Over the last twenty years, e-commerce has completely revolutionized the traditional shopping process and opened up local, national, and international markets to businesses looking to sell online. However, while the opportunities and advantages offered by the e-com model have been undeniably beneficial, the continued growth of cybercrime remains a real and present danger for all firms operating in the online arena.
By the end of this year, industry experts suggest the revenues generated by online criminality could tally a whopping $6 trillion globally. If that figure sounds big, it is - so big indeed that, taken like for like, the cost of cybercrime makes it the world’s third-largest economy, narrowly behind the US and China. Moreover, forecasters also suggest online crime will continue to increase by 15% each year, eventually reaching $10.5 trillion by 2025.
Cybercrime and e-commerce
Of course, the forecasts above encompass all forms of cybercrime, not just those associated with e-com ventures. Nonetheless, with the need to transfer sensitive personal and financial details that are an inherent part of the online purchasing process, e-com sites present a ripe opportunity for hackers intent on intercepting processes and stealing precious user data.
Ways to protect both your e-com and your customers from cybercrime
While no web-based system will ever be 100% safe from online criminals, there are some simple steps you can take to protect both you and your users:
Don’t store sensitive data and ensure you run security checks: By the far, the simplest way to avoid data loss is to reduce the data you store - and this is especially the case when it comes to important private details like credit card numbers or personal data. Instead of holding client details, you should use a third-party provider for your payment mechanisms. Also, ensure you employ (or work with a company that offers) the most modern security checks like knowing your customer (KYC) to speed up transactions while still maintaining the site and user security. You’ll protect both your firm and your clients from fraud or potential data loss.
Partner with a reliable hosting company and install anti-virus software: It should go without saying, but your first line of defense against cybercriminals is your hosting company and any anti-virus/protection software you install. Don’t cut corners on either - you’ll only end up regretting it later.
Use a secure e-com platform: Just like the point above, no matter how much you try to protect your e-com store with additional tools, if the base platform isn’t up to scratch in the first place, you’re only going to run into problems further down the line. Again, don’t scrimp here - invest in a professional, highly-rated e-commerce platform to avoid issues later.
Install an SSL certificate on your site: Actually, this point applies to all sites - not just e-com operations. A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encrypts data between your site and your users. Having SSL on your site will also increase trust in your users - plus will improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).