8 simple ways to increase your e-commerce security (and your sales!)

It’s easy to understand. Would you buy from dark, dirty shop whose roof looked like it was about to collapse?

Of course you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t feel safe so you’d leave and go somewhere else.

The same applies to e-commerce.

If customers don’t feel safe on your website, they’ll go to your competitor’s shop. Would you leave your credit card details where everybody could see them?

You need to reinforce your e-commerce security so that your customers feel safe and comfortable giving you their bank details to complete the purchase.

We’ll show you how to do it.

👉 What can you do to make sure your online shop is safe?

No security, no sales. Nobody buys from a place if they don’t trust it or if they feel their details may be misused.

You need to protect your shop so that visitors feel safe and protected, and so they don’t have any reservations buying your products.

To help you out, we’re going to explain 8 steps to increase your e-commerce security.

1️⃣. Choose a good host

If you have a shop, you’ll already know this, but it’s always good to brush up on the definition.

Your hosting is your online shop’s “location” – the space where it’s hosted so that it can be shown online.

Actually, it’s a giant computer with large hard drives. You pay for the space your website uses on those drives.

How can you choose a really safe host?

Your hosting provider is in charge of the security, so ask them all the questions you may have. And at very least, double-check the following factors:

  • It saves a backup copy to the server: so that you can get all your published information back in the event of an unforeseen accident.
  • It has all the anti DDoS protection systems: a DDoS attack happens when there are too many simultaneous requests to a server leading to its collapse and inability to keep working.
  • It has its own firewall: similar to the firewall you have on your computer, your hosting server also needs to be protected from third-party attacks.

The same provider may offer different hosting plans for your e-commerce, but security must be a priority even among the cheapest options.

Recommended posts:

What hosting should you choose for your online shop? Options, features, and price comparison

Which PrestaShop hosting to choose and which to run away from?

2️⃣. Choose your sales platform or CMS

Another definition to clear up any possible doubts:

An e-commerce platform or CMS is software specifically designed to ease sales transactions online.

There are many platforms for online shops. Which one is better? As with everything else, it depends.

What’s the most secure e-commerce platform?

In general, the more well known a platform is, the better its security is. You need to check how often they update their software as well as the vulnerability level.

The most common CMS are:

  • Magento: for very powerful projects.
  • PrestaShop: it’s a less complex option than Magento, but it works better than WordPress when you have many products.
  • WooCommerce: it’s the WordPress module for e-commerce. It’s easy to use, but only if you have few products.
  • Shopify: an option in the cloud for those who hate technology and want to start a business without going crazy.

If you need more info about them, here you have a post where we explain how to choose a CMS according to your needs.

3️⃣. Demand strong passwords

Using good passwords is key to ensuring your clients’ (and providers’) data is secure. That’s why you should ask them both to create strong passwords:

  • Long: minimum of 8 characters.
  • Different characters: include a mix of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and/or special characters.
  • Update: establish an expiration date so that they have to change passwords frequently.
  • Always new: don’t accept passwords that have been used before on your platform.
  • Clauses: add a liability and confidentiality clause.

While it may seem simple, collaborators are the main source of information leaks for online companies. You need to apply all the possible measures to guarantee your data you store is secure.

4️⃣. Install an SSL Certificate

We’re going to start throwing some big words around because this is the most technical part of your website. Have a look at what you see in your navigation bar when you go to the Doofinder site:

seguridad ecommerce

What’s the difference between https:// and http://?

The “S” is for security and the small lock next to it means the connection is safe.

The http protocol (the one that was used before) doesn’t encrypt the data exchanged during the online transaction – it’s sent as plain text, which runs the risk of leaving the information available to everyone.

In order to add the “S” to your online shop, you need to install an SSL certificate that encrypts the information sent between the user and the server (or, in your case, between the clients and your shop).

Most clients online already know that a website without the https is less safe, so don’t lose out on sales because of it.

In addition, if you don’t add the SSL certificate to your site, it’ll affect your organic positioning since Google punishes websites lacking the certificate.

For the sake of both your traffic and your sales, get certified!

5️⃣. Use a Firewall

And what’s this weird word all about?

A firewall is a hardware or software system that serves as a communication channel between 2 networks, allowing authorized traffic to flow between them and blocking that which seems suspicious.

There are many types of firewalls, but we recommend proxies for e-commerce because they work as an intermediary between the client and your online shop.

6️⃣. Choose your payment platforms

The payment methods that you offer will be a decisive factor for a client completing a sale. If you don’t have the most common ones, some people will simply refuse to buy.

Here you have a summary of the most well-known ones, but we recommend reading this post where we explain them all in detail.

A. PayPal

It’s an external company that works as a mediator between buyers and sellers.

The shop doesn’t have access to any personal data from the client, who needs to be registered with PayPal. The biggest disadvantage is that they charge a fee.

B. TPV or credit card payment

Customers pay with their card through a payment platform, a virtual TPV (equivalent to the physical payment terminal at physical shops).

This also typically implies fees for the shop.

C. POD

It’s about charging for the product when it’s delivered. If clients don’t pay, the product is not delivered.

When we talked about logistics for e-commerce, we mentioned that this payment method is highly valued by clients who don’t want to pay until they actually see the product. It usually means the client ends up paying between 2% and 3% extra.

D. Bank transfer

This payment method is not as common as it once was, but it’s still used by some clients who don’t trust other “more technological” methods.

The transfer may take between 2 and 5 days to get to the online shop.

E. Other options

There are other fast-growing payment methods such as Stripe or Payoneer. And there are other new options being offered by the banks themselves – apps such as Bizum in Spain or Zelle in the USA:

 

These are payment systems that only require a mobile number and are accepted by some banks and banking alliances. They allow for transfers to be made to the phone number that you have saved on your phone (without needing to know a bank account number).

7️⃣. Don’t keep sensitive data

Have you ever heard of PCI DSS or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards?

The PCI is the compulsory security standard for every company that accepts or handles credit cards. It’s been accepted by all major credit card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB).

So, if you have this payment method available in your shop, this affects you.

You can check here to see the requirements established in the law, but there’s one that is key: it is prohibited to keep credit or debit cards information.

Delete that sensitive information from you database (card number, expiration date, CSV, etc.) and keep as little information as possible.

8️⃣. Don’t forget about the specific legislation on e-commerce security

Each country has specific regulations for companies that sell online. In Europe, since May 2018, the GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – has been in effect.

This regulation obviously affects those who sell in Europe, but also those living outside the European Union selling to European customers.

It’s worth having a look these posts in which we talk about the legal requirements you need to follow to comply with the regulation:

How to create an online shop from scratch: basic issues, legal requirements, strategy, and more!

Remember to check the specific laws in your country and sector.

👉 Is your online shop secure?

Just as we said at the beginning of this post – you wouldn’t buy from a “sketchy” shop yourself, so it doesn’t make sense not to increase the security of your own shop to make your clients feel safe.

Generating trust is always synonymous with selling more.

And don’t you forget it! ;)