Due to lack of time for outdoor shopping and other such things, many people around the world prefer online shopping and also carry their financial transactions online. Many websites offers special discounts on purchases and have wide variety of products to choose from. Hence, they attract many customers. With all such advantages, there are some security issues associated with such E-commerce websites. Few things are mentioned below that are to be considered while developing a secure E-Commerce website.
- Securing Data: When a user fills out a form on a website and submits it, most of the websites transfer this information as a plain text format. That means all page contents, images, form data; etc is transferred as a plain text that is easily readable by humans. Whenever any sensitive information is to be transferred, always use HTTPS (Hyper text transfer protocol secure). This will help to transfer data in a more secure way.
- Securing Payments: Always use a payment gateway for any type of online transactions. Store sensitive customer payment details securely on a payment gateway account rather than on your website.
- SSL Certificates: They are known as Secure Sockets Layer certificates. A web hosting company provides this certificate and it charges annually in most cases. Once it is installed on a website, it encrypts all data on a web page. The URL of web pages where this certificate is installed start with https:// and an additional sign of a secured web page such as a closed padlock icon is seen. All information transferred is encrypted and is seen in human un-readable format and send to the web server. This information can be decrypted (decoded) only at the two ends, one is your computer and other is the web server.
- User Input: It is important to validate all user inputs to prevent common hacker attacks such as SQL injection and XSS (Cross site scripting).
- Passwords: Do not allow users to enter short passwords (with less characters) while user registers on website or in any other scenario where password is entered. Make it mandatory to create password that is a combination of alphanumeric characters and also special characters. If possible, make it mandatory for users to change their passwords after a certain time period.
- Securing Firewall on Web Server: When a E-Commerce website is hosted on a web server, it becomes necessary to configure firewall to protect it from outside traffic. Firewall is a network device used to block a certain kind on network traffic, forming a barrier between trusted and un-trusted network. Firewalls can block traffic based on IP addresses, port number and incoming emails. A properly configured firewall allows only good traffic that is allowed.
Security is most important aspect that is considered while developing an E-Commerce website and it should never be compromised. Some points mentioned above will not only help users to stay secure on a website but also the website itself will be secured. A customer will visit a website and carry transactions and purchase products on it only if it is secure.