12 Secure Payment Tips for Your e-Commerce Website
Running an e-commerce website isn’t as simple as it seems. In a world where there are constant hacking attempts, it’s only natural that you want to make your website as secure as possible, especially when it comes to payment.
But it’s not just about the transactions done on your site but also about your site’s security as a whole.
In this article, I’ll provide twelve valuable tips to help secure not just your payment section but your entire website too.
Let’s get started.
1. Choose a Trusted and Secure Website Builder
A website builder would usually be the pick when you want to create an e-commerce website. Besides the fact that it is more straightforward, has plenty of premade templates and customization options, it also usually comes with some security features.
When choosing the right online store website builder, ensure that it provides an SSL certificate, encrypted payment gateways, and advanced authentication protocols for both sellers and buyers.
Go around and compare the different website builders and focus on users’ reviews and testimonials, especially their security. Then once you’ve rounded up thrones that have what your store needs, pick the one that provides the best value for money.
2. Get SSL Security
As we mentioned before that a website should have SSL security. It’s a crucial security feature to have because it helps encrypt data between a visitor’s web browser and your website. It must become a mandatory requirement for all e-commerce sites based on the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard.
SSL also helps provide authentication to ensure that your site’s date is indeed sent through the correct server. Moreover, SSL security acts as a trust symbol in the form of a padlock icon or a green bar on a user’s address bar when visiting your site.
3. Monitor and Update Third-Party Integrations
Suppose you’re using CMS as the platform to create your website. In that case, you’ll be able to download and apply various third-party integrations like plugins, apps, and tools to enhance your site’s functionality. Some website builders also allow this but with fewer options.
While this is a great thing that you can customize your site the way you want it, you need to make sure that you constantly monitor and update third-party plugins and add-ons. This is because some hackers might use these plugins to plant malicious code on your site.
A good tip is to ensure that the third-party integrations are regularly updated by the developer and ensure that it’s fully optimized for your software.
4. Backup Website Data
Even if you have multiple security layers, some things may happen, and you need to be prepared for it. While backing up your website data doesn’t stop any security threats, but it will help reduce the impact they bring to your site – should they breach your security protocols.
It’s a good practice to back-up your site now and then. Your website builder should have an automatic back-up feature that you can utilize by simply set how often you should back up your site. It’s recommended that you do it every three days.
5. Be PCI DSS Compliant
As we briefly mentioned before, PCI DSS is a set of requirements intended to make sure that all e-commerce sites that processes, stores or transmits credit card information have and maintains a secure environment.
There are twelve requirements to be PCI DSS Compliant, which are:
- Have effective password protections.
- Use and maintain firewalls.
- Have an SSL certificate.
- Protect cardholder data.
- Regularly update software.
- Use and maintain antivirus software.
- Create unique IDs for access.
- Restrict data access from unauthorized users.
- Use and maintain access logs.
- Restrict physical access.
- Document your security policies.
- Regularly scan and test for vulnerabilities.
If your site follows the requirements, it will be able to detect any discrepancies made during any transactions on your site and automatically stop the trade immediately.
6. Use a CDN
A CDN stores multiple copies of your site’s content. This can help identify common malware that e-commerce sites face, such as DDoS attacks. The attack refers to sending an immense amount of requests to your site, thus delaying the loading or even crashing your site resulting in it being nonfunctional.
7. Utilize Machine Learning Tools
With machines and AIs getting better by the day, of course, you can also find tools that will help you secure your e-commerce site. There are various security tools available, ranging from loophole scanners to threat detection tools. Here are some security tools you can try out:
- Security loophole scanner – FreeScan by Qualys.
- Threat detection tool – Trustwave.
- Security planner tool – FCC Small Biz Cyber Planner.
8. Perform Regular Security Audits
Performing regular security audits manually can help protect your site by identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities to avoid being compromised. Running regular audits means that you can remove any issues before Google marks your site as harmful.
Let’s take a look at the steps to conduct a website security audit:
- Check for updates on your scripts and applications.
- Make sure your IP and domain are clean.
- Enforce strong password practices.
- Remove unused user accounts.
- Update your SSL.
- Utilize SSH to allow flexible monitoring.
- Run security scans.
9. Configure a Website Application Firewall
A Web Application Firewall helps protect web applications by creating a shield that filters and monitors HTTP traffic between them and the internet. It usually protects web apps from attacks like SQL injections, cross-site-scripting (XSS), and cross-site forgery.
WAF works by following a set of policies that aims to protect web applications by filtering out malicious traffic. You can modify these policies to allow a faster response to possible attacks.
There are plenty of WAF tools available, such as:
Also, Read: How to Setup Free SSL for Your WordPress Website
10. Employ a Bot Detection Platform
e-Commerce companies usually use a bot detection platform to defend against attacks involving bots. These bots may attempt to make a DDoS attack and take down your site. As a result, perform fraudulent transactions and steal data from your site.
As the name suggests, the bot detection platform aims to recognize bot activity and conduct measures to prevent the bots from completing their tasks by restricting the bot’s network access and identifying them as dangerous.
Here are some bot detection platforms:
11. Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication
Even when your e-commerce site has excellent security, your weakest link could be you and your employees. This means using the same passwords for multiple sites and services. While it is easy to remember, but in the case that one of the login details has been compromised by hackers, they can gain access to your website too.
Luckily, there are plenty of password manager tools available like TrueKey that’ll take the hassle of memorizing various passwords for different sites and services.
Another way to foster greater credential awareness is by utilizing two-factor authentication. This goes a long way in the case that a password has been compromised. The hacker will need to take another complex step to get in.
You can use mobile tools like Google Authenticator that requires the user to enter a specific code in a short amount of time to the site before you can get in. This dramatically reduces the risk of hackers entering your site using your account.
12. Be Aware of “Friendly Fraud”
One rising concern faced by e-commerce businesses is “Friendly Fraud.” It’s essentially an act where a legitimate customer purchases a product or service from your site but later changes their mind about it.
Under normal circumstances, canceling orders results in customers using your return policy to return the goods and get refunded. Through Friendly Fraud, customers would instead submit a chargeback through their credit card provider.
To minimize these kinds of frauds, here are some steps you can take:
- Use tracking numbers and proof of delivery for every order that is shipped.
- Ensure that you properly take note of changes made to your customer’s credit card.
- Ask credit card companies for detailed chargeback codes.
Now you know the twelve tips to help you secure your site. All that’s left to do is to implement these security measures and make your site as secure as possible.
Remember to regularly back up your site’s data because no matter how secure your site is, you never know when unexpected things can happen. It’s best to be prepared for the worst.