The Risks of Online Shopping: Here’s How to Protect Your Customers’ Credit Cards

E-commerce is now a standard way for people to shop. During the pandemic especially, consumers relied on online stores to purchase food, medication, and other household items. However, even as the threat of the virus subsides thanks to widespread vaccination, online shopping will continue to be a popular way for people to buy their wants and needs.

Analysts predict that, by 2025, the e-commerce market around the world will reach $1 trillion.

Shopping Online and the Risk of Credit Card Leak

But online shopping can open up a lot of people to a world of digital scams and fraud. The internet is full of bad actors who are always searching for people to steal money and information from.

Shoppers need to be careful whenever they have to make transactions online. Cybercriminals have become more sophisticated, and a lot of people are falling into their traps.

In fact, according to one recent report, around 1 million credit card details were leaked on the dark web. This includes credit card numbers, expiration dates, holders’ names and countries of origin, and CVVs. The hackers also stole addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

By now, data breaches have become very common. In 2020 alone, authorities confirmed almost 4,000 data breaches to have occurred. Among the information that hackers took were credit card details.

Your credit card details are sensitive information. Once it gets out, there is no saying what fraudsters will do to it.

According to reports, cybercriminals earn $2.2 million for stealing 10 credit cards per website. Stealing credit card information, therefore, is big business.

Another way cybercriminals can get a hold of their credit card information is by formjacking, a different type of cyberattack. The hacker inserts a code in the target website to steal credit card information from forms in e-commerce sites.

E-retailers have the responsibility to make sure that the information that customers disclose is safe from prying hands. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will also be bad for business if sensitive information gets leaked online.

Trust the Middleman

Many small businesses do not have the budget to adopt sophisticated security solutions that big corporations have in place to prevent data breaches. But one cost-effective way to ensure that no one can breach and leak credit card information submitted by customers to your e-commerce platform is by using a digital gateway for payments.

Different payment platforms offer peace of mind because it eliminates the requirement for customers to input their credit card details for every online transaction. With a few taps on an app, the customer can complete the purchase without placing their financial information at risk of being stolen.

Moreover, it makes the payment process quicker and more convenient for the customer. Businesses might see fewer abandoned carts because the transaction is easy and seamless.

Collect What Is Necessary

There is a lure for businesses to know more about their customers. However, the e-commerce platform should not store details that are not necessary for the transaction. That way, in case of a data breach, customers will not be inconvenienced or worried that bad actors will use their personal and financial information against them.

Hackers cannot steal information that is not present. Keep sensitive data off online servers to protect your customers from people and groups with ill intent.

Enable HTTPS

This protocol is the most basic but necessary step you can take to secure your website. HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) guarantees that the communication and connection are shielded from cybercriminals. It also assures customers that your platform is legitimate. This will let customers know that you haven’t created a counterfeit online store to steal credit card information and credentials from unsuspecting shoppers. Any business can acquire HTTPS by implementing a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate to the e-commerce platform.

Using HTTPS is also an advantage because Google ranks websites that have it higher on its search results pages (SERPs). Moreover, Google tags websites that do not use HTTPS as “not secure.” Your website will appear untrustworthy if you do not apply HTTPS. Many consumers will refuse to transact with a business that does not have visible online security features. A report from 2018 revealed that 27 percent of shoppers online abandoned a potential purchase because there are no visual signs of security.

Consumers trust that businesses will keep their data safe from cyber criminals whenever they make a transaction online. Businesses should do all that they can to protect the data of their customers.