Creating a trustworthy e-commerce store

These days, more and more businesses have e‑commerce storefronts. There are lots of reasons to do this: it can increase your business’ reach, make your business more competitive and simplify your customers’ shopping experience.

But e‑commerce also comes with risks. Bringing your business online puts you and your customers at greater risk of a data breach. Your business could experience loss of money, data, revenue and loyal customers. But by putting greater focus on protection and cyber security, you can create an online shopping experience that’s safe and secure for you and your shoppers.

Choose a secure platform

Choosing the right platform to host your online store is one of the most important ways to secure your business. Do your research to find a platform that offers a number of security features. Some key ones to look out for are:

  • multi-factor authentication (MFA) - an extra layer of security for your online store that combines a strong password with another form of authentication, like a fingerprint
  • customer data encryption - encodes customer data when it’s in transit and when it’s stored
    • this will make the data unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have the encryption key
    • an example of the sort of data you’d want encrypted would be payment information
  • real‑time threat alerts - flags strange or suspicious behaviours as they are detected

Once you’ve chosen an e‑commerce platform that meets your security needs, remember to update its software as often as possible, or enable automatic software updates if you can. This will help reduce the risk of your store being affected by vulnerabilities in the platform.

Take only what you need

Data is one of your most valuable assets. However, collecting too much data may actually increase your business’ risk of privacy and data breaches. When it comes to keeping your customers’ trust and your business secure, less data is more.

Only collect necessary information such as a customer’s name, address and payment information when completing a transaction. Your customers might find extra requests for personal information suspicious and abandon their cart.

Only store the data you absolutely need. Once you have a customer’s information, make sure you store it securely by encrypting it. That way, if your business is breached, your customers’ personal data is less likely to be exposed, keeping you in their good books.

Limit employee access

Human error is one of the biggest reasons data breaches happen. Your employees could be a cyber criminal’s gateway into your business. Administrator access to your site should be limited to only the employees that need it.

Consider enforcing a strong password or passphrase policy for all business logins including employee emails, social media accounts and access to your e‑commerce platform.

But while only a few of your staff should be able to access your website, all of your employees should have access to cyber security training and resources to help them spot a cyber threat. Employees who don’t have access to your site can still be tricked into giving away sensitive information about your business through phishing scams.


Opening an online store is a great way to grow your business and find customers across the world. By taking simple steps to secure your e‑commerce store, you can keep those shoppers happy and build loyal customer relationships for years to come.

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