If you’re the owner of a retail business chances are you have a provision to cater for online sales. The amount of business being conducted online is increasing all the time and many analysts predict that it won’t be long before online sales outstrip those in actual stores. With such vast sums of money being exchanged daily over the internet it is hardly surprising that hackers are keen to get in on the act – stealing credit card details and other sensitive information.

To protect your customers from becoming a victim of fraud you need to know how to protect your e-business and sensitive customer data. There are many Credit Card Machines in the UK that will offer a secure way to accept payments online by keeping yourself and your customer data safe. As the owner of the business it is still your responsibility to take every precaution to ensure your customers are safe. Here are a few tips to help you stay one step ahead of the online hackers.

Choose a secure e-commerce platform

When it comes to choosing an e-commerce platform there are plenty of options. Therefore it is essential to do proper research as to which one is best and most suited to your specific needs. Although there are numerous platforms to choose from: they can be broken down into three main categories – hosted, open source, and hosted shopping cart.

Hosted e-commerce platforms provide web hosting, use of the e-commerce system and support. To use this you will be charged either a monthly or annual fee and you will not have a choice as to who your host is. However because they know their own system very well they will be able to take care of most of your security issues.

Open source e-commerce systems can be downloaded from anywhere and you are not restricted to a particular host. The downside to this is support is likely to be limited.

Hosting shopping carts only host the payment and checkout service for you. Since the payment process is looked after by them they will handle security but you won’t host your entire site with them.

Don’t store sensitive data

If there is no reason to keep sensitive information on your customers then why do it. You are only putting them at risk. Whilst sometimes data can be used for marketing purposes this needs to be balanced with the need to keep your customers safe. Ideally you should only keep a minimal amount of data, enough for charge backs and refunds.

Layer your security

Adding extra layers of security to your website such as login boxes, contact forms and search queries will protect your site from application level attacks. It will also give your customers that extra level of security and reassurance.