WordPress is one of the most commonly used website builders for eCommerce operators. Ensuring that the store is optimized for your customers, that the UX is smooth, and that the plug-ins and all software are up-to-date. This helps to ensure that your website is safe and secure for users.
Keeping your site secure keeps your business secure. People want to use sites that are well presented, and fast, and prove their security through experience. Trust is essential to the success of your brand. Building trust on your eCommerce platform is simple if you maintain a few simple security protocols, do regular checks and keep your solution up-to-date.
The best approach to online security is to be proactive. While your store needs more than security to drive traffic and secure sales, it is an aspect of your site that should never be neglected.
When you install WordPress it has standard security settings. However, you can always add more security protocols and higher protections that secure data, improve back-end access protections and help protect your website from hacking. These 10 tips are intended as a guide for your WordPress eCommerce site security.
Choose a trusted web host
Selecting the right web host for your online store is an important business decision. There are a huge number of web hosts to choose from. For a store, you should look for individual hosting services, rather than shared hosting, to keep things secure.
Shared hosting is slower overall, and your security is somewhat compromised. Your website is sharing a server with other websites, and if those websites are not maintained it exposes your site to hacking. It is one of the most common ways that eCommerce sites are compromised.
You should seek a Virtual Private Server (VPS) that gives you full control over your server. This means you can take control of settings and manage the levels of security you want on your website.
Use a secure payment gateway
To protect yourself and your customers from potential fraud, a third-party payment gateway is a good choice. By routing transactions through another provider, the handling of cardholder data and other customer information is handled by a third party and is not stored on your server and website. This means that no single storage provider or processor is responsible for data protection.
If you create a custom solution, you’ll be responsible for storing customers’ cardholder data on your website and encrypting all the data and bank communications. Regulatory compliance is a requirement, and if your business does not or cannot prove compliance, it is not given access to banking systems.
Using payment gateways such as PayPal or Stripe are secure, and branded. These companies can benefit your business, but they also cost a great deal in fees and charges. Selecting smaller providers, like LMW, can provide you with a personal and professional service that secures your payment processes according to regulations.
Use strong credentials & 2FA
An online store requires the best levels of security available. Enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a basic requirement. Your password protections and administrator access should be limited to a few, trusted team members. These passwords should be changed on a regular basis, and completely renewed, any time a team member leaves your company.
A password manager is the best way to generate and store secure, unique passwords. These random combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols meet with the highest level of password security. These passwords can then be stored on a secure account that includes all the stored passwords, usernames, and protection details you need to access information.
If you use site registration for customers, it is important to impress upon them that they create, store and regularly change their passwords, especially if the site stores sensitive data, including credit card information and other personal ID information.
Keep software updated
Keeping all software up-to-date is essential to maintaining the security of your online business. Software updates provide critical security patches. These codes fill gaps that software developers have discovered through consistent testing. This applies to WordPress core, plugins, themes, operating systems, servers, and all software you use.
If you are given an alert that your system needs an update, you should run that update at your next convenience. Usually, these updates are fast and help you avoid lengthy downtimes, especially if they are done consistently.
Backup your online store and test restores
You should perform regular backups of your website. An automated WordPress backup service means that you don’t need to remember to run manual backups and your eCommerce will be kept optimally functional.
Test restores, run in an offline environment, ensure all your website’s data is being backed up and that you can actually restore your website in case required. These restores are vital to your success in a crisis should your site need to be pulled quickly and replaced with a version that is not corrupted or otherwise compromised.
Use the correct user roles and privileges
WordPress has a number of user roles built-in, such as Administrator, which gives the user full access to every WordPress feature, and the ability to make any and all changes to the website, as well as access to the hosting panel.
WordPress user role assignment is essential to the security of your eCommerce site, as well as the protection of your employees. The isolation of access means that people cannot make mistakes, like deleting pages or images.
WordPress has six default user roles, but you can set up custom access. This means you could give a user access to only publishing blogs, and another user access to updates on product pages. It simply secures your website from mistakes that people who are not familiar with backend development from making.
Track your website and eCommerce store activity
Security logs, or activity logs, are a record of the people who log in to your website backend, and the actions they take, with a timestamp and edit details. Other activity logs can be configured so that as the administrator, you can see which users on your team are logging in to the backend. Logs can also reveal where errors have occurred so that rather than restoring your website, you might be able to quickly fix a problem caused by simple human error.
The log also shows failed login attempts, general site changes, plugin configuration changes, and any other actions on your site. These logs are necessary for PCI DDS compliance. While WordPress has tracking options, you can apply plugins that will perform these and many other tasks that are useful to your business.
PCI DSS Compliant
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCI DDS encompasses several rules and security standards you need to follow to accept credit card payments online.
Third-party payment processors usually ensure that your payment processing is compliant. They protect payment information for your clients, encrypt data, and meet banking standards in the region in which your website operates.
However, for your website to be PCI DSS compliant, you’ll need a firewall to protect customer information and secure your website with HTTPS, keep WordPress up-to-date, and restrict backend access to customer information. PCI DSS regulations include things like log access to network resources and encryption of customer information.
Making your eCommerce PCI DSS compliant is easy with WordPress as the standard option, and with plugins.
Host your WordPress eCommerce store & website on HTTPS
Most high-quality websites are coded with HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). HTTPS is required to encrypt all of the data that is exchanged between your site users and your business. Most browsers give traffic a warning before visiting an unsecured website as a deterrent, so people do not share their personal or credit card information on sites that pose a potential threat to their security.
- Websites using HTTPS display a padlock icon right next to the navigation bar. This is used to indicate that:
- The website uses a valid SSL/TLS certificate, which validates its ‘identity.’
- The connection between the users and the website is encrypted.
- The integrity of the data that moves between the user and the website is preserved.
Use reputable and reliable WordPress plugins and software
Your eCommerce store needs to be fast, secure, easy to navigate, and well designed, so prospects convert into customers. Using trusted software and plugins will ensure that you offer a premium experience.
To source the best software, test everything before you install it on the live website, read the documentation to make sure it is properly configured, and read reviews about the solution.
Your eCommerce website needs to secure the trust of traffic to convert sales. The simple application of security measures that protect your site and its users from hacking and corruption is fast and basic updates. Not only do these measures promote your business as a trusted online brand, but it also protects your actual site, meaning that maintenance and updates are faster and more reliable.
- Choose a trusted web hosting service.
- Use a secure and trusted payment gateway.
- Use strong login credentials for you and your team and enable 2FA.
- Keep your WordPress core, plugins, themes, and all software up to date.
- Regularly back up your online store and do test restores.
- Use the correct user roles and the principle of least possible privileges.
- Keep a log of every site and user change that happens on your website.
- Ensure your WordPress is PCI DSS compliant.
- Host your WordPress e-commerce store on HTTPS.
- Only use reputable and reliable WordPress plugins and software.
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