When your customers come to your site to shop, they’re looking for convenience, ease of purchase and entertainment. They also are looking for protection from the online “bad guys.” Your customers trust you to automatically protect them from hackers, identity theft, phishing, malware, and the like. In light of some recent retail security breach fiascoes, however, a growing number of consumers are wary about shopping online.
How are you protecting your customer’s identities and profiles while they browse your site? What kinds of security policies do you have in place? Here are some ways to increase your security online so that your customers trust you implicitly.
You probably already encrypt your data with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer technology); it is the most common form of encryption for e-commerce sites. SSL encrypts sensitive information , i.e. a customer’s credit card information, so that the data is completely secure on your server. SSL protocol is only as good as its certificate, however.
The SSL certificate contains information about who created the certificate, who issued the certificate, gives the site’s domain, and proves the site is what it says it is. The certificates should be 128-bit encrypted; 40-bit is easier to hack, suggest DigiCert.
You can obtain an SSL certificate by getting it from a vendor, or you can sign it yourself. Signing it yourself is not recommended; the whole point of an SSL certificate is to make sure the encryption protocol is correct. If you get the certificate from a vendor, you are assured of the certificate’s authentication.
Authentic SSL certificates mean a safe site and can actually increase your sales. Research has shown that when customers are on an e-commerce site and see “trust marks” like VeriSign, they feel safer shopping with you because they know you’re legitimate.
You will go a long way to gaining a customer’s trust when you explain in detail how you are dealing with their privacy on your site.
Your website needs to show it can be trusted in as many ways as possible. Have an ‘About Us’ page and have pictures of executives and/or employees, along with customer testimonials on it. This is especially important because this page gives a customer a sense of what kind of business you run.
Check out the security policies practiced by your server. Make sure you have standard security measures in place, such as a firewall and spam filters, and always scan any new hardware before it’s installed on your network, suggests Stay Safe Online.
You might have customers who are overly concerned about identity theft. Have a place on your site (a brief statement on your home page would be fine) that expresses your desire for a safe and pleasant shopping experience, and possibly offer information on how they can protect themselves with an identity theft protection service.
Get a Better-Business-Bureau accreditation, and display this prominently somewhere on your home page. It’s yet another way of showing how legitimate your business is.
It all comes down to trust. The more security measures you implement, both small and large, will go a long way to demonstrating that you care about your customer, their privacy, and their identity. Your business will only grow if customers know that are safe when they’re with you.