Gone are the days of simplistic websites with traditional HTML and CSS programming. Today, websites are more complex and robust than ever, providing tools and resources for users that help create an experience that is memorable and pleasing for visitors. Implementing the right security measures in your website’s design is vital to avoid losing out on sales, revealing customer data, or ruining your brand’s reputation.
E-Commerce Security Is Imperative
Launching an e-commerce site is an excellent way to generate revenue while expanding your company’s online reach internationally. According to Goshly, “A dynamic ecommerce site needs built-in affiliate marketing, coupon functionality, integrated social share and follow, and more.” E-commerce sites need to be dependable and secure whenever you are requesting an individual’s financial information, which is highly sensitive and personal. Whenever you require users to enter payment information and location details, it is essential to provide a secure safeguard that protects from potential hackers and data breaches.
Even if you utilize a third party to accept payments, such as PayPal, it is still necessary to secure your own e-commerce website to prevent the possibility of having usernames and passwords released to the public. If at any time an individual becomes aware of a website losing their confidential information, it becomes increasingly difficult to regain their trust and business.
Identity Theft and Hacking
According to Marsh & McLennan Agency, “damage to businesses by cyber-crime is expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021” and “while some attacks present only minor threats like a slow website, many attacks result in severe repercussions such as major theft of confidential data or indefinite website failure due to ransomware.” Identity theft and hacking attempts are rampant online with large banks and corporations regularly facing breaches and backlash. All websites are vulnerable to potential hacks and loss of sensitive information, which is why it is imperative to secure your site, even if you do not have an e-commerce platform to protect.
Phishing attacks have become increasingly common online, scamming users by duplicating a website’s look and layout to gather sensitive user information and financial details. Avoid phishing attacks by searching for duplicates of your website and reporting them immediately. Phishing attacks often duplicate websites and use URLs that are extremely similar to the original website, confusing users who are not as prepared when browsing online. A phishing attack is one of the easiest ways for hackers to obtain user information from unsuspecting individuals who are unaware or unfamiliar with what the attacks do and how to prevent or avoid them. Warn users on your official website and within email newsletters of the potential of a phishing attack and how to avoid them when visiting your website.
Loss of Users’ Trust
Losing the trust of your users after your website has suffered a hack or information breach can be devastating and often results in a drastic loss of revenue and traffic. Invest in an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) for your website’s URL. Verisign explains that SSL is “a global standard security technology that enables encrypted communication between a web browser and a web server. It is utilized by millions of online businesses and individuals to decrease the risk of sensitive information (e.g., credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, emails, etc.) from being stolen or tampered with by hackers and identity thieves.” When your website is secured, your visitors will see a lock icon in the upper lefthand corner of the URL bar, ensuring them that their data is encrypted and safely transmitted. Without an SSL installed, you run the risk of having all of your user data exposed, stolen, sold, or used in nefarious ways.
If you experience a data or security breach and have social media accounts that represent your brand, you are much more likely to receive negative comments and backlash, leading to a loss of followers or interest in your business. Addressing security concerns immediately and providing customer service to each individual affected is the first step to working towards repairing and rebuilding your company’s online reputation. Avoid ignoring concerns regarding customer data to prevent losing potential customers from making a purchase or referring your business in the future.
Negative Online Backlash
Companies that experience online data breaches and hacks receive massive backlash, leading to distrust and a loss of potential revenue or new followers. In order to avoid potential backlash, it is important to run regular security checks, data backups, and to keep informed of the latest attempts to steal users data and information. Updating software, plugins, and other tools you use in your website’s design is necessary at regular intervals to prevent security loopholes. Be sure that you are communicating with your consumers. Do this via instant messaging and respond to their concerns as quickly as possible. It can help to negate some of the backlash.
If you are unfamiliar with the steps necessary to take in order to properly secure and protect your website, consider working with an online security firm or a design firm that is well-versed in the latest methods of protecting shoppers.
Taking the necessary precautions to protect your website’s design and coding is essential to prevent mishaps and data breaches. Working with a professional design firm and programmers who understand the latest security risks helps alleviate the stress and worries most commonly associated with launching a website that requires user information. With adequate security and 24/7 protection, you can feel confident when requesting payment information or user details from those who want to support your business. Be sure that you are communicating with your consumers. Do this via instant messaging and respond to their concerns as quickly as possible. It can help to negate some of the backlash.
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