5 Security Strategies for Small Businesses Accepting Online Payments

5 Security Strategies for Small Businesses Accepting Online Payments

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79% of customers prefer shopping online than through offline mediums. The gap between offline and online purchases are also widening on a daily basis. Not to miss mentioning the rampant growth of omni-channel eCommerce.

Amidst all this hurry, there is one thing that remains constant. A fear, as a matter of fact. The customer’s fear whether the private information, banking credentials, credit card information, etc. shared online remains safe or not.

This quote from eCommerce legend Jack Ma will make things clear.

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For an eCommerce business whether big or small, customer trust plays a major role in establishing long-term relationship. In this industry, it is not the ones that roll out maximum offers or deals that rule, but the ones that make customers feel at home with total security.

So, how can a business ensure that its customer’s safety is ensured without dropping the hat on business operations?

In this write-up, we decode the many ways how a business can fortify its security systems and ensure that customers feel totally secure when parting with their private information or money. These tactics will be especially useful for those small businesses which are in the habit of collecting money online from customers for rendering products or services.

All set? Let’s dive in.

1 Choose a secure platform

If you are just starting out building your online store or is in the process of scaling to greater heights, you must take a close look to see how secure your eCommerce platform is.

The fact is every platform will have its own share of loopholes. Or, hackers devise sophisticated ways to get into the system. The key here is to check whether there are sufficient protective measures available to secure the platform and its contents from attacks.

Take for instance, WordPress. The Content Management System is used to power more than one-quarter of the Internet’s websites. However, more than 70% of WordPress websites, mainly those running on older versions. However, there are an endless number of WordPress plugins and extensions meant for admins and online payment protection that provide rock solid security against the same attacks.

Similarly, other eCommerce platforms like Drupal, Magento, WooCommerce, CS-cart, etc. also provide security measures to protect your online store.

Does your choice of eCommerce platform weigh high on security? Cross check that to ensure safe handling of data and customer payments.

2 Use HTTPS encryption

HTTPS encryption is the simplest and surefire ways of securing visitor information secure. HTTPS is made possible with the help of SSL certificates that encrypt and decrypt information shared between a web server and a browser.

For small businesses that accept online payments, HTTPS encryption can be a saviour in several ways. First, they keep the exchange of information safe and secure between the store’s server and the user’s browser. Secondly, the green padlock symbol and the address bar assure users that they are trading with an online store that is trustworthy. Last, but not the least, the encryption is a serious rank signal which Google uses to assign page ranks to websites.

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All in all, HTTPS encryption is an investment worth the spend that will fetch back returns in form of security, better user experience and search engine ranking. Remember, since you are an online store for whom entity information is essential, it would be wise to get an EV SSL certificate, the highest form of SSL certificate available in the market.

3 Ensure PCI DSS Compliance

The PCI (Payment Card Industry) is a set of security standards designed specifically to ensure that all companies that “accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment” for users.

DSS stands for Data Security Standard which is primarily aimed to reduce the risk that businesses face when processing online payments. Depending on the volume of transactions, the level of compliance to be adhered by the business varies significantly.

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4 Transaction Verification

All this while we saw how hackers and cyber security criminals can mess around when accepting payments from customers. However, online sellers swear that customers are also equally cunning when it comes to forging payments and causing losses.

To avoid letting customers take your company for a ride, it is worthwhile to do the following:

  • Demand customers to enter four digit pin or card security code to establish they are the real owners
  • Follow patterns like large volumes of returns from the certain username, regions, products, etc.
  • Ensure that email ids and other user credentials are true or at least matching with the details provided when signing up
  • Ask delivery personnel to cross-check that original products are returned and are not damaged or tampered with before the customer returns it

5 Update software patches

All the software updates and patches that you have been frequently notified about are not to be ignored. They are meant to plug the loopholes in your eCommerce platform so that they become more secured and ready for use in a hacker infested web environment.

Typically, all eCommerce platforms have auto updates enabled. In case you have turned anything off, make it a point to turn it on or to check and install the updates on a timely basis. This will help your business stay protected from malicious attackers at all times.

Bringing it all together

Failing to invest in cybersecurity can cost your business serious damages. These 5 security tips are good enough to secure your business from the front end. Right from the choice of platform to investing in encryption, these are proven techniques to ensure that your business stays safe while it transacts online payments with customers.

With the security and the trust that accompanies it, your business will soon be a place where customers will not think twice to conduct business with. It will eliminate the fundamental problem of trust which is also the number one reason why most eCommerce stores are unable to sell much as they wish to.

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