How to Protect Your Online Store, so You Don’t Lose Sales and Money

Micheli , Invited guest @ Mailrelay

Many customers today are choosing to shop online instead of the traditional brick and mortar shopping methods. This new trend, unfortunately, is also promoting a steady rise in online eCommerce transactions meaning more security violations from hackers.

You must protect your online store and customers against the many dangers posed by fraudsters and hackers.  Why? Because cybersecurity is a significant challenge with hackers penetrating even major online stores. And don’t expect cybercrime to diminish. Sobering fact: It is estimated that eCommerce security breaches losses will hit $6.4 billion by 2021. This highlights the importance of taking preventive measures if you are to keep your online store safe.

In one study,64% of a small business selling online said the internet had helped boost sales or revenues. But that also means you will have to protect your sales and money. But e-commerce security need not be such a daunting undertaking. It’s just a matter of putting the right practices into place and implementing the right tools. By implementing or applying the right strategies, using correct tools and processes, you can protect your online business by reducing the chances of an attack.

Promote Good Password Hygiene

While the use of passwords is experiencing stiff competition from technologies like multifactor authentication (MFA) and facial recognition, they remain the standard way of accessing most software. More than 50% of businesses are still relying on passwords as their principal method of authentication.

Unfortunately, bad or poor password habits are still widespread, and they tend to make online breaches easy. When cybercriminals can correctly guess login credentials, buy them online, or crack them using brute-force bot attacks, you will likely have potentially dangerous strangers in your system. They can have access to your web apps, databases, and sensitive company’s emails.

Some security lapses might not happen from your end, but the side of your client’s due to using weak passwords. They could have unknowingly delivered sensitive information to hackers or phishing sites.

Educate your clients about the risks associated with cybercrime, such as insecure security practices and phishing. Demand strong passwords from them and ask them to update their credentials regularly.

Enable Secure Authentication and Address Verification Systems

To access a site, the two-factor authorization requires the buyer to have a username and password combination plus an extra code. It is sent as an SMS to the user’s given phone number. This way, even  if the user password and username are at risk, only the person receiving the text code can access it. That means that even if hackers manage to figure out the password, they must also physically have your phone.

Use Address Verification Systems for more online security.

Use Address Verification Systems for more online security.

It is an advanced fraud tool that is now involved in different payment processing platforms. AVS helps in comparing the numeric parts of the credit card’s billing address stored on your system to the address on file with the credit card company.

Deploy ID Verification Software

As cybercriminals are using innovative means to steal confidential information and harm online businesses, using identity document verification software has become a must. It will help you verify the identity of users by uploading one or more documents and building trust.

It will eventually prevent fraudulent activity such as chargebacks and give you peace of mind knowing that your online store is secure.

Check Transactions and Accounts on A Daily Basis

No one can perfectly run your business better than you. You know the patterns of your biggest spenders. Monitor your transactions and accounts for red flags like inconsistent shipping or billing information.

Use reputable tools for tracking customer IP addresses that alert you about any addresses originating from countries known for fraud activities.

Check if your customers are using free emails or anonymous email addresses like Yahoo and Gmail. There are more chances of fraud from free email service providers compared to paid emails.

Use High-Quality Plugins

Plugins are a simple way of enforcing security website protection. Security plugins protect XSS, SQLi, code injections, bad bots, and many other severe attacks. For example, installing the feature rich Astra plugin helps in automatically securing your WordPress site. Virtual patch software prevents malicious requests from reaching your website.

While plugins and extensions significantly boost the functionality of your online store, not all are created equal. Using a poorly coded plugin will make it easier for cybercriminals to hacker your site, so always ensure you are using vetted, reputable sources that also have good reviews.

Don’t cut corners by downloading free premium versions of plugins coming from 3rd parties. Often, these are modified to include malicious malware. Ensure that you regularly update plugins and only work with the latest versions of WooCommerce and WordPress.

Keep Software and Platforms Up to Date

Always ensure you are using the latest operating system version as providers are continually updating their software. New security patches are designed to prevent fraud and protect your site from the  latest malware, viruses, and newly discovered vulnerabilities.

