eCommerce Security: What You Need to Know

The Internet has opened up a new chapter in business commerce. It has also opened up a new way for criminals to steal your information and your life. Customers are more aware of the sites they visit and where they input their information.

Protecting Yourself

To build a client base, you will want to build a list of some sort. List building is a marketing strategy to connect with more potential customers. You can create email and direct marketing campaigns. Creating your own list will yield a more focused group of potential customers than buying one.

Business owners like you use opt-ins to help generate that list. Ask visitors to provide email addresses and other information to receive newsletters, coupons or other freebies. At the bottom of your opt-in pages, be sure to use a disclaimer statement. This statement assures your customers that their information will not be shared with a third party. If it will be shared, you specify which information and for what purpose.

Types of Security

There are different types of security measures that you can take to protect your virtual storefront. The information given by the customer has to be private to the rest of the world, not able to be tampered with or altered in any way, authenticated and received properly. Whatever types you use, place a digital representation of that authentication on your storefront checkout page. It’s like hanging a certificate behind the counter in a physical store.

Digital signatures are a way of authenticating the sender and receiver of information. When making a transaction you can ask for a password as a digital signature. Have you seen those boxes with jumbled letters and numbers they ask you to copy in the box? That can be used to verify who you are.

Remember the digital certificate on the storefront? Customers can verify that you are who you claim to be using that certificate. This prevents you from being “had” by bogus merchants wanting your money.

SSL stands for secure socket layer. You may have seen those initials or seen the closed or open lock on a website page. You can click on the lock to view certificates and find out if the site is encrypted. Behind the scenes, information is encrypted using a public key and a private key. The public key is used for encryption and the private key is used for decryption. From the customer to the server, to your server to the payment gateway and the credit card issuer, several layers of security come into play.

Firewalls are used to block unwanted intrusions. You may have one on your personal computer. A firewall for your website will block others from tampering with any customer information that you save on your server.

Security is a part of keeping your business information in your hands and providing good customer service. You have the technology at your disposal to keep your customer data safe from predators.



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