Even if you have a fantastic marketing system, product, or customer service, there is still one thing that can stop a sale if you are not careful. If a customer fears that their sensitive data could be compromised during an online checkout, they will leave their shopping cart.
Consumer fears about their digital wallets are certainly justified. The number of online accounts hacked is expected to increase from 12 billion to 36 billion by 2023.
Many customers are aware of the risks they take in sharing information such as their credit card number or even their billing address online. Hence, ecommerce websites must do everything possible not only to protect this information, but also to reassure customers that this information will remain secure.
Of course, one WordPress-hosted site is just as vulnerable as the next to a data breach – and according to one report, some types and versions pose a higher risk than others.
This means your online store could certainly be at risk – unless appropriate precautions are taken to keep it safe. Let's discuss.
Create separate administrator accounts
A common way that many hackers attempt to extract consumer information is through a brute force attack. This involves a trial-and-error approach where multiple passwords and PIN combinations are inserted in order to break into an account.
Human error is also a common reason why many of these violations occur. According to a report by Verizon, this caused over 20% of data hacking in the past year.
Sharing the password with the administrator can easily compromise the security of your website. You should not allow multiple people to access the administrator unless you are fully required to do so.
Also, be sure to change passwords frequently and create more secure passwords by using a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols. It may also be best to take a more old-fashioned approach and write these passwords down in a personal notebook rather than storing them on digital devices.
You may also want to include a 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) module that requires you to enter a password and temporary code every time you log in. This can be added for both administrators and customers (if they create accounts) with the Google Authenticator plugin.
Keeping the password of your administrator account safe and, above all, secret is one of the easiest ways to protect your internal data.
Start with the safety basics
You should also equip your WordPress site with essential safeguards that cover your base. One of the most important security factors that customers will look out for is having a secure socket layer (commonly known as SSL) during data transmission.
Make sure the checkout processing system you are using has an SSL certificate for every single page – not just for checkout. This means that all data (such as customer behavior, search queries or location information) on your website is kept safe by encrypting the information that is transmitted between your browser and your server.
Once you've received an SSL certificate for your domain, you'll need to set up your WordPress site for HTTPS protocols. The easiest way to do this is to enable an SSL plugin, which will then show up in your Settings tab. You can then simply enable this feature to enable the security settings.
By inserting SSL, your site will also switch from an HTTP to an HTTPS, which instantly signals to your customers that your site is secure. In addition, this security feature can also help your Google rankings.
At the checkout, focus on security
Of course, while the entire website needs to be kept safe, the checkout page is the area of your website that needs the most attention. You may want to incorporate multiple secure payment options into platforms that your customers will easily recognize and trust.
One study found that showing payment processors trust cards affects consumer behavior. PayPal is seen as very trustworthy, and customers also wanted to see security certificates from Norton, Google, or the Better Business Bureau on a website.
If you have any additional security measures in place or have these certifications, you must clearly display the appropriate badges on the checkout page to increase your customers' trust.
Integrate security functions into your web design
The way your website is designed can have a massive impact on customer attitudes – even if its appearance has little to nothing to do with their security. The reality is that most online customers judge books by their cover.
If your design seems cheap or generic, it can set off a red flag among your customers that your online store may not be legitimate. Hidden or unavailable customer service contact information can also result in customers questioning the validity of your online business.
Make sure you resolve these issues by removing any design elements that could be raising these concerns. Although WordPress has a comprehensive library of design templates, you should tweak the layout and appearance to avoid a generic look.
Also, make sure your company phone number is clearly displayed, or add a chat or email option so customers can always be in touch.
The internet can be a dangerous place and most of your customers are well aware of the risks they take when shopping online. Make sure you do everything you can to keep your WordPress site secure with these additional elements, while also using your overall design to build trust with your customers.
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