With many concerns and threats of data breaches, you want to give your customers confidence that you are doing everything possible to protect their data, especially when you are managing a small online business. Although there is no guaranteed method of preventing data breaches, there are ways to have high-quality security like larger merchants.
Make Your Website Secure
It is fine to use an unsecured page when customers simply view your website. However, when customers need to input any sensitive information, make sure you have a secured webpage. Webpages beginning with HTTPS show the webpage is secure and help you build trust with your customers, because many of them know to look for this information before entering sensitive information.
You should consider all personal information from your customers sensitive, such as their email address, name, physical address and especially payment information. All registration, login and payment processing pages should be secure. When customers are logged into their account to shop, the webpages should be secure as well.
Avoid Displaying Account Information
When your customer is logged into their account, most of their personal information should not be visible. For example, any payment information on file should only display the last few digits of the account number. This should be enough information for the card owner to know which payment method they are using. For added security, customers should be required to have a username that is different from their email address and their account information should not fully display their email.
If a hacker happens to breach a specific customer account, you do not want them to know which email address to target. In many cases, customers use the same password for multiple accounts, so it will be easy for a hacker to know the customer's email address and corresponding password. Additionally, you should require customers to answer a security question before changing payment methods, email addresses or their physical address.
Store Information On Multiple Servers
When possible, you should store different parts of customer information on different servers. The servers used to store your website information should also be different from servers storing customer information. If a hacker gains access to one of your servers, they should not have access to all customer information.
For example, if a data breach causes hackers to access payment information, the customer's name and address should be on a different server. Although customers will need to cancel their credit or debit card and use credit-monitoring services, it is harder for the hacker to open new accounts without additional information.
Colocation services are one way to ensure sensitive information is stored in multiple places. Each of your servers may be located across the country or globe and must use secure, encrypted connections to talk to each other and piece together customer information. If you are uncomfortable with managing servers on your own, colocation services handle both the technical and security aspects of server management. To learn more about colocation services, try visiting http://colocationnorthwest.com.
Use Third-Party Payment Processing
There are third-party payment processing services you can easily integrate with your website to accept major forms of payment. Although there is a small fee associated with each transaction, the benefits for small businesses usually outweigh the costs. Customers can be leery of making payments to a small online business, especially if your business is new.
By using a major payment processing service, you can make your customers more comfortable since their payments are secure and an unknown person is not directly handling their payment information. Most payment processors offer you and your customer protection against identity theft and payment errors.
Having an online store is an exciting opportunity that also comes with added responsibility. By integrating several security features, you can keep customer information safe, while managing your online store.