Online business

11 tips for ensuring safe and secure online business transactions

Online transactions have accelerated more than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Statista’s digital payments report, by 2025, the value of online transactions will reach up to $ 2,098,515 million.

That said, online transactions are also vulnerable to cyber threats. Therefore, companies must apply appropriate measures security measures for online transactions to keep up with today’s digital pace.

Are you wondering what these precautions are?

Well, don’t worry, because we have an eleven point guide that can help you protect your online transactions forever.

11-point framework to protect your business transactions from cyber attacks

1. Ensure connection security

Never enter your credit / debit card information when using public Wi-Fi.

Public Wi-Fi can be intercepted, and hackers can get between you and the Wi-Fi connection.

They can see what is being transferred and easily manipulate it. Insecure connections can lead to bank fraud.

So let your customers know in advance that their connection is genuine, because later on, if things go wrong, you need to have what it takes to defend yourself.

In addition, as a customer, it is best to avoid an internet cafe to conduct transactions. Multiple users access the same computer, and you never know which computer has the malware.

2. Avoid saving passwords on your web browser.

I know how handy a saved password is when you don’t feel like logging into your account.

But it is not safe if you leave your computer or mobile connected and lose your device; another person can easily access your bank accounts and contact details.

Saving your password in your browser is like letting your guard down on your enemy.

If you want to save your password then, I suggest you use a password manager. PMs generate a unique password every time you log in, eliminating the risk of theft.

3. Obtain an SSL certificate.

To make sure that no hacker could infiltrate your website, you would need the security of a Secure Socket Layer or SSL certificate.

This security protocol encrypts data transferred from one entity to another and sends it over a secure network so that no hacker can intercept it.

SSL also helps comply with PCI / DSS guidelines, which are required to accept payments online.

Google also recognizes SSL as an integral part of its ranking policy. As a result, websites that have SSL rank higher than those that don’t.

SSL comes in three types, namely regular single-domain SSL, multi-domain SSL, and generic SSL.

Normal SSL can protect only one domain or subdomain at any one time. This can be purchased at one of three validation levels, DV, OV, or EV.

Companies that need to secure multiple domains and subdomains at different levels usually opt for a Multi-domain SSL. With this unique certificate, you can secure up to 250 FQDNs (Fully Qualified Domain Names), this number usually varies from provider to provider.

On the other hand, an SSL wildcard can protect a single domain as well as an unlimited number of subdomains up to level 1. So if you have an eCommerce website and want to expand it, a wildcard is essential for you. Investing in the right type of SSL to meet your unique business needs is as important as the price factor. We understand that small businesses can be cash strapped and would prefer cheaper certificates. Therefore, you can consider investing in the cheap SSL certificate because they offer the same strength of encryption as their more expensive counterparts.

4. Integrate multi-factor authentication

Asking your customers to prove their identity twice might cost them a bit of their time, but it’s worth it.

Multi-factor authentication includes identity validation via fingerprint, OTP or PIN as well as username and password, improving security. For example, even if a hacker manages to crack the password, they cannot enter your OTP or replace your fingerprint.

Nowadays, banks are using OTP as a way to process a transaction, and if you also embed the same on the login page, it will be a strong security system.

5. Analyze a website before adding your financial information

Many illegitimate websites require you to enter your financial information (debit / credit and bank details) when logging in.

They offer to offer you free trials if you share your financial information with them. However, never fall for their word; instead, watch what others are saying about them.

Take a look at the reviews, ratings, security protocols they use, and the number of users they have.

Additionally, you should always set up mobile notifications for your credit and debit card in order to receive the notification in case something goes wrong.

6. Attach a privacy statement

You can’t take risks with your customers, which is why it’s best to let them know your policies in advance.

Mention how you will protect their data? For example, where will you store their financial information? How often do you update your software? And what are all the security protocols you have?

Some customers are skeptical about sharing their information. They want to see where their information is going, which is why your policy should cover all questions regarding customer data.

Attach your policy as a PDF file for users to download or create a separate page on your website.

7. Prefer credit over debit

Debit cards are linked directly to your main bank account. So if a hacker gets hold of it, they can erase your entire bank account.

On the other hand, a credit card has a spending limit and is not directly linked to your bank account.

Experts suggest never to use a debit card on a newly developed website. Also, don’t be the first to add their card details, as beginner websites are usually suspicious.

Plus, if a website doesn’t accept credit cards, that’s a clear sign that it’s untrustworthy.

8. Keep your computer secure.

Hackers can also infiltrate your computer system. You can protect your website with the best security protocols, but if you store all of your database files on an unsecured computer, you are preparing for disaster.

Any software you install or hardware you inject may contain viruses that can damage your data.

Before adding any hardware device or software to your system, scan them for viruses. Use a quality antivirus system updated to the latest version and capable of detecting even the smallest bugs.

Antivirus can save your business and your computer for good.

9. Don’t use the same passwords everywhere.

Your passwords can be strong, longer than 12 characters, and contain special letters and symbols.

But that doesn’t mean you can use it everywhere. Unfortunately, this error is often overlooked because people think that good password hygiene only includes a “good password”.

Well, this is wrong. Good password hygiene also means using a different password for each connection.

By using the same password everywhere, you risk all your accounts, from finance to generic.

10. Do not use automatic payment systems.

No matter how convenient it is, you shouldn’t allow automatic bill payments. Whether you are using a third-party app or a trusted website, we recommend that you hit the play button yourself whenever you want to complete a transaction.

By manually paying each invoice, you will be able to know how much you paid and for what.

In addition, no third party can act on your behalf and compromise your bank account.

Tracking your financial outflows is the first step in managing your transactions. So use manual payment methods and track your transactions.

11. Do not record customer information.

Don’t overload your business with sensitive user information. For example, don’t save their card details as a business, and don’t give a hacker a chance to steal them.

Once a user has made a transaction, do not store their business information in your database for the future.

If someone wants to transact again, they have to add their financial information again.

This approach will help you avoid penalties, complaints, court cases, and government sanctions, just in case something goes wrong.

Moreover, you should also mention this in your privacy policy so that you have proof if you have been taken to court.

To conclude

Online transactions get nowhere. They are here to stay for a long time. People have now gotten used to it as they shop online even for their daily essentials.

It is convenient for people to pay online as it promotes contactless transactions which poses a risk of cyber theft.

If your transaction is carried out on an unsecured medium, a hacker can access and compromise your bank accounts.

So, both as a business owner and as a customer, precautions for online transactions are of paramount importance, which is why we have created this 11-step framework that can help you protect your transactions against all attacks.

Integrate these points into your daily online transactions and be clear about cybercrime.

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