Online shopping is rapidly taking over the traditional market systems. Thanks to COVID-19, people have found their mojo with online shopping.
More online shopping means more online debit and credit card transactions. As a result, more online transactions will be happening daily. Therefore, online transaction security has become a paramount concern for most businesses.
Where nine out of ten Americans claim to use debit/credit cards at least a few times during shopping, malware and phishing attacks are rapidly increasing.
Therefore, we need robust security for our transactions to curb such attacks. So, how can you (as a business) ensure that hackers do not get the better of you?
Well, here are nine tips that will answer this question for you:
Use AVS protection: AVS or Address Verification Service is a security protocol that verifies the card holder’s billing address with their card address.
The merchant requests the address authorization and receives the response codes. Based on that, it decides whether to accept the transaction or reject it.
There can be an address mismatch at times, and the transactions may get declined. Therefore, it helps save the data by not allowing the transaction to go through.
However, it is best not to entirely rely on AVS as it can decline transactions unnecessarily and impact user experience.
- Transaction verification
Apart from the AVS protocol, you have other means to verify transactions. One such way is by asking customers to enter their secret code written on the back of their card, which is known as the CVV number.
Only a genuine cardholder would know the exact secret 3–4-digit code. Moreover, you should also pay attention to unusual purchases.
For example, if a customer with a reputation as a standard buyer orders unique products in bulk, it can be a hacker trying to place an order on your customer’s behalf. In that case, you should immediately inform the customer about the online transaction.
- PCI compliance
Back in 2006, when PCI/DSS or Payment Card Industry/Data Security Standard was established, it ensured that every business followed specific rules to count itself eligible to accept online payments.
PCI guidelines are based on online security protocols that help protect customer data in debit cards, credit cards, and OTP.
PCI checks your transactions for flaws and vulnerabilities. If it finds any, it reports them to you for resolution. You can fix them to ensure that no hacker ever spies on your customer’s transactions and steal their data.
- Data encryption
To comply with PCI/DSS guidelines, you need an SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificate.
This certificate serves the critical purpose of encrypting data between your customer’s browser and your web server. It passes the data through a secure network tunnel so that no hacker can ever find out what got transferred between the two of you.
Not only that, BUT SSL is ALSO a mandatory requirement for Google’s search rankings too. As a result, non-SSL websites cannot rank at the top of SERP.
Thus, in the absence of SSL, websites and sensitive customer data get exposed to hackers resulting in data manipulation and theft. To avoid the absence of an SSL cert, a business should think about different types of SSL certs available at less price from reputed certificate authorities. Comodo is one of well-known certificate authority that offers SSL certificates at reduced price. The authority carries wide range of SSL certs starting from positive SSL cert, cheap comodo wildcard SSL, Comodo multi domain SSL, etc.
- Stop storing data
Often companies believe that saving customers’ payment details will help give them a better experience next time.
But the most significant risk associated with data storage is data theft. For example, if a hacker successfully compromises your website, they can also get their firsthand sensitive customer data.
Therefore, it is best to erase the customer’s payment details once they are done with their purchase. However, suppose you necessarily want to store customer data. In that case, we recommend you hire a trusted ecommerce partner who can store data in an encrypted format and not let any hacker intercept it.
- Pick an ecommerce platform prudently.
The platform you choose will directly impact how safe things run online. Though platforms like BigCommerce, Magento, and Shopify are arguably some of the best options you have if you are exploring other platforms, we recommend you do a thorough background check on them.
You can check what their users say about them on social media; how many reviews and ratings have they got? Remember, a 5-star rating is not necessarily a sign of perfect service. Instead, it would help IF YOU looked for a mix of good, bad, and excellent reviews.
- Make your staff familiar with ongoing cyber trends.
Protecting customer data is just not confined to installing security protocols. Instead, it directly connects with how your organization reacts to cyberattacks collectively.
If your company is not coordinated with the latest cyber trends, then the reactions to cyberattacks will be scattered. Some of your employees may not even know about the does and don’ts.
Therefore, you must train them about all attacks and their solutions. You can arrange a guest session where top cyber experts are invited as guests to educate employees about the ongoing cyber trends.
- Watch out for passwords.
Since every employee, employer, and customer use passwords to log in to the website, it is imperative to ensure that they are strong.
Everyone should follow the firm password policy. Not only your staff but also your customers.
Therefore, while your customers create new passwords for their accounts, push them to add unique symbols, numbers, and upper and lower-case letters if you want your transactions to be protected. But, of course, you must get your customers to secure your accounts.
- Watch out for spam emails.
Hackers often impersonate themselves as someone you know or a reputed company. For example, it is pretty weird that your boss would email you to ask for your account details as they are already supposed to have them.
Similarly, a company may try to get your secret security code or company details. In such cases, you must log out from your email address, inform your staff, and shut down your systems, disconnecting them with all devices.
When you restart it again, run a full virus scan. If you figure out that there is a virus, you must not log back into your email until it gets resolved.
To secure online transactions, you need to work on certain things directly or indirectly connected to them.
Password security, antiviruses, and employee training may not impact your transactions directly, but it does impact your overall security.
Secure passwords will close the doors for hackers who can sneak in to fetch sensitive customer details. In addition, the antivirus will ensure that your website’s database does not get compromised and all customer data does not land in dirty hands.
So, follow these nine tips given above and protect your online transactions from the wrath of cybercriminals.
Hello, My name is Shari & I am a writer for the ‘Outlook AppIns’ blog. I’m a CSIT graduate & I’ve been working in the IT industry for 3 years.