Many online businesses face risks from hackers, along with other issues. Learn about these risks and what can be done to fix them.
When you own a business that accepts online payments from customers and clients, you are engaging in what is referred to as e-commerce. There are many advantages to utilizing e-commerce, such as increased sales revenue, reaching a wider audience, and generally growing larger over time as brand recognition and customer loyalty improves. However, there are also many e-commerce business risks that a company needs to be aware of as well, such as fraudulent credit card activity and hackers.
Although these potential risks are major factors to consider when you have an e-commerce website, that doesn't mean you should shy away from the opportunities provided by e-commerce. Rather, by educating yourself about the risks of an e-commerce business and learning how to easily protect your content from thieves, you'll be able to conduct business as usual and enjoy the profits of your labor.
Understanding the Risks and Knowing How to Reduce Them
The first step in making sure that the risk to your e-commerce website is significantly reduced is to understand fully what they are. Take the time to educate yourself about viruses, malware, hackers, scrapers and credit card fraud. When you feel you have a good understanding of the risks, make sure that any employees involved with your e-commerce site are also aware of the risks so that they can be sure not to engage in any behavior that might increase the risk of damaging your content, such as downloading unknown attachments from emails onto the company server.
Often, an e-commerce website may face problems simply due to employee error, software that hasn't been properly updated, or even just a general lack of knowledge about potential risk factors. The first step to ensuring that your e-commerce site remains protected is to be knowledgeable about how your e-commerce site functions, and to utilize your servers for business functions only.
Instruct your Employees about Company Policies.
This includes privacy policies, as well as any other policies established by the business. Employees who know how to handle billing questions, merchandise returns, security practices, and privacy policies regarding a customer's personal information will be better equipped to easily protect your content from thieves.
Use PCI Compliant Software for Credit Card Purchases
All e-commerce websites must utilize what is referred to as PCI compliance software. This is essentially the system that handles and processes your customer's credit card payments. The system is designed to ensure that only the authorized user and owner of the credit card can actually make a purchase. Credit card fraud is a huge issue facing retailers and e-commerce websites, and an e-commerce site that does not use PCI compliance software is at risk of not only losing profits due to fraudulent activity, but also possibly facing strict fines.
Use Virus Protection
E-commerce websites are just as vulnerable to attack by hackers and viruses as are consumer's computers. Using antivirus that provides strong virus protection and using other security measures is imperative to keep your website and content protected and to ensure that operations run smoothly. A hacker who gains entry to your e-commerce site can cause serious problems, or even steal private information such as consumer's credit card numbers. Hackers often use sophisticated software known as a web scraper that can extract data from websites. If your website isn't well protected, a scraper might steal sensitive data.
Use Strong Passwords
If your e-commerce website is rather large, you may have several different employees handling different aspects of the site. Use strong passwords to protect different areas of your website, and only allow authorized employee’s access to those passwords. It is important to keep private and sensitive data protected even from your own employees.
Now that you know about the risks involved in operating an e-commerce business, you can easily protect your content from thieves. But remember to always remain vigilant in your efforts to keep such risks minimized. Many businesses face attacks by hackers or malicious code on a consistent basis, and being consistent with your protective efforts will ensure that your e-commerce site remains suitable and effectively protected. Then you'll be able to concentrate more on improving your business and increasing sales.