Safety First: How to Protect Your E-Store Customers

Alex Cowell
5 min readOct 9, 2020
Security tips by Markeaze

Whenever an industry starts thriving cybercriminals step up their game too. Since eCommerce has been on the rise lately online stores should be extra cautious about keeping customers and their data safe. And this is an issue that cannot be taken lightly: every year cybercrime activities result in $1.5 billion losses across the world.

From educating employees to delivering dedicated safety memos to your customers — your duty as a business owner is to lead by example.

Adding extra security measures often seems unnecessary and even over the edge but in reality, it’s better to be overly cautious than facing cyber attacks and regretting things you could have done better. Besides, most of the security measures are easy to implement and once you start practicing them consistently, they will organically fit into your work routine.

What Your Business Should Do

Here are the basic things that your business can do to increase the level of security and protect customers.

Use Anti-Malware Solutions

As self-evident as it sounds, installing decent antivirus software is a must. Nowadays, you either need a complex solution or apply a whole range of them.

  • Get a decent firewall. It’s a simple first step and it works.
  • Chose a one-stop solution that will allow you to monitor mobile users, computers, and servers via one single platform. It will drastically simplify your daily security routine.
  • To cut down on spam letters with malicious links use spam filters and… do not to click on suspicious links.
  • Use a VPN as an extra protection layer to prevent tracking your IP addresses.

And one more thing: if you work with a team, make sure all your employees are well-informed and equipped with updated antivirus software.

Create a Company Policy

Speaking of teamwork, it is crucial to establish a company security policy. All your precautions can go up in smoke when one of your teammates downloads malware and passes it further on.

  • Establish a list of applications that your employees can download on their work devices.
  • Use a password manager. Never share passwords via messengers, emails, or social media.
  • Get a business VPN and oblige your teammates to use it.
  • Two-factor authentication should be your best friend. Ask your employees to turn it on on their work emails and other accounts that have this option.
  • When hardware fails you, proper cloud storage becomes a lifesaver. Just make sure you’re using a legitimate one.
  • Come up with a privacy breach response plan. Start by evaluating what has been exposed, when it happened, and who can be responsible for it.

Finally, you need to make it clear what will happen if the policy is violated.

Protect Sensitive Data

Collecting customer data is a good idea as long as you know how to keep it safe. The data breach is not an event you want to go through but sadly, it happens even to the best of us. The first (and the most important) thing to keep in mind is that you should never store data on shared servers and choose a dedicated one instead. It might be more expensive, but it’s worth it.

But there are other reasons behind many of the infamous data breaches.

According to researches, 38% of data breaches involved internal actors. That doesn’t mean you need to start doubting your team but need to limit access to sensitive customer data instead.

Not all of your employees need to access data and the same goes for software too (according to Statista, the most commonly exploited applications this year were Office apps). Apart from that, it’s not a bad idea to conduct regular security training for your team even if it means explaining the basics.

Universal Security Tips

It only takes one infected device to start an epidemic. Applying security measures is a shared responsibility and you have to work in tandem with your customers. Sending occasional emails with safety tips can help you reach two goals at a time: informing your customers about how to stay safe online and raise trust.

Avoid Fakes and Phishing

With time cybercriminals are getting more technologically advanced — nowadays it’s not unusual to bump into fake websites and even apps that look almost as legit as the original ones. And once you fall for the fake and enter your login credentials, scammers would steal your data or credit card details.

Whenever an industry starts thriving, cybercriminals step up their game too

The most straightforward way to avoid being tricked is to type in URLs manually and never click on suspicious links. Use official support channels that are listed on the store’s website (or better use their live chat) and never share your sensitive information with strangers.

Use Temporary Credit Cards

Let’s be honest, the credit card system is not necessarily the most secure one. Luckily, many banks understand this and offer temporary or disposable credit cards.

The idea behind this solution is simple: you don’t need to use your actual credit card details but use online banking to generate new single-use details including a credit card number and expiration date whenever you need to make a purchase.

Do Not Use Public WiFi

Everyone loves free stuff and public WiFi is no exception. However, nothing comes without a cost. Avoid using public WiFi whatsoever, unsecured connection makes you an easy target for all kinds of attacks. Do not trust public WiFi spots with your banking and other sensitive information.

If you have no other choice but to take advantage of the free internet — at least, enable your VPN.

Always Turn On Two-Factor Authentication

Whenever you can enable two-factor authentication, you should do so immediately. From your email to social media accounts and messengers, the second layer of protection will ensure that nobody can get access to your accounts unless they pass two verification points.

Manage Your Passwords Wisely

Do not use the same password for all your digital needs, that’s just bad manners. If you feel that any of your passwords could be compromised, change it immediately. In fact, it’s worth renewing your passwords regularly. And the best way to store your login credentials is via the dedicated password manager.

Another crucial thing is not to let your browser save your passwords although it definitely makes your online shopping and other web browsing experience a lot easier. But when you need to choose between comfort and security, always go with the latter.

The Bottom Line

Many of the cybercrimes could be prevented if people took their digital security measures a little more seriously. One of the biggest problems is that we’re quickly getting used to things the way they are which can lead to unpleasant circumstances.

Reorganizing and constantly renewing your security arrangements takes little time but keeps your business, employees, and customers safe and satisfied.