6 Security Tips for Protecting Your Online Store
Starting an online shop but worried about you & your customers’ security? You should be.
Any responsible business owner should have very real and legitimate concern for the security of their store and their customers. There’s people up to no good out there, and your customers are putting their faith in you to keep their experience with you safe. Here’s the thing:
Don’t lose sleep over your online store’s security. There are basic steps you can take that will harden your defenses!
Worried that someone will hack your store? That payment or customer information is being handled securely? Not sure what to do about potential fraud?
The security tips that follow will put you in a place where you don’t need to fret about your online store’s security. No site, no matter how big or small, is ever 100% safe. But following these tips will vastly reduce the possibility of anything bad happening so that you can rest well at night knowing you’re doing right by your customers 🙂
Take these 6 security tips for protecting your online store to heart. You don’t need to lose sleep over your store and customers’ security!
There’s nothing that you’re about to read that’s difficult or expensive to pull off. In fact, none of this needs to cost you a dime. It’s all very basic security tips for protecting your online store. Just covering the basics though will give you a huge edge on keeping those with ill intent away!
1. Use HTTPS/SSL. Period. Don’t handle transactions without it.
This almost doesn’t need to be said anymore as HTTPS becomes the more prevalent standard. But it’s not something that everyone knows out of the gates quite yet.
If you’re wondering, HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. Look at our URL up there ^^^ and you’ll see it: https://getninjashop.com. Connecting to a site with HTTPS means data passed back and forth between you and the site is encrypted. Data sent over plain HTTP is not. For a business, that’s very very bad.
How can you tell if you have it? Just check out your URL. What do you do if you don’t?
Most managed WordPress hosts offer HTTPS as an option at sign up. If you didn’t take that option, reach out to your host again. You’ll need to work with them to get an SSL certificate, which is the one necessary step to enabling HTTPS.
Many will help you do this for free, others for a small fee. If they’re asking an arm and a leg for it, consider switching hosts or checking out Let’s Encrypt.
2. Find a security plugin that fits your store’s needs
WordPress has a fantastic selection of plugins developed by security professionals whose sole business is to keep your business safe. Take advantage of them. They’ll protect your store from people out there with malicious intent.
3. Those little orange bubbles telling you that you have updates… do not ignore them!
Any software, WordPress or otherwise, is going to become more and more vulnerable to malfunctions and security breaches the older it gets. Keeping WordPress itself, your plugins, and theme up to date is critical for a healthy shop. Keep an eye on updates as they become available and stay up to date!
4. Keep a backup of your online store. It’s easier than it sounds.
Backing up an entire website sounds like it would be a complicated thing to pull off. It’s not. There are a number of fantastic plugins and services that will practically automate the process for you. Both for backing up, and restoring should something go wrong. A backup is an extremely handy safeguard against catastrophic events.
5. Be smart about who you let access your site… and how you access it, too!
Administrator accounts on your site have access to everything. Everything. Sometimes it’s necessary to create an admin account, for example if you’re bringing in a developer to work on your site, or a plugin support team that needs them to troubleshoot. That’s fine, but keep up with them. Delete them as soon as they are done, and never let unnecessary admin accounts sit around.
Also, all the security in the world won’t help you if your password is, well, “password”. Or something similarly weak. Use strong password! 🙂
6. Never store sensitive data on your site.
You’ll be handling transactions, but your customers’ payment information should never live on your site. Payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, and others are equipped to handle data like that, and will do it for you. There’s no need to keep anyone’s credit card numbers or similar info on your site, so don’t!
Protecting your online store doesn’t need to be a hassle. Just use some common sense and these tips, and you’re set!
So yes, you should be concerned about protecting your online store. Any responsible person would be. But, it’s not something you have to lose sleep over, either. The 6 steps above will put you in a place where your store is as safeguarded as any can be without spending extravagant amounts of money. Get this in place in your store, and get back to focusing on sales 🙂
Comments are below. What questions do you have about protecting your online store?