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It is estimated that 95% of purchases will happen online by 2040, according to a report published by Nasdaq in 2017. This is why as a business owner; you can tap into the eCommerce trend for the present and the future. Ecommerce platforms are a great way for small or mid-sized businesses (SMBs) to improve their reach, increase sales and get that foothold in the market.

On the flipside though, hackers are also targeting Ecommerce websites store, admins, users, and even employees. Therefore, it is vital to invest in securing your Ecommerce business from online threats. In this regard, here are a few ways to secure your ecommerce site. 

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Select a secure ecommerce plataform

The best place to always start is to pick a top ecommerce platform for your website. Of course, you will look into the standard features of a good ecommerce platform including aspects like functionality, design, and convenience. However, it would be best if you kept an eye on the security aspect. As you search for the best ecommerce platform, it would help to look into solutions that guarantee solid authentication capabilities.

If you are starting a small to moderate business, you could consider a platform that will accommodate your future growth since you don't expect to remain stagnant. Well, cloud-based ecommerce platforms with built-in intelligence have also recorded high success rates in small to moderate businesses with limited resources.

Tip: Pick an Ecommerce platform with regular core updates, adaptable file permissions and good password management features.


Ensure your payment gateways are secure

If you are running an ecommerce site, you will need to provide avenues where your clients can pay for goods or services electronically. However, scammers and hackers will stop at nothing to get hold of the sensitive user payment information you acquire when your clients make payments. Instead of processing payments directly on your website, you could use payment gateways such as PayPal, which will handle user payment information for you.

These gateways also have third-party APIs and offer authentication via the client's account, meaning their sensitive data is much safer than if you handled them.

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Consider third-party website monitoring tools

Web hosting services typically include a web monitoring tool in the basic package. However, these tools might not be robust, and it will be a matter of time till a hacker bypasses them to access your sensitive files and information. It wouldn't hurt to bring your own website monitoring tool on board to supplement the one you receive in the primary web hosting package. Third-party website monitors contain deeper management features, enable your website to run more effectively, and boost security. 


Install an SSL certificate

Clients and visitors to your ecommerce site feel more confident making transactions and sharing personal information when they spot the closed green icon lock in the address bar. This lock shows that your site uses HTTPS protocol and that you are certified. Now, to enable HTTPS, you first need to acquire an SSL certificate, which adds a layer of encryption between your site and the website's server.

An SSL certificate from reliable authorities, such as RapidSSL certificate, Thawte SSL certificate, DigiCert Wildcard SSL, which prevent hackers from reading the information in plain text, enhancing your website security. Another added advantage of using HTTPS is that Google will tend to rank your site higher, meaning you might also get more visitors. 


Conduct regular backups 

There is no telling when your ecommerce site will encounter a significant security incident. Hackers could manage to infiltrate your site despite your best efforts to keep them out. Therefore, it would be wise to back up all essential files, themes, and plugins in a secure location away from your website. Backups guarantee that you can recover lost, damaged, or deleted data and won't have to start from scratch. We also suggest you have more than one backup in case the first backup gets lost. 


Avoid storing sensitive data on your online servers 

As an ecommerce site, you need your client's information to make personalized suggestions, improve customer experience and communicate effectively. A security breach that results in the loss of sensitive customer data could cause you to incur massive losses and cause your clients to lose faith in you. Imagine the embarrassment of having to tell your clients their data has leaked because you did not take the necessary precautions.

Since your ecommerce site revolves around customer data, the first rule of thumb would be to collect only what you need. Resist the temptation to collect unnecessary data later since hackers can't steal what isn't there. The second rule would be to avoid storing sensitive customer data on your server. You are better off using an online storage repository away from your main website to enhance security. 


Ensure your passwords are robust 

Dictionary attacks are a classic form of brute force that hackers use to generate common passwords until they infiltrate your site. Since hackers can guess 25% of all passwords within 3 seconds, you can see how using an easy password can put your ecommerce site at risk. Using the same password across all your accounts is not a wise move as a hacker could access all your valuable information once they manage to crack one password. Therefore, it would be wise to use strong passwords with a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to make it harder for hackers to guess.

We also suggest you use different passwords for different accounts and change your passwords every six months. If one hacker manages to crack your password, they won't get the chance to use it. Lastly, ensure you store your passwords in an external hard drive away from the leading site or consider using cloud storage.  


Keep your software and plugins updated

Did you know that humans do not carry out most hacking attempts? The Internet is packed with automated attack bots that prey on weak or outdated sites. Hackers are also looking for websites with loopholes that can easily bypass access to sensitive information.

As the admin of your ecommerce website, it would be wise not to ignore the notifications about a new software update for your site. The longer you wait, the closer you get to a security breach. Since manually updating your software and plugins might be tedious, you could set your software to auto-update. We also suggest you fix any vulnerabilities before a hacker infiltrates your site. 


Final remarks

The security of your ecommerce website is not a one quick fix solution. Hackers are evolving and finding new ways to bypass security protocol. Therefore, as you implement the measures we have discussed above, it would be wise to maintain a security-focused mindset. Don’t wait until your site is compromised to build protective walls.