As online shopping overtakes general merchandise sales around the world, more businesses are vying for the lucrative digital retail space than ever. And when there is money involved, crime is inevitable – in this case, cyber criminals are looking to steal data such as credit card numbers and personal identification details, which can be sold on private forums for cash.
It is estimated that in 2017, ecommerce fraud rose faster than ecommerce sales in the United States, and the losses suffered by businesses are phenomenal – not just in cost, but also in reputation.
In Singapore, cyber-crime cases continue to rise too, accounting for nearly 20% of all crimes in the country. There were roughly 2,125 ecommerce scams in 2018, where victims lost a total of S$1.9 million.
To avoid being the target of cyber criminals, here are five security tips to bear in mind for your online store.
1. Be certified safe
Whenever a browser connects to a web server, there is the risk of cyber criminals intercepting the connection and stealing sensitive and private data. Think of it as how telephone lines can easily be tapped by resourceful hackers to spy on conversations.
To counter this, opt for SSL certification – the de-facto standard to ensure online transmissions are secure. So how does it work?
When shoppers visit a website encrypted with SSL, the browser will check and validate the authenticity of the website’s SSL certificate. If the certificate is deemed trustworthy, the browser will then establish a secure encrypted connection with the web server. This connection is so secure that no one else will be able to wiretap and decipher the data exchanged between your browser and the web server, be it passwords or credit card details.
An easy way to know if a website has SSL certification is to look for a lock icon along with “https” at the start of the URL in your internet browser’s address bar.
All Shoptiq stores are equipped with free SSL certification, a guarantee that only the highest security standards are adhered to. Business owners can even include the SSL logo on their website’s landing page as an assurance to customers.
Logging in to manage your online store is made safer too with SSL. Above that, with Shoptiq, you can even limit the access of the staff accounts from outside the office.
2. Beware of suspicious transactions
Purchase fraud, where criminals use stolen or fake payment cards for transactions, is an ongoing problem for online business owners.
While there is no way to stop cybercrime, you can keep an eye out for suspicious transactions and prevent yourself from becoming a victim.
Mismatched addresses: Always check if a shopper’s IP address matches the country stated in the billing and shipping addresses. If they do not tally, there is a higher probability of fraud.
Multiple credit cards from a single IP address: This could indicate that the shopper is using fake or stolen credit cards.
Unexpectedly large orders: It could be a cyber criminal’s method of maximising spending on a stolen credit card in a single transaction, as these cards typically have a short lifespan before a loss is reported.
If you feel that something is amiss about a particular transaction, declining it might be the safest option.
3. Use secure third-party payment gateways
Consider partnering a reputable third-party payment gateway with a good track record in protecting sensitive data such as PayPal and Stripe. This way, you can avoid storing customers’ payment details on your site, while still ensuring convenience for shoppers.
Such online payment service providers have a number of protection measures like data encryption and anti-fraud technology, to safeguard against hackers and cyber thieves.
Shoptiq works with leading third-party payment gateways to ensure that all monetary transactions are safe and secure for both buyers and merchants.
4. Be savvy with your passwords
Frequent password changes can be tedious and there is a fear of forgetting them, but think of it as renewing your defense with each change.
And don’t simply tweak a single alphabet, number, or symbol, as such minor alterations can be easily guessed by resourceful password crackers. Come up with a totally new password and make it harder for hackers to crack the new code.
For businesses, account login details are often shared among multiple staff. While some companies do so out of convenience, such a practice is hardly safe and exposes the organisation to potential breaches. It’s akin to giving your house keys to five different people – anyone might misplace the keys!
If possible, create individual login accounts for your staff, and ensure that full access to your online store is limited only to a small, exclusive group.
5. Rely on a trusted ecommerce platform
With the rise of ecommerce platforms, aspiring entrepreneurs now have access to one-stop solutions that would help them build and run their online stores while ensuring that security features are updated regularly.
Gone are the days of custom building a website just to sell online – an expensive and laborious effort that may not offer users the best protection.
What’s crucial is to opt for a trusted and reputable platform that comes with useful security features that would protect your store from fraud and hacking, as you build up your ecommerce brand.
Let Shoptiq handle the nuts and bolts of setting up a secure online store for your business. This will take care of the security, front-end and back-end configurations, so you can focus on the core of your operations.
Get your 14-day free trial with Shoptiq today.