Similarly, install enterprise-level anti-spyware software and anti malware to stop attacks that may use susceptibilities in obsolete software. In general, free, consumer strength and limited-feature antivirus software may not be sufficient to protect your online business. All new updates also come with vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit, so regularly update everything on your website.

Review Error Messages

Occasionally, system upgrades and maintenance can trigger error messages on the computer screen. Cybercriminals might grab such information and use it to hack and compromise your site. Regularly review your site and make sure you disable such errors. You can do that by accessing the backend of your site. You could alternatively create a php.ini file, which can then be uploaded to your site file manager.

Implement SSL Certificates

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is the acknowledged leader when it comes to protecting your online store and securing online transactions. An SSL certificate clearly states that your site is trustworthy, and for an eCommerce site implementing SSL is essential. Any hacker attempting to intercept your SSL protected data will encounter a mix of illegible characters that are impossible to decrypt.

Different SSL certificates are there in the industry; for example, a wildcard SSL certificate by SSL2Buy helps in encrypting and authenticating user identity in case if you have unlimited subdomains.

For tech-savvy online buyers, the HTTPS padlock icon in the address bar must be provided before they agree to provide their personal and credit card details. Using HTTPS on your eCommerce site has advantages that go beyond trustworthiness and security. Google gives a higher search ranking to secure HTTPS websites, leading to more clicks and visitors.

Equally, Google may also tag an unencrypted site as “not secure,” which appears as unsafe.

Use Firewalls

Another effective way to protect your online store is by using firewall software and the latest plugins. These regulate traffic that visits and leaves your site and keeps untrusted networks at bay.

Firewalls offer selective permeability, only allowing access to trusted traffic. They are also good at protecting your site against cyber threats such as cross-site scripting and SQL injections.

Firewalls keep all untrusted networks from accessing your website. They also regulate traffic entering and leaving your website. Besides, they provide selective permeability only allowing trusted traffic while protecting your site against cyber threats such as cross-site scripting and SQL injections.

Secure Your Payment Gateways

Your business needs customer data if you are to improve communications and market your product offerings and also facilitate return purchases. However, the danger is that because of such valuable data, your website becomes a target of phishing, hacking, and other forms of cyberattacks.

While having credit card details stored on your database makes processing payments more comfortable and more convenient, it can be a liability. You may want to look at it as an open invitation for hackers.

To save and protect your business from such a possibility, never store credit card details on your servers and always make sure your payment gateways are secure.

Backup Data

According to one 2018 report, on average, SMBs reported 249 fraud attempts per month. Usually, e-commerce platforms are targeted because of weak security measures due to financial constraints.

Data loss because cyberattacks or hardware malfunction is not uncommon. If your data is not backed-up regularly, you may lose it for good, and if that happens to your website, customers may lose trust  in your business. Use automatic backup so that even in the event you forget to manually back-up, all your data gets backed up automatically.

Go one step further by making a copy of the backup as that gives a contingency plan if the original back-up were to get lost or malfunction. Another excellent option is to engage the services of a managed web hosting service like HyperHost that creates backups for you automatically. When looking for such a service, look for those with a proven track record of e-commerce solutions such as SSL certificates, encrypted payment gateways, and solid seller/buyer authentication protocols.


Today, eCommerce is the backbone of most businesses. An e commerce business, however, goes beyond using your website for selling stuff and services online. As the owner of an e-commerce business, the  responsibility rests on you to ensure that the user safety and security is guaranteed. This entails protecting their financial records, credit card details entrusted to you. It’s your responsibility to secure your site so that hackers cannot access it.

As you can deduce from the above discussions, you cannot afford to make mistakes. A single critical failure could cost your business and your online clients. The best defense strategy is to invest in  cybersecurity, just like you invest in web design or business marketing. That way, your store is safe, and so is your money!

Jason Parms is a customer service manager at SSL2BUY LLC. He is responsible for administering the customer service division and ensuring the organization provides the maximum level of customer service. He has achieved his target very quickly through diversified SSL security products and incomparable support. Nowadays, SSL2BUY secures thousand of websites and have lots of smiles of happy customers.

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