Friday, 11 March 2011

8 Ways to Secure your Ecommerce Website

With so many hackers lurking in the net, security must always be considered. If you are a site owner, giving importance to security is not only for your own protection but for your users’ as well. Despite you have the right to set contents to your contracts and terms of service, you still have a portion of liabilities in case your user encountered information and financial thefts as he perform activities within your website.

Online communities and ecommerce websites are mostly the target places of these hackers. Online communities can provide so many users’ information but it is more critical if ecommerce websites are compromised. The money is in ecommerce websites, all the billing and account information are at stake.

Hackers have brilliant minds, they are smart and clever. That is, a single flaw in security setting is already a big door for them to take full control of your site. Hackers also work fast and before you realized, you already loss so much. To prevent this, you need to establish your security well first before starting any transactions online.

Below are some tips that you may do first to secure your site:

  1. Connection Security

    Make sure that you are connected to a secured ISP (Internet Service Provider). Mostly if you are establishing a very dynamic ecommerce site, before putting it online, you have to make sure that your provider is not carrying any unsecured virus or malware.

    Choose a reliable internet service provider who do not only provide a fast connection but can give you the assurance of your connection safety.

  2. Hosting Security

    This is very critical even if you are only running a simple ecommerce site. Your hosting handles all your online files; from images to scripts. Also, your hosting is normally the one handling your emails and databases. When your hosting has been compromised, almost everything in your site plus your emails is endangered.

    Read reviews first and check not only the space and bandwidth provisions. Every provider will assure you of their security, hence, make some researches first. See some reviews. You may also try to check for some reliable ecommerce websites and see their hosting providers. Most likely, it is wiser and safer to subscribe to their hosting providers.

  3. Platform Security

    It is now a trend to use website builders. Whether you are using an open source or a commercial platform, do some researches first on its security. With commercial platform, you may feel more secured as you know you are paying for it and somehow conscious that support must always be available everytime you need them.

    On the other hand, you can also find security in open source platforms like Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla. More developers are even trusting open source platforms more because these are already tested by a larger community.

    Giant websites such as Facebook, Google and Yahoo are also using open source platforms, not Wordpress, Drupal or Joomla but their own ofcourse. Facebook and Yahoo are both using php while Google is using phyton, both open source languages.

  4. Coding Safety

    Safety coding is establishing your trapping and error handling well. Make sure that in every incorrect input, you know how to throw the error back to your user in a secured way and without allowing any inputs that may harm your system.

    This can also be connected to your platform if you are planning to add new modules or plugins. Review your module or plugin first before installing; make sure the coding and functions are well and securely coded.

    In connection, make sure that your admin panel is securely coded. Just allowing others to have access to your admin panel is risky, much more if these hackers are able to get in.

  5. .htaccess and File Permissions

    .htaccess is a configuration file that can change your settings as per directory basis while file permissions are the levels of read, write and execute access in a certain folder or file. File permissions are normally defined via CHMOD like “777” or “644”.  Each 3 digits CHMOD figure corresponds to a defined access. See example below:

  1. Software and API Security

    There can be a time that we need to install new tools and software in our ecommerce site. Make sure that you are using a secured and virus free installer. Prevent pirated copies as they are normally the carriers of harmful malwares.

  2. Your Own System Security

    Give some time scanning your system from time to time especially if you are always online and if you are the developer and admin of your site. Use anti-virus and always put your system firewall on.

  3. Future Preparations

    Anything can happen especially as we are aware that everyday, the internet is updating. Use secured tools and certificates for your site, and have them always updated. Also, monitor your bandwidth usage and daily accumulated traffics (if possible) so you will have the idea if you need to upgrade your hosting capacity.

    In connection, test your ecommerce security from time to time and check every possible flaw that may occur.

One theory speaks that “The higher the security, the lower the functionality”. In the end user view, despite they care about security a website is always better if it can offer so many functionalities. Hence, it is also a good perspective for the developers but if one function or activity can harm the whole system, better leave it for a while until it is fully furnished. Ecommerce is a critical site to maintain and develop, as we know it deals with financial process and when it comes to money, people care so much. That is, your clients will do care if they encountered something wrong as they do activities within your system.

Image: Salvatore Vuono /


  1. There is spelling mistake: Google is using phyton!

  2. For any online business websites first we have to secure their business with all the ways for that there is no any single root to hackers for serious attack.

    These are the most important ways to secure ecommerce website.

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