How To Protect Your Online Store From Credit Scams

How To Protect Your Online Store From Credit Scams


Online shopping has made it easier than ever for consumers to buy everything they need from the comfort of their homes. In fact, American ecommerce is projected to reach $523 billion by 2020! 

While that’s good news for virtual shop owners, there is another group angling to get in on the action. Ecommerce is a prime target for cybercriminals. Think about it, the world wide web is a swarm with credit card numbers, virtual money transfers and physical products just ready for the plucking. And unlike banks and financial institutions, small-scale ecommerce sites rarely have the robust cybersecurity protocols necessary to defend themselves against incursion.

Still, there must be something store owners can do to protect themselves and their customers for credit fraud, right? Thankfully, there is. Below are several ways you can detect and block phony web purchases from sinking your online business.

Set Suspicious Activity Alerts

There is a major difference between how hackers and legitimate users act when visiting your website. For example, users who list their age in the 85 to 90 range are 2.5 times as likely to commit fraud than the average user. It’s not that senior citizens are especially crafty hackers, it’s that hackers tend to behave in this way when asked to enter their age

Similarly, be on the lookout for multiple credit card transactions, from multiple users, all being shipped to the same address. This usually means that a crook who has found a way to compromise multiple accounts is looking to pilfer goods without alerting the card company with exorbitant transactions.

While it is impossible to track every suspect behavior on your own, the task can be made much easier by employing an automated alert system to warn you about cyber fraud in real time or block transactions with a high risk of fraud from processing.

Don’t Store Crucial Data

Some stores save customers’ credit card information to allow return shoppers to make quicker purchases. Doing so is especially convenient for processing refunds, tracking shoppers and charging recurring bills, but did you know it can also open your company up to disaster?

Keeping a trove of customer information (including card numbers, names, physical addresses and email credentials) on your database is a huge security risk; so much so that the Payment Card Industry strictly forbids storing all this data! If you need to keep some of this information on hand (and you almost definitely do) be sure to leave out just enough information to stymie cyberattacks. At the very least, require users to enter the expiration data and CVV from their card.

You can also advise your shoppers to take advantage of alternative payment methods such as PayPal, Stripe or Google Wallet.

Choose a Secure E-Store Platform

When you’re in the enterprise ecommerce platform-comparison process, be sure to choose the platform best built with security in mind. Make sure your service provider offers Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encrypted webpages to safeguard information transfers to and from your site. Don’t know if your site is SSL? If the URL in your address bar begins ‘https’, you are protected.

Additionally, you may want to ask your providers if they offer protection against some of the most common hacking scams like SQL injection, cross-site scripting and DDoS mitigation. While you may have to supplement some of your cybersecurity with secondary services, it is vital to understand exactly how important privacy and confidentiality are to your ecommerce provider.

Educate Your Buyers 

Lastly, it may be helpful to educate your shoppers about the risk of ecommerce fraud. Advise them to use credit cards rather than debit cards (and to use secure payments rather than credit cards). Recommend that they use strong passwords to defend their account information and to keep a close eye on their statements to spot malicious activity (especially around the holidays).

Follow these tips and you can greatly reduce the likelihood of cyber infiltration from ruining your ecommerce business.


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