How to Ensure Shopper Security on Your WordPress Site
Even though you may have a fantastic marketing system, a wonderful product, or offer incredible customer service, there is still one thing that can stop a sale dead in its tracks if you aren’t careful. If a customer has any fear that their sensitive data could be compromised during an online checkout, they are going to abandon their cart.
Consumers fears about their digital wallets are certainly warranted. The number of online accounts that will be hacked are expected to jump from 12 billion to 36 billion by 2023.
Many customers are well aware of the risks they take when sharing information like their credit card number or even their billing address online. Therefore, e-commerce sites need to be doing all that they can to not only protect this information, but also reassure customers that this data is going to remain secure.
Of course, a WordPress hosted site is just as vulnerable as the next to a data breach – and according to one report, some types and versions present a higher risk than others.
This means that your online store could certainly be at risk – unless the proper precautions are taken to keep it secure. Let’s discuss.
Create Separate Admin Accounts
One common way that many hackers will try to extract consumer information is through a brute force attack. This involves a trial and error approach that inserts multiple passwords and pin combinations in an attempt to break into an account.
Human error is also a common reason why many of these breaches occur. In fact, according to a report from Verizon, it was the cause of over 20% of last year’s data hacks.
Sharing the password to the admin can easily compromise the safety and security of your site. You should not allow multiple people to access the admin unless it is completely necessary for them to do so.
Also, be sure to change passwords frequently and create ones that are more secure by including a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. It may also be best to use a more old-fashioned approach and write down these passwords in a personal notebook, rather than storing them on any digital devices.
You may also want to include a two-factor authentication (2FA) module that requires you to enter in a password as well as a temporary code every time you log in. This can be added in for both admins and customers (if they create accounts) with the Google Authenticator plugin.
Keeping your admin account password safe, secure, and most importantly, a secret is one of the easiest ways to keep your internal data protected.
Start with the Security Basics
You should also arm your WordPress site with the most important security essentials that will cover your bases. One of the most important security factors that customers will be looking out for is a secure socket layer (commonly known as an SSL) during data transfers.
Be sure that the checkout processing system you use comes with an SSL certificate for every single page – not just checkout. This means that any data (such as the customer’s behavior, searches, or location information) is kept secure within your website by encrypting the information as it travels between their browser and your server.
Once you have received an SSL certificate for your domain, you will need to set up your WordPress site for HTTPS protocols. The easiest way to do this is to activate an SSL plugin, which will then be visible on your settings tab. You can then simply turn this feature on to activate the security settings.
By including an SSL, your site will also switch from an HTTP to an HTTPS, which will immediately signal to your customers that your site is secure. Furthermore, having this security feature can also help your Google rankings.
Focus on Security at Checkout
Although the entirety of your site needs to be kept safe, the checkout page is, of course, the area of your website that will need the most attention. You may want to include several secure payment options with platforms that your customers will easily recognize and trust.
One study found that seeing trust badges for payment processors influenced consumer behavior. PayPal is viewed as very trustworthy, and customers also wanted to see security certificates from either Norton, Google, or the Better Business Bureau on a website.
If you are using any additional security measures or have these certifications, be sure to clearly display their respective badges on the checkout page to help build trust with your customers.
Build Safety Features into Your Web Design
The way that your website is designed can have a massive effect on the way that customers feel about it – even though its appearance has little to nothing to do with its security. The reality is that most online customers judge books by their cover.
If your design appears to be cheap or generic, it can raise a red flag in the mind of your customers that your online store may not be legit. Hidden or unavailable contact information for customer service can also cause customers to question the validity of your online business.
Be sure to cater to these issues by eliminating any design elements that may stir up these concerns. Although WordPress offers an exhaustive library of design templates, be sure to customize the layout and appearance to avoid a generic look.
Also, be sure to clearly display your business’s phone number or include a chat or email option so that customers can reach out at any time.
The internet can be a dangerous place and most of your customers are certainly well aware of the risks they take when shopping online. Be sure that you are doing all that you can to keep your WordPress site safe and secure with these added elements, while also using your overall design to build trust with your shoppers.
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