higher revenues.
Get the green padlock
Although the majority of your customers aren’t aware of its existence, equipping your website with the impenetrable SSL protocol is a must in the present-day world of online trade.
The benefit of this feature is two-fold.
Firstly, the confidential information, such as the credit card numbers, will be encrypted during the data transit. Secondly, the identity of every business will be checked, too.
That way your customers are protected both from data interceptors and from fraudulent e-Commerce websites.
Also, customers already know that one of the most reliable signs of high website security is the green padlock symbol in the left corner of the URL-bar.
When your website is protected with the SSL system, it’s marked with this symbol, so that the customers know you care about their security.
Ensure reliable hosting
When a businessperson is thinking about renting or buying a brick-and-mortar store, they thoroughly inspect the area where they’re going to place their store.
The same tactic should be applied when deciding where to locate your online store.
What matters most here is the hosting provider.
When it comes to your e-Commerce business, this entity will be your closest assistant.
This is why you should spend some time analyzing different solutions.
Simply put, if you opt for an inexpensive, but unreliable provider, your entire business effort might be ruined.
What’s more, you might even face serious charges if your customers’ assets get stolen or lost.
Therefore, while weighing pros and cons of various hosting solutions, educate yourself on that topic.
You can start by reading more about different e-Commerce hosting options in a piece published on Forbes.com.
Reduce the retained data
Many e-Commerce beginners make a huge mistake when they store too many data about their customers.
This is wrong for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the PCI Standards forbid excessive storage of customers’ private details.
In accordance with that, you shouldn’t retain your buyers’ credit card numbers, card verification value (CVV) codes and card expiration dates after their purchases.
Secondly, the bulkier your database is, the more exposed it is to the risk of being stolen.
Thirdly, if your customers’ private data are hacked only once, your reputation will be ruined.
Because of that, keep only your customers’ email addresses and the basic information about them, such as the names and the addresses, in case they want a refund.
All other data need to be deleted.
Include address verification
In addition to the well-known CCV verification system, modern e-Commerce businesses often add another security feature to their protection set – the address verification system (AVS).
When this strategy is applied, the address your customer uses when purchasing on your website is compared to the one given to the issuer of the card.
That way, the identity of your customers always undergoes additional inspection, so as to ensure that the cards they’re using they aren’t stolen or used without their owner’s permission.
Improve payment options
When it comes to payments for online purchases, you have to know that people always check what credit cards e-Commerce websites accept.
This is why you have to allow the holders of all the mainstream cards to shop in your e-store.
Apart from that, enable your customers to pay via the most popular payment gateways.
In line with that, you should try the benefits of escrow services for some transactions, so as to go an extra mile and offer your customers a smooth shopping experience.
What’s more, it will also contribute to building trust in your business collaboration.
Download and activate updates
The majority of e-Commerce websites are developed on different platforms.
Developers behind those platforms prepare regular updates for their clients.
However, what they can’t do for you is click on the update button when you get a notification.
Therefore, whenever your e-Commerce provider notifies you on their fresh updates, take some time to download and activate them.
Moreover, you should treat your in-house computers the same way.
Perform regular scans and updates of your firewall and antivirus, to prevent unauthorized intruders from getting into possession of your confidential business information.
On the other hand, if they penetrate into your business computers, they could get free access to your customers’ data.
The crucial thing when it comes to e-Commerce is to build and retain trust between sellers and shoppers.
Due to a huge variety of risks lurking on the Web, sellers need to make a huge and continuous effort to keep their websites secure and their customers safe.
Only such a user-friendly approach will ensure a long-lasting business in the field of online trade.
March 2, 2017
November 3, 2016