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Keeping your data safe on the biggest online shopping day of the year

E-commerce, which has exploded during the pandemic, has continued to gain ground as the preferred way for consumers to shop, with Cyber ​​Monday heralding the biggest online shopping day of the year.

Keeping your data safe on the biggest online shopping day of the year
jeff chandler

According to Adobe Analytics, Cyber ​​Monday 2020 saw record sales, with US consumers spending $10.8 billion. Last year, consumers spent $10.7 billion, and shoppers spent a staggering $12 million per minute during the rush hour between 11 pm and midnight ET. Experts predict that Cyber ​​Monday will be the biggest day for online shopping in all of 2022, making e-commerce sites crucial for businesses to reach shoppers during the busy holiday season.

Unfortunately, the rise of electronic commerce has led to a substantial increase in cybercrime. There are, on average, 206,000 web attacks on e-commerce retailers each month. Attacks on medium and large retailers have increased by almost 50% in the last two years and by almost 30% for small retailers.

Small businesses that thrived during the e-commerce boom are especially vulnerable to data breaches and ransomware attacks. The cost of recovery after a successful attack can be devastating for a small or medium business. Of the small businesses attacked, almost 60% close within six months of the attack.

Protecting your eCommerce site

You can take steps to protect your e-commerce website and your customers’ personal and credit card information.

  • Choose a secure web hosting/ecommerce platform. Do your due diligence and check your security procedures. Do they have regular vulnerability assessments?
  • Keep your website security patches up to date. 77% of attacks take advantage of gaps in software already on computers.
  • Be careful which tools, apps or plugins you grant access to your website data. Hackers can use third-party tools to steal data from your customers.
  • Install a web application firewall to help protect against hacking attempts.
  • Set up regular vulnerability scans on your site to help identify potential security issues.
  • Limit who has admin access to your website and make sure login is protected with multi-factor authentication. 63% of data breaches result from stolen or weak passwords.
  • Keep your security certificate (HTTPS) up to date.
  • Please review your credit card processor agreement to understand your responsibilities under Payment Card Industry Regulations (PCI-DSS).

Keeping your personal data safe

As shoppers turn to the Internet, cybercriminals are looking for valuable data, especially personal and financial information. Consumers must share the responsibility for keeping their information secure.

An easy way for buyers to protect themselves is by changing their passwords. When cybercriminals try to break into a system, they will first try thousands of obvious passwords. Some of the most common and easy passwords to hack in recent years were: 123456, 111111, password, and I love you. Only a weak password is needed and your entire system is completely open to any hacker.

Changing your password to something more complex and updating it regularly can prevent a cybercriminal from gaining access to your information. A good password should be at least 15 characters long and contain upper and lower case letters, symbols, and at least one number; the longer the better. Use a password manager to generate and track your passwords, and use a different password for each site.

Some other tips include:

  • Turn on multi-factor/2-factor authentication on email and financial accounts, and don’t share your password with anyone.
  • Avoid public WIFI when shopping online. Use a VPN or connect through your phone.
  • Be careful what and how much you share on social media. Hackers monitor social media accounts for details like your pet’s name, what high school you went to, your siblings’ names, and other identifying information that they can use to reset your password.
  • Make sure you have up-to-date malware protection on your home computer.
  • Review your bank and credit card statements and watch for any unusual transactions. Hackers may make a small purchase to see if you notice or to test a card. Many banks also provide the ability to sign up for alerts that let you know if a major purchase is made with your account.
  • Be careful when buying from stores you are not familiar with. Do some due diligence first. Check the Better Business Bureau, look them up on google maps to verify business address, and check reviews.

Whether you’re an eCommerce business owner or a consumer, it’s important to stay vigilant when it comes to protecting your data. Cybercrime is a lucrative business. Being aware of and following these safety tips can reduce the chance of becoming a victim.

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Keeping your data safe on the biggest online shopping day of the year
Keeping your data safe on the biggest online shopping day of the year