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Four easy ways to tighten security

As many retailers know, security and fraud protection is serious business, with online transactions becoming the ideal playground for hackers to poach consumer credit card and personal details en masse.

Each day over 1 million new malware hacks are released onto the web with the retail industry coming in as the second most targeted sector after finance. Despite security providers continually improving their defenses, hackers continue to improve their skills just as quickly. Staying on top of your security is an essential part of today’s business.

You can protect your customers and business data by taking some basic precautions.

  • Setting up your e-commerce business is reasonably easy these days with a number of solutions providing end-to-end website, hosting and transaction space. Build and host your online store with a secure e-commerce platform from one of the larger SAAS providers, such as Shopify or BigCommerce, who are continually improving the security of their customers’ websites.
  • If you’re hosting your own e-commerce site, stay on top of security updates to avoid automated web crawlers gaining access to your website via unpatched security vulnerabilities. This is one of the easiest way you can protect yourself and sadly one of the most common mistakes that small businesses make – make sure all of your software patches are up to date.
  • Protect your customers and business from sniffing and impersonation attacks by requiring SSL access to ensure your website data is safely encrypted between web server and browser. SSL security is essential for e-commerce, it ensures financial and personal data is protected throughout the purchase process, and also builds trust for your online store while giving your shoppers additional peace of mind.
  • Hackers often gain access to websites via brute force attacks. Attackers work by randomly entering combinations of letters into the login, hoping to get lucky. You can protect against this type of attack by requiring your customers to have a complex ‘strong’ password.

There are a few signs that you’re under fraud attack – being able to identify the flags will help you take quick action.

  • Keep an eye out for common combinations – email names, domains, order history and obscure international locations.
  • Ensure you have the right address linked to your customer by using an Address Verification System (AVS), which verifies the credit card billing address against their bank records.
  • Keep an eye on your high value item purchases.  We’ve found that fraudsters will often target your high value products which are often shipped to overseas addresses, where it very difficult to retrieve missing stock.
  • Registering your business name and domain protects against fraudsters planning to knock off your brand and steal your customers – a simple cease and desist letter has you protected by law.
  • Protect your business identity, name, website and domain under trademark to ensure no one else can use your company name, domain and logo.

Matt Hoggett is the co-founder of Prezzee and passionate about security in online retail.

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