Many consumers are hesitant to purchase products from small online retailers because they’re worried about their personal information falling into the wrong hands. They may feel more comfortable buying from Amazon and Wal-Mart, leaving small businesses struggling.

However, no matter how big or small a business may be, there is always a risk of data breaches. In the first six months of 2019 alone, 4.1 billion records were compromised from data breaches.

As a small business owner, you need to make yourself stand out from other businesses. That involves having a comprehensive SEO strategy and marketing yourself as having stellar security measures in place for online orders.

Here are essential precautions every business owner should take to make customers feel more at ease. 

Provide customers with secure payment gateways

Customers deserve to feel safe as they browse through your website for products to buy. They shouldn’t have to worry about their data falling into the wrong hands.

Believe it or not, privacy doesn’t have to be dead. You can increase conversion rates by utilizing an optimized checkout design. For starters, you may want to invest in a company-wide VPN to protect yourself against phishing attacks.

Additionally, a secure payment gateway can be a real lifesaver. Payment gateways process customers’ credit cards securely. The same tool can be used to use geolocation for local options, verify orders, and calculate taxes.

It is also a good practice to regularly change the password for your router. Attackers have been known to use default settings to log into home routers. You can change your passwords with peace of mind when you have a secure password manager for keeping all your important data secure in one place. The best password managers such as LastPass or Bitwarden come with multi-device syncing features, which means they will create and rotate passwords for multiple devices at once.

Install security plug-ins

30 percent of the top million sites by traffic are powered through WordPress. It’s a well-known platform, but unfortunately, it does contain many vulnerabilities.

Luckily, there are plenty of security plug-ins you can use to make your site a little more secure. These are software components that allow you to personalize your website to meet all of your needs. Plug-ins are great for eCommerce businesses because they make your website look professional and help you stand apart from the competition.

While some plug-ins only exist for aesthetics, others can help make your WordPress site more secure. The right security plug-in can help protect consumers’ information and your site data.

There are a few key features you can expect to find with any worthwhile security plug-in, including:

  • Alerts to let you know as soon as a threat is found
  • Malware scanning that regularly searches for possible threats
  • Firewalls to eliminate bots before they have a chance to wreak havoc.

The best part is that there are plenty of high-quality security plug-ins that are completely free. For businesses that have yet to turn out a profit, having extra security for the price of nothing can be a major asset. This is especially important because 67% of the population would struggle to scrounge up $1,000 to cover a single emergency. Taking actions to protect your business’s finances at all costs needs to be of the utmost importance for this reason.

Utilize Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure

A group of eCommerce experts was interviewed about essential steps all online retailers need to take to be successful. One of the most vital was ensuring your website is secure, and the most basic step you can take to accomplish that is to acquire an HTTPS.

HTTPS is the secure version of the standard HTTP protocol in which data between a website and a device is transmitted. HTTPS keeps your website’s data secure. Over 51 percent of the million most-visited websites redirect users to an HTTPs, according to a recent report from We Live Security.

As an online retailer, your customers trust you with a lot. They’re giving you their personal information, and a hacker could potentially steal credit card information, names, and addresses for nefarious purposes. An HTTPS ensures your customers’ information remains confidential.

It’s particularly important for eCommerce websites to utilize this protocol because it comes with the following protections:

  • First, it gives you data integrity, which means it protects data from any methods to tamper with it.
  • HTTPS encrypts data so that even if hackers make it into the system, they cannot track users’ activity and steal information.
  • Finally, the protocol gives your website authenticity. It proves to visitors that they are, in fact, on the right website.

Before you can get an HTTPS for your website, you will first need to acquire an SSL certificate from a web hosting provider or vendor. While you used to have to pay for one, it’s now possible to get one for free, so you should get in touch with your web hosting provider to see if you can start benefiting.

An SSL certificate not only gives your website extra security. It also helps with your SEO efforts. Google gives preference toward websites with this certificate, so you can rank higher once you qualify.

Keep your customers safe and your company profitable

The advent of the internet has brought about a whole new host of threats. You should never let these attackers compromise the integrity of your business because once customers learn you were hacked once, they may never trust you again.

Whether your small business involves you selling products out of your own house or consists of an entire team of people working together, you need a high-functioning, secure website. These security measures are simple to implement and are often free, so there’s no excuse to have a vulnerable website.

About the Author(s)

 Nahla  Davies

Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

Software Developer and Tech Writer
How to Secure Your eCommerce Business Against Cyberattacks in 2020