Is your website protecting customer data?

Website security is not only essential for protecting your business, keeping your site online and avoiding potentially disastrous downtime. It’s also crucial for your customers. Website owners have a responsibility to protect customer data and transactions, particularly when it comes to e-commerce. Are you doing enough to keep this confidential information safe?

Here are 6 tips to help keep customer data safe and prevent hackers from accessing it:

  1. Always use HTTPS. This refers to websites that are SSL certificated, which means that data is encrypted when it is exchanged between the web server and web user. This prevents interception from hackers. It’s a relatively inexpensive security measure that is well worth doing, especially if you want customers to trust you with their data.
  2. Don’t store card details on an online server. If you don’t need to, why take the risk? Stored credit card numbers and customer names do facilitate a faster checkout, but the dangers of this information being lost or stolen far outweigh the benefits of speedy payments. If you need to store information, do it offline or use payment facilitators such as PayPal. Lastly on this, don’t collect data you don’t need. If there isn’t a specific reason you need a piece of data, it’s safer not to collect it in the first place.
  3. Keep software, apps and plugins updated. A report in 2016 revealed that of 11,000 websites that were analysed by researchers, over 50% of WordPress websites were out of date. Updating software and apps means that you get the latest security patches, which plug any vulnerabilities that hackers may exploit. It can also add better features and functionality, as well as helping with compatibility.
  4. Restrict access to prevent insider attacks. An SEM Rush article reports that over 62% of all organisational data leaks come from someone inside the company. This is an unsettling situation to contemplate, but you need to be prepared. Review who has access to your website data, and restrict access to confidential admin areas. Access rights can be crucial for website security, so you need to set up the right controls to improve website security.
  5. Insist on strong passwords. Some websites simply won’t accept weak passwords from customers registering for an account. They insist on a mix of cases, numbers and symbols, not letting the customer open an account until the password is strong enough to resist most basic hack attempts.
  6. Review security regularly. The online world changes so fast that you simply can’t afford to rest on your laurels. If you’ve recently upgraded your security with the aim of keeping customer data safe, your work isn’t done. You need to schedule in another review in 6-12 months’ time, to double check that everything is up-to-date and that there are no new security vulnerabilities that could be putting customer information at risk.

If you need expert advice on website security and what you need to be doing to keep your customer data safe, Ambos Digital can help. Get in touch for a chat with one of our experienced team.

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