In recent years, there has been a wave of high-profile account data breaches from huge online retailers.

The scary and shocking part is that some retailers aren’t even immediately aware that their user data has been compromised. Reuters reports that when eBay was hacked in May 2014, the forensic investigators didn’t initially believe any user data had been compromised.

For a small or medium online business owner, this sort of information is sensitive, and the loss of it could mean disaster for their operations since it creates a breach of customer trust and can even lead to litigation from users.

Protecting your e-commerce store should be at the top of the list of priorities for any online retailer, and there are a few simple steps any business can follow to ensure they don’t fall prey to security failures.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Pagely mentions a type of attack called a “Man-in-the-Middle” attack, where the hacker inserts himself or herself between the user and the server, intercepting information such as credit card details and other things that can be used for identity theft.

The way around an attacker, in this case, is just to make it impossible for the hacker to be in the middle.

The best way to do this is to employ a VPN. Norton defines a VPN as a secure, encrypted connection between devices ensuring that no one can get between the user and the server.

For any company worried about Man-in-the-Middle attacks, a VPN should be among the company’s considerations.

Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

For most consumers who use a site regularly, having 2FA as an added level of security is seen as a wise approach. 2FA deals well with identity theft and phishing scams which can intercept or abuse user data on the hacker’s end.

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Additionally, since 2FA can notify a user when they are logged in at a location, they can be aware of when the account at that location is being used.

How 2FA works is by making the user enter a code which is sent to a verified mobile device to complete their login. While hackers can attempt to steal the user’s password, the phone’s verification code is unique to that device.

The code generator is dynamic, and the code itself usually expires relatively quickly.

Use Secure Socket Layer certificates

SSL technology has been around since the early days of business integration on the Internet and has become the standard for securing credit card transactions online.

Google mentioned that SSL became part of their ranking system in 2014 since they had a vested interest in the security of user information.

SSL integration with an e-commerce site is relatively simple. Tech-savvy buyers actively search for the SSL logo (the little lock in the browser window) before performing a transaction.

This means that implementing SSL may even impact the volume of sales from consumers that do check for SSL compatibility when buying.

Teach customers and employees about risks

The world of online security is a constantly shifting landscape, and because of the way this system operates, it is essential to inform the stakeholders how their businesses are taking steps to ensure their security.

Providing that both clients and workers are well-informed about the security practices that exist within the company enables those workers to answer questions without too much effort, and even allows customers to be better at organic marketing.

Keeping clients aware of the steps that the company takes in online security through cheap VPNs, emails, transaction updates, and even text can keep the consumers informed and improve their attitude towards your business.

Ensuring that these security protocols are maintained rests on the shoulders of the staff, who should be informed and consulted regarding the system regularly.

Secure platforms win out

Secure platforms such as Magento and WooCommerce form a major backbone of the e-commerce industry and the reason stems from how reliable they are as plugins.

Having a tried and true solution can make the difference between a business defending itself against external intrusion and trying to save money by implementing their own security system on their self-created e-commerce installation.

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There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when these kinds of solutions already exist and are cost-effective for even small businesses to implement.

Businesses are always at risk

Whether the company is online or a brick-and-mortar store, there is always a risk of theft.

Online, the risk is the theft of user data and details which can then be used maliciously to impact a client. No consumer wants their details shared without their knowledge, and it is up to the business to ensure that information that is given to them is adequately secured.

Using established e-commerce platforms add a level of legitimacy to the operation, but with more security customers will feel a lot better about spending their money at that business.

While many ways can be incorporated into creating a more secure business page, we have only mentioned a few of the easier to implement ones. As consumer base grows, more complicated systems can be applied if the cost of implementation is met and the need exists.

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