Web Security Tips for E-Commerce Sites

Getting hacked is the worst nightmare for an e-commerce site. It will effectively kill the business, and you may not be able to use the domain ever again. Website owners and digital businesses these days must take every necessary step to secure the website. It will cost a little money in some cases, but the benefits can go a long way. Here are several things you can do to secure your e-commerce website against cyber criminals:

Update Everything

The first step is the easiest to do and won’t cost you any money. Update all web tools, software, plugins and everything else associated with your site. Enabling auto updates is the easiest. If, however, your website is connected to a larger network, the network administrator might have to update all software. In this case, make sure the network admin does so. Some plugins should be immediately updated as new patches become available. You can subscribe to the RSS feed of a program to get update or security notifications.

Use Encryption Tools

Encryption makes data unreadable. Even if a hacker gets their hand on encrypted data, it will be impossible to read. It’s highly recommended for web developers to encrypt sensitive information like emails and credit card numbers that pass through your servers. One of the easiest and affordable ways to do this is to buy a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. It is actually a protocol that makes sure data is encrypted when in transit to the server from a browser. You will have to pay, but the price is totally worth it. You can check SSL certificate price online for various providers.

Choose Complex Passwords

It’s important to choose new passwords about every three months. However, it’s equally important to keep these passwords hard to guess. Use a string on letters and numbers that are randomly assembled to get the best, most unhackable passwords possible. The more complex the password is, the less likely a hacker will be able to guess it.

Limit Login Attempts and Password Resets to Admin Accounts

In addition, it’s wise to limit login attempts and password resets, especially for administrative accounts. Some hackers simply keep entering passwords until one works. As mentioned above, using a hard to guess password can prevent this. As an additional precaution, limit login attempts as well. Password resets should be conducted carefully because sometimes emails can be hacked and then used to gain access to admin panels. You don’t have to do this for all accounts, but it’s a must for admin accounts.

Keep Details Out of Error Messages

Sometimes websites have to give error messages. When doing so, give the user only a generic error message. Tell them what’s wrong, but without divulging technical information that a hacker can use to exploit a security vulnerability. Writing simple error messages that don’t frustrate users will do.

Install a Web App Firewall

A web application firewall (WAF) is just like a firewall on your computer. However, it will be uploaded to either the software or hardware associated with your website. It’s not possible to install a firewall directly onto the website. You can install firewall protection from the server side. A better solution is to purchase a cloud-based firewall that can work from just about anywhere.

Do not wait to secure your website with the above techniques before it’s too late. Don’t forget to backup your data either.

Image Source: HA – SSL