Keeping Data Private in eCommerce

Keeping Data Private in eCommerce

Does my ecommerce store need a privacy policy?

Which is an important factor of privacy in e-commerce?

What are best practices for protecting ecommerce user data?

For nearly every business owner, there are few things as critical to the company’s overall success as customer loyalty and trust. While building this trust can take time and effort, it can quickly be derailed if customers feel that their personal data is not being kept safe.

Data privacy can be tricky to navigate when running an eCommerce business. After all, customers are putting a lot of trust into your security protocols out of the gate when they enter their credit card information and other sensitive data to purchase goods and services. And with compliance regulations like GDPR in effect, it’s more important than ever to ensure your business is handling data in a secure and compliant manner.

So what are some steps you can take to keep your customer’s data private while considering the constantly evolving digital business landscape? In this article, we’ll explore a few essential tips to help you get started.

Protect Your Site With SSL

One of the most important steps you can take to protect your customer’s data is ensuring that your website uses SSL encryption. SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer, is a protocol that encrypts information being sent between a web browser and web server. This means that if someone were to intercept the data being sent, they would not be able to read it.

You can tell if a website is using SSL by looking at the URL — it should start with “HTTPS” rather than “HTTP.” Many web browsers will also display a padlock icon next to the URL to indicate that the site is secure. In addition to protecting your customer’s data, SSL also has SEO benefits and can help build trust with your website visitors. Google, for example, gives preference to websites that use SSL in their search results.

If your website doesn’t currently have an SSL certificate, you can purchase one from various providers. Once you have the certificate, you’ll need to install it on your web server — most hosting providers can help with this if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.

The question here is which SSL would suit your website? The answer is simple! You need to look at domains and subdomains. For example, if you are running an e-commerce site then, you must have different subdomains. To secure them, you need a low-priced or cheap wildcard SSL certificate that will be available easily from reputed SSL providers.

Use a Secure Payment Gateway

When it comes to accepting payments online, there are a variety of payment gateways to choose from. But not all payment gateways are created equal in terms of data security.

When selecting a payment gateway for your eCommerce business, be sure to choose one that uses SSL encryption and is PCI DSS compliant. PCI DSS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, is a set of security standards created by major credit card companies to ensure that businesses handling credit card information do so in a secure manner.

Several popular payment gateways meet these criteria and are worth considering for your eCommerce business. Some of these include PayPal, Stripe,, and Square. Read the reviews and do your research before selecting a payment gateway that is right for your business.

Regularly Scan Your Site for Vulnerabilities

Even with the best security measures in place, it’s always possible for your site to be hacked. This is why it’s crucial to have a regular scanning routine to detect any vulnerabilities on your website.

There are several website scanning tools available that can help you do this. Some of these tools are free, while others have a subscription fee. Once you’ve scanned your site, be sure to fix any vulnerabilities found as soon as possible.

Depending on the eCommerce platform you use, you may also have access to built-in website scanning tools. Shopify, for example, has a tool called “Shopify vulnerability scanner”. That scans your site for common security vulnerabilities.

Keep Your Software Up to Date

To keep your site secure, it’s essential to ensure that all of the software you’re using is up to date. This includes the eCommerce platform you’re using, as well as any plugins or themes.

Many eCommerce platforms and plugins will release updates regularly. Therefore, installing these updates becomes essential as soon as they become available. To ensure that your site’s protection against any newly discovered vulnerabilities.

Implement Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is a security measure that requires two pieces of information to log in to an account. The most common type of two-factor authentication uses a combination of something you know (like a password) and something you have (like a phone). Implementing this increased form of security on your eCommerce site can help to protect against unauthorized access.

Two-factor authentication has become more and more popular over the years. As it helps to protect accounts from hackers even if their passwords become compromised. Many online services, including Google, Facebook, and Apple, offer two-factor authentication as an option.

Prepare a Response Plan

You can put all the precautions in place you want, but something might still happen. Don’t let yourself become so complacent with your plans that you don’t create an incident response plan in case a breach does occur.

Under the GDPR, only certain incidents must be reported to the supervisory authority. To protect customer data and your professional reputation. However, your response plan must occur no more than 72 hours after the breach. This includes the notification to the supervisory authority.

Every organization’s response plan will be different based on its industry and the data breaches common to said industry; what should always be included is a response to the SA, a response to consumers if necessary. And a means to recover the data if possible.

Properly Train Employees

None of the preceding security measures will work if you haven’t properly trained your employees how to use them. Or spot when they are being abused. This is especially true for GDPR compliance. The requirements are still relatively new, and learning them is key for any employee who is involved in the management of data. Whether that employee is an IT professional or a retail associate.

Begin your training program with the goals of your privacy program and go from there. Some cybersecurity professionals argue for identifying key personnel and departments in the program. Theoretically, all departments and employees should have good amount of training on your security program.

Thus, it’s imperative to avoid technical terms that lay people may not understand. Stick to the basics when you create your employee training program. Such as what is data and how to protect it, what are the GDPR requirements. Why GDPR was created, and so on.

In Summary

Keeping data private in eCommerce can be a challenge. However, it’s essential to take the necessary steps to protect your customers’ information. By using an SSL certificate, a secure payment gateway, and website scanning tools, you can help to ensure that your site is as safe as possible while remaining compliant with data privacy standards and regulations.

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