How to Design a Safe and Secure E-commerce Site


Online security is a huge issue these days. Many designers focus their attention on how stylish a website looks, but if the underlying architecture is lacking essential security features, it isn’t fit for purpose. Students on a Norwich University online information assurance degree course are taught the fundamentals of cybersecurity, but if you don’t have time to sign up for the Norwich University master’s degree, read on for some helpful tips.

Secure Admin
All e-commerce sites have an admin area. This is the online equivalent of a behind-the-scenes backdoor. You and your colleagues will need access to the back office to add new stock, update existing stock, and or upload blogs. The access to the admin area needs to be secure. Don’t stick with the default admin password or use something ridiculously simple like “password” or “admin” that would take a hacker about 0.001 seconds to breach. Ensure that any password you select is difficult to crack and change it regularly, just in case.

Secure Hosting
When you first set up an e-commerce site, no doubt budget constraints are a priority. You probably don’t have much money to spend, so you look for a low-cost web hosting provider. However, this is a huge mistake. Cheap web hosting is never a bargain. Quite the opposite in fact. Joining a shared server is cheaper than paying extra for a virtual private server, but your business is put at risk by other users. You could even end up blacklisted or left vulnerable to hackers.
Don’t put your business at risk. Instead, pay extra for a virtual private server from a reputable company.

A firewall is the first line of defense. This will protect your site from common security issues such as SQL injections. Content Delivery Networks are also worth investigating, as they will recognize malicious traffic, which is a classic feature of DDoS attacks. If you can’t afford to pay for expensive security software, check out OpenSource software solutions.

Don’t Store Financial Data
Financial data – card information, usernames and addresses – is like gold dust on the Dark Web. People pay a lot of money for this stuff, so it is essential that you don’t store any financial data on your website. Stick with a payment gateway provider such as PayPal, who will manage sensitive information for you.

Payment Protection Policies
Have policies in place to protect your business from criminals. All orders over a certain amount should be manually verified to ensure the card address matches the delivery address. Give the customer a call on the telephone number provided to verify that they are who they say they are. If there is a mismatch of information provided, put a stop on the order until the customer can verify their ID. It is much better to be safe than sorry. Fraudulent orders cost your business time and money.
Always make regular backups of your website, so you can restore the data if something goes terribly wrong.