If you reckon that you have seen it all, you better think again in the world of Ecommerce security. The internet is a very big ocean – and no matter how you slice it, e-commerce security is becoming an issue particularly with respect to customer data.
Not only is the internet attractive as a shopping place, but it is an easy one to get into as well. A lot of the innovation in e-commerce that has occurred in recent years has been in response to consumer demands for convenience. Customers want to be able to order everything they want from the convenience of their home or office. They want everything delivered to their doorstep within a few days or maybe not at all if they are not willing to wait for the large delivery orders that traditional retailers enjoy.
Housewares, handbags, jewellery, watches and a large variety of other items can be purchased and delivered to your door. You can have the items delivered to your house or office in several days or you can wait a week or more for the paint to be dry for your new home. Option 2 is not an uncommon one and I rather enjoy the convenience of having all my items ordered in one convenient and automated fashion.
Before we go into how we enjoy these amazing privileges thanks to e-commerce, these are top tips have How to Protect Yourself From Hackers:
- Updates – have you wondered why you get so many updates on your PC/Mac or phone? These updates are rolled out when the manufacturer or OEM knows there is a known vulnerability or issue with the system. Most people defer it or sometimes do not update their systems leaving oftentimes a back door of vulnerability to cyber attacks. We would recommend updating all your software as much as you can whether it being antivirus/malware detection Windows OS, Mac OS or even your humble mobile phones.
- Double Factor Authentication – another sure-shot way of protecting yourself from hackers/phishers and scammers is to always use a “2FA” or two-factor method of authentication for your emails, sensitive access points such as your online banking and high-value online systems. This way if someone tries to guess your password, you can deny access with your smartphone or bio-metrics on your phone.
- Strong Passwords – this may come as no surprise to you but passwords aren’t about convenience! It is to ensure unauthorised access cant be gained to your data. Creating unique passwords is a universal rule to ensure protection on the worldwide web. A recent study conducted by security firm Hive Systems found that passwords below ten characters in length could often end up hacked in under an hour (and this length of time is shrinking as computer hardware processing power improves); passwords that were at least 12 characters long, even if only lowercase letters, would take upwards of a year to crack, with passwords at least 15 characters long taking upwards of 1,000 years. We would highly suggest using combinations of words you use personally which cannot be identifiable to ensure you don’t get hacked into or someone guesses your password.
- Website Details – it pays to double-check where you are buying from your online goods. Most secure websites will have a secure SSL meaning they will always display https:// prior to the www.website.com as well as will display their business registration as well as tax numbers on the very bottom of the page. Most authentic e-commerce stores will also have a Terms & Conditions page, returns policy as well as a legitimate about us page giving you details such as Headquarters, Team, Blog, etc. You don’t want to be scammed where you are buying from a copied website as that is one sure-shot way of losing your data as well as transaction information such as credit card details, Paypal details, etc.
- Social Media – sometimes to much information can be found on Social Media for example if you list your birthday and post about your favourite food/pet it becomes easier for hackers/password guessing software to guess your password based on all the information you have shared on Facebook/Instagram. A safer way to approach this to accept friend request or follow links from known sources and post updates only to your friends.
In summary if you are wondering how to protect yourself from getting hacked or spammed if you follow our top 5 tips above you should be secure 90% of the times, there is always that unkown 10% which maybe of concern. If in case you do get hacked or your information has been compromised always do the following:
- Report to your local authorities
- Try gain access or block your account immediately
- If your system is unresponsive simply disconnect your power and internet access
- Immediately visit an authorised professional to clean your system or wipe your hard disk
- If your website is affected either go to your web host or hire a reliable e-commerce agency to analyse, clean and deploy your website.
Some helpful sites ( Updated Quaterly)
- Check if your email or phone number is compromised
- Handy tool to find if your data was breached
- Similar tool to the above which lists all breaches
Helpful Contact Details
Federal Bureau of Investigation
1501 Freeway Boulevard
Brooklyn Center, MN 55430
You may also wish to file a report with the Federal Trade Commission as follows:
Federal Trade Commission
Bureau of Consumer Protection
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20580
TTY: (866) 653-4261
For more information on consumer issues, contact the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office as follows:
Office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 296-3353 (Twin Cities Calling Area)
(800) 657-3787 (Outside the Twin Cities)
(800) 627-3529 (Minnesota Relay)
In an emergency always call 999/112
If you are affected by any one of the please fill out the form here.