How Secure Is Your Online Shopping Cart?
|August 5, 2008||Posted by Business4Moms under E-Commerce||
Internet shoppers are well educated about the dangers of releasing personal information to the wrong party. To encourage consumer confidence and increase sales revenues, online business owners give critical attention to the security of their shopping cart program.
Addressing shopping cart security protects online business owners as well as their customers. Several steps can be taken to evaluate a cart’s security and make improvements.
• Does the cart use secure socket layer (SSL) encryption? Once the buyer has selected the items for purchase and proceeds to check-out, the software should run in secure mode on the buyer’s browser. Personal data such as credit card numbers should be encrypted before being sent over the internet to complete the order. (Merchandisers who host their own shopping cart must be verified and then purchase an SSL license through a certification authority such as VeriSign.)
• Is the credit card security code required to complete transactions? The security code is the last three digits printed on the back of Mastercard and Visa cards, and the four-digit code appearing on the front of American Express cards. It is generally requested from buyers who are not physically present, such as for telephone or internet orders, as an added safety measure.
• Is the shopping cart provider and/or gateway provider an established, reputable organization? Using providers such as Authorize.net, PayPal, and ClickBank gives online business owners added peace of mind in knowing that proven security structures are in place.
• Are cart and gateway providers PCI/CISP certified? The credit card industry has responded to the increased threat of identity theft and fraud by establishing new measures for internet transactions. These measures provide greater protection of sensitive information that is stored and transmitted online.
• Is the shopping cart provider a Hacker Safe site? Statistics show that websites displaying the Hacker Safe logo increase conversions by up to 15 percent. Owned by McAfee, Inc., Hacker Safe technology draws on aggressive research in online security and works with financial leaders to protect internet businesses from fraud.
• Are all passwords and data access systems secure? Security experts recommend that business owners do not share passwords relating to customer data and financial transactions with anyone. Additionally, it is advised that passwords be changed monthly to increase security.
Shopping cart security is a complex issue that depends on the technology used by, and the integrity of, all service providers associated with an online business. While the consequences of a security breach can be disastrous, there are proven steps that business owners can take to increase security considerably. A secure site instills greater customer confidence, increases sales, and ensures continued success for online sellers.