Do your customers trust you? Do they feel comfortable purchasing from your site?
In the world of eCommerce, a trustworthy website is everything, and the gateway to this type of trust is excellent digital security.
In the wake of recent data breech scandals such as Facebook's Cambridge Analytica debacle and Marriott's passport hack, customers are protective of their data more than ever before. Here are some steps to implement into your own data security strategy in order to earn and keep your customers' trust.
Secure Your Site
For an ECommerce business, a secure website is the equivalent of a safe brick and mortar store. Customers demand safety for their data. Here's how you can ensure your customers' safety on your site:
· Implement SSL security throughout your site.
· Comply with PCI standards.
· Require two-factor authentication for the purchasing process.
· Ask customers to create strong passwords.
Those four steps alone can increase your site's security by more than 50 percent.
Obtaining a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for your website is a straightforward yet crucial step. SSL grants your customers encrypted access to your site, ensuring that your site is trustworthy and not easy to hack.
To obtain your SSL certificate, you just have to fill out a simple form about your business and website. Once your certificate is authenticated, it will display on your site. Your URL will become an "https:" address, and a green padlock icon will appear next to the address to mark your authentication.
Not only is an SSL certificate the most reputable level of digital security, but it also makes you compliant with PCI DSS standards. this puts you on-par with financial transaction sites like PayPal.
A recent survey shows that people who do business online have an overwhelming tendency to use simple passwords. ECommerce shoppers are no exception. A simple password like "123" or "qwerty1" is effortless fodder for hackers.
Encourage your customers to choose passcodes that feature numbers, symbols, and letters. Do this by installing password parameters into your signup process, or simply display it as a reminder on your sign-in page.
Demanding strong passwords isn't always enough to keep your customers' data safe. Unless strict guidelines are put in place, customers create easy passwords for their own convenience.
Add an extra layer of protection to each account by implementing two-factor authentication. This will force your customer to supply a subset of data aside from their password. This extra layer of verification might be a security question, a code verification via text, or even a fingerprint ID. Initially, your visitors might find a two-factor authentication process to be excessive, but they'll get used to it. They'll be grateful that your business cares about their security.
Balance Automation With The Human Touch
How much of your customer experience is automated?
It's great to lower costs and favor a smooth process by offering customer service in the form of chat bots and self-checkout functions. However, research shows that customers like a balance of automation and human contact. Also, more automation means a greater risk for security loopholes.
Offer your customers a balanced approach. Automate your checkout and payment process, but let actual humans resolve customer issues. If you would rather not hire in-house customer service staff, you can always employ a small remote team to keep overhead at a minimum.
Don't Hoard Customer Data
As an eCommerce business, you have access to a lot of details about each customer. It's up to you whether to collect and archive this data, or to get rid of it until next time.
Though it's your prerogative how much info you have on file for your customers, don't get greedy with the data. Collect only what you need to complete the transaction, and
consider storing as little of that data as possible.
Every piece of data you store expands your risk and responsibility in the event of a security breach. If possible, opt against storing credit card or other payment info. You can bypass a lot of the responsibility by offering secure checkout via PayPal or a similar transaction site.
If you do have to store sensitive info, don't leave it archived on your server. Data stored online is the easiest for hackers to obtain. Archive your data offline instead. You can even choose paper archives over digital storage. But in that case, make sure to follow all appropriate confidentiality and data storage guidelines.
Whether your business is just a small eCommerce operation or a large corporate organization, a nightmarish data breach is more than a remote possibility. As long as you keep your customers' information safe by implementing the above tips, you will minimize the amount of damage a breach can create for your company.
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