Shopping cart security is integral to maintaining your online business and the trust of your customers, and can mean the success or failure of your business. Here are eight ways to ensure that your shopping cart is safeguarded.
1) Use PCI Compliant Shopping Cart Software
You don't have to have everything built in house; you can use third party software that integrates seamlessly into your website to give consumers a good shopping experience while letting someone else worry about the security. If you want to accept credit cards and show your clients that you care about their security and will protect their data, this is a good step.
2) Take Passwords Seriously
Make all the passwords you use to access your shopping cart, websites, and databases difficult to get into. Using the password generators is better than trying to come up with something on your own. Plus, don't save the password in a free email account that someone can easily hack into. Save all passwords in a secure location or memorize them.
3) Monitor and Test
Go through the shopping process on your own system to ensure that everything is in top working order and that nothing seems out of the ordinary. If you don't experience what your customers experience, it will be difficult for you to help them if something goes wrong.
4) Don't Take Shortcuts
Getting a free plug-in or using a free open-source system without understanding the intricacies of security, is very dangerous. It doesn't matter how good the software is – if you don't know how to set it up properly, protect the database, and keep your shoppers safe, don't do it.
5) Use a Third Party Credit Card Processor
Unless you can afford to pay a lot of money for someone to design something that works and is secure, you're better off using a third party system that is already safe. Let someone else worry about how the security works and let someone else process the credit card transactions for you so you don't have to become PCI complaint yourself.
6) Pay for an SSL Certificate
Your customers can actually tell if you have an SSL certificate because the website changes from http:// to https://, which to most educated consumers signifies that security measures have been implemented and met. Even if your customers don't know what it means, you can educate them on it by publishing information about the security of your website. See your hosting service provider for details.
7) Use Advanced Verification Methods
Put into place address verification, as well as collect CVC and CVV2 numbers from the backs of credit cards at the time of purchase. While this is a bit more work, it's added security and assurance for your shoppers that you only take real credit card numbers from people who have them in their possession, and know the right billing address for that credit card.
8) Get a Trust Certificate
Aside from the SSL certificate, there are also third party trust certificates that you can earn, such as those from VeriSign, now called Norton Secured from Symantec, or Hacker Safe Certificate from SiteLock. Both of these services offer authentication of your website, daily malware scanning and more to not only keep your shopping cart secure but also to make your guests feel safe.
Norton Secured – http://www.symantec.com/verisign/trust-seal?inid=vrsn_symc_ssl_SmallBiz&searchdomain=google.com&searchterms=
Hacker Safe Certificate – https://www.sitelock.com/
In the case of shopping carts, it's not a good time to learn on the job. If you don't know how to keep your shopping cart safe, opt for third party software, hosting, and credit card processing. You will be glad you did because the alternatives are simply too costly and frightening.