Five ways to ensure cyber security this Christmas


Web hosting company Fasthosts offers its top five tips for keeping customers secure this Christmas.

Christmas is around the corner, but cyber-attacks spike in the ecommerce sector during this period. However, don’t let this fill you with panic; just use this time wisely to make sure you have the procedures in place to keep your shoppers safe. 

The security of your shoppers should be your biggest priority. Putting customers’ details at risk of fraud and identity theft can irreparably damage a brand.

Here are our top five tips for keeping customers secure on your website:

Five top tips to ensure your shoppers’ cyber security this Christmas

  1.    Stop stockpiling personal data

The most straightforward way to improve your site’s cyber security is by regularly purging old data. This means working out a procedure that deletes customers’ personal and payment details as soon as possible after a transaction has finished. By erasing information when it’s no longer needed, you’re immediately minimising the chance of a breach.

  1.   Make high-strength passwords your priority 

No matter how sophisticated your on-site security measures are, a hacker will almost always decipher a weak password. To get around this, encourage users to choose a complex combination of characters, including a capital, lowercase, number, and special. A poorly chosen password will unlock a world of possibility for a hacker, with personal and financial details on display, so it’s important to insist on an uncrackable phrase.

  1.   Keep on top of outstanding security updates

Third party apps can help to offer an immersive and attractive online experience, but they’re also a haven for hackers, and are constantly being probed for weaknesses. App developers regularly release updates to improve security, but it’s often up to ecommerce business owners to action these updates. 

  1.   Ensure compulsory PCI compliancy 

The Payment Card Industry has a series of Data Security Standards, more commonly known as the PCI DSS, that businesses should follow to keep passwords and payment details secure. Adhering to these standards goes a long way towards ensuring cyber security for customers.  All businesses that process even one card transaction should comply with PCI standards. Data that needs protection includes:

Card holder information

o   Primary account number

o   Cardholder name

o   Expiration date

o   Service code

Sensitive authentication data

o   CAV2

o   CVC2

o   CVV2

o   CID

o   PINs

o   PIN blocks

o   Magnetic stripe data

  1.   Double down and encrypt your data

Ensuring your site is encrypted means that, even in the event of hacking, breached data is often rendered useless. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a measure that protects you and your customers’ information through 256-bit encryption. You’ll know if a site has an SSL certificate immediately – it’ll have a padlock in the address bar and the URL will start with ‘https://’ rather than ‘http://’.

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