Owing to the rising number of easy-to-use website builders that are available in today’s market, setting up an eCommerce site and selling online is becoming a hassle-free process. But the most challenging part comes in securing the website from hackers and online fraudsters. The biggest question is – what kind of security issues are out there, and how do you secure your online store from hackers? Here is a guide with everything you should know to keep your online store as secure as possible.
Common Website Security Vulnerabilities
Before we dive into the steps for protecting your site from security issues, you should definitely be aware of some of the more common vulnerabilities to look out for:
Website hackers are finding new and more advanced ways of hacking websites. They use application codes to access your website. If the mission is successful, they can read and even alter the content in a back-end database. This kind of cyber threat is known as SQL injection, and it’s becoming more common each day.
WordPress encountered the DOM XSS vulnerability in one of their main default themes – Twenty Fifteen, thus leaving their sites vulnerable to hackers stealing scripts and user cookies in order to upload malicious content or spam links. Wix was one of the first platforms to notice this issue and become more aware of this vulnerability by improving their security measures in order to block hackers from creating this cross-script worm.
Insecure Direct Object Reference
This kind of attack happens when a web application gives attackers access to internal implementation objects, such as files, directories, and database records. If your web application exposes any implementation objects, hackers will manipulate it to access personal data.
Broken Authentication and Session Management
Broken authentication and session management exposes online stores to various website safety issues that make it hard to maintain users’ identities. Failure to protect credentials and session identifiers gives hackers a chance to hijack live sessions and assume the identity of the users.
How Do You Protect Your Online Store from Security Threats?
The world of e-commerce has seen a tremendous rise in website security issues since the pandemic, with approximately 4,000 cyberattacks daily in the USA.
Now that you understand the more common website builder security issues, here are tips to help you keep hackers and fraudsters out.
Choose a Reliable Website Builder
Ensuring your online store is safe starts with your website builder’s security provisions. Choose a trustworthy and reliable site builder with a high-security rating. Go for one that prioritizes security over other aspects, so you can comfortably focus on managing your store without worrying about safety issues.
Both you and the website builder should have measures in place to maximize website protection. Consider the following security protocols to help you make a sound decision;
- If the website builder performs 24/7 security vulnerabilities scanning
- If the builder performs third-party apps security monitoring to give you regular updates
- If the providers have a secure web hosting
Use Updated Tools
Outdated software and themes can compromise your site security by introducing bugs. It is also easier for hackers to identify the vulnerable areas of your site. For this purpose, website builders have put an emphasis on a variety of features such as web application firewalls, website scanning tools, and security plug-ins.
WordPress for instance has updated its available security plugins and compiled them into a library. Some of their best-recommended plugins include Wordfence Security, Defender, and Sucuri. WIX has also stood out among other website builders by constantly updating its software, plugins, and themes. The dedicated team of developers continually works on updates and maintenance to ensure ultimate security. Not only that, but they also monitor their websites to identify any external security vulnerabilities and come up with immediate solutions.
Data encryption is a technique that ensures the information that a buyer puts into your site is encrypted. Hackers are actively looking for credit card information, email addresses, phone numbers, and other information that can help them steal user identities. They may also use the details for phishing attacks and put your customers in serious legal issues.
You can prevent such threats by incorporating a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate. With this, your site is secured and authenticated, and your clients won’t have to worry about fraudulent purchases. Therefore, besides keeping your site safe, an SSL certificate improves your brand reputation.
How well are you prepared if the unexpected happens? You can ignore this, but the best online store security measures involve pre-empting attacks. But regardless of how proactive you are, the unexpected may occur, and the least you can do in such cases is to ensure you have a backup plan.
Website backup helps you get back on your feet fast after an attempted or successful website hacking. You can quickly restore the site after any attack.
WordPress as an example has expanded its number of backup plugins that support scheduled backups as well as on-demand backups. Some examples of these plugins include UpDraftPlus, VaultPress, and BackupBuddy.
Wix for instance has developed an automatic website backup that puts you ahead of hackers. That way, you don’t need to do manual site backups. Instead, you can focus on other stuff with peace of mind knowing that your original website is saved and your data is protected at all times.
Don’t Overlook the Importance of HTTPS
HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure is an effective way to prevent attackers from hacking websites. The online transfer protocol ensures secure connections on the internet by locking out any malicious activities.
Moreover, using HTTPS improves your brand’s trustworthiness. It gives your site a green lock on the address bar as a mark of safety and authenticity. Using HTTPS will also place you higher on the search engine ranking.
However, before you enable HTTPS on your site, you must acquire an SSL certificate, as mentioned above. Depending on what security level you are going for, you may get it from your website host or a third-party vendor.
Use Strong Passwords
Passwords may sound like an obvious requirement, yet it’s often overlooked when it comes to website protection. Some website builders such as Wix have created more than three areas requiring password input, the most important being the login passwords.
Ensure the login details and other areas that need checkout details to implement hard-to-guess passwords. Don’t set your passwords based on apparent information such as your birthdays, names, or favorite color. Use a mix of letters and symbols but ensure you can remember them.
You may also install a lockdown tool such that if anyone uses the wrong password more than three times, they are banned from accessing the website.
Web building platforms have done a great job in keeping website hackers away by developing tools that make sites on their platforms less vulnerable and exposed to hackers. Although there are a few security cons that are yet to be addressed, the tips above will prepare you for security issues that may arise when you create an online store. They will keep you a few steps ahead of security attackers and improve customers’ trust in you.