E-comm 101: Safely Handle Your Customers’ Data

September 18, 2015
Do You Have the Right Precautions in Place to Protect Your Customers?

data security in ecommerceSo, you’ve got a product that you want to sell online. Although it may seem easy to just create a site using Shopify and install PayPal as a payment option, setting up an e-commerce site is just the beginning.

You have to add the extra layer of protection to keep your customers’ personal and financial data safe.

Your customers trust you enough to give you their personal and credit card information, so it is up to you to protect and secure it.

Reuters reports that cybercrime costs the global economy more than $ 400 billion every year, damaging businesses and individuals alike.

This topic is becoming ever more important, as data breaches of all sizes have been populating the news with increasing frequency over the last several months.

Updating your methods and ideas about digital security is necessary if you want to keep customers’ trust.

Here is a look at some of the ways you can handle your customers’ data more securely:


Encryption is the process of scrambling data to protect it from anyone who doesn’t have the encryption key. While encryption is a common defense against hackers, you may need to rethink your encryption protocols. Updating your company’s encryption methods should be a yearly requirement, and if you are still using file-based encryption instead of disk-based encryption, it’s time to upgrade. Hackers are always learning and growing, so you can’t afford to not keep up.

BYOD Policies

Bring your own device (BYOD) policies have taken over the modern workplace. A Cisco study found that 89 percent of companies allow employees to use their own devices for work purposes. However, many companies do not take sufficient steps to ensure their employees’ devices are secure. The best solution to minimize security risks is a clear and carefully enforced personal device policy. Not only should you require employees to have their devices approved by IT, but you should require them to report a lost or stolen device immediately.

Password Security

Oftentimes, a data breach can be avoided by simply enforcing a stronger password policy. Using a secure password may seem obvious, but many companies do not enforce standards for passwords. They should be at least 16 characters long, and LifeLock suggests creating passwords with upper and lower case letters, non-sequential numbers and symbols. Passwords should be changed quarterly and should not be physically written down anywhere.

Cloud Security

The cloud has become a popular and efficient way to store and process data. With such a rapid growth in popularity, there are bound to be some companies that take less than the best precautions with their customers’ data. When you choose a cloud service provider for your business, be sure to research each company’s reputation and ask questions about what protections they have in place to secure data.

There are many cloud data service providers out there, and if you feel that yours isn’t taking the necessary precautions against threats such as Distributed Denial of Service attacks, you should immediately find a new provider. Data breaches are a serious threat to your business, so you should be certain that anyone whose services you utilize lives up to the standards you have for your own company.

Keeping your customers’ information secure is of the utmost importance. You can’t expect to keep their trust if you can’t protect their personal information. The key is to stay up to date, follow best practices and remain vigilant at all times.

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