According to The Office for National Statistics approximately one in ten retail sales made during 2014 so far has been online. By 2016, as much as 23% of UK retail sales will be made online, according to a report from the Boston Consulting Group, bringing in total revenues of some £144.6 billion. This news should really mean happy days for eCommerce companies, large or small, but in order to keep riding the crest of the eCommerce wave and keep customers coming back, the important issue of online security needs to be firmly addressed.
Be Safe Not Sorry
Over recent years, the continued rise in popularity of eCommerce sites has provided hackers with additional opportunities to exploit vulnerable business security systems and dig their cyber-claws into highly confidential personal and business information which is then exploited to the detriment of both the customer and the retailer. If you want your online business to grow in leaps and bounds then customers need to trust the security of your website, and be able to spend money without having their personal and financial details compromised. They will then come back time and time again.
So how do you go about implementing all important online security measures for your website in order to protect both yourself and your customers? You will be pleased to know it really isn’t rocket science and following a few simple guidelines will see you trading safely and successfully.
Step 1: Back To Basics
First things first – Invest in good antivirus software. There are plenty of very effective free versions out there but do some research, ask around and consider purchasing a solution that works for you. More often than not, you really do get what you pay for. It is imperative that you regularly update the software.
Step 2: Creating a Secure Password
Create secure passwords – You may be surprised at how many people do not even bother with this! It really is a basic and vital requirement for keeping your confidential information safe and for deterring hackers. Be warned, make the effort to do it properly, or risk paying the price. Make your passwords longer than 6 characters, use a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Be creative and change your passwords often; every three months should be sufficient.
Step 3: Securing Online Payments
Guarantee secure online payment processes for each customer. Hackers love nothing better than exploiting juicy vulnerable ecommerce sites, rich with credit card details ready for the picking. Either consider using a Payment Service Provider as a secure payment gateway or if not then make sure your online service accounts use Secure Socket Layer technology (SSL) which protects online transactions by enabling encryption of sensitive information during the process. It is also a good idea to implement 3D secure technologies which have been developed by Visa and licensed by MasterCard. This means the buying process takes a little longer but is definitely more secure. To grow your client base it’s imperative to gain trust from your potential buyers and clearly state on your website that your online processes are safe. Going for a recognisable and trusted provider and displaying their logo clearly on your site can help to lend credibility as well as significantly increasing conversions.