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How to Ensure Your Website is Secure and Trustworthy

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Posted on December 9th, 2020 by Beau Peters in Security

secure and trustworthy website

How is your website showing your customers that you care? You are selling a great product and making some good money, but what are you doing in return to assure your customers that all their payment and private data is protected? If you haven't thought about that before, now is the time because a significant data breach could mean the end of your company.

When you design your website, you want to do so to improve the visitor experience, so visitors feel comfortable handing over their credit card information. It would help if you also had the right security protocols in place, so you don’t betray that trust. Below we will talk about some methods that help customers feel secure and how to ensure that security is the real deal.

Importance of Website Security

You should take the necessary steps to protect the information of your company and your customers. A failure to do so could result in a major data breach, and the effects could be detrimental to a business of any size. In fact, small businesses may feel like they can exist under the radar, but they are often more likely to be victims, often because they don’t take security as seriously as they should, and the hackers know it.

There is so much at stake if your business is hacked. The lost revenue alone can be staggering as you spend time and capital on implementing new security procedures, alerting your customers, work on recouping your data, and more. More than that is the loss of customer trust. If your website sells similar products to other sites, and you prove to be lackadaisical with customer data, then they will likely go to a competitor that appears more secure.

The potential bad press and hit to your reputation will likely follow you for years to come as even future websites bearing your name may keep potential customers from taking a chance. This is why you need to act now to make a website that looks and acts secure while implementing policies to back that up.

Subtle Ways to Evoke Security

To get customers to pick you out of the crowd in the first place, you need to create a welcoming atmosphere that is not too overbearing. There are many subtle modifications you can make, starting with the color. If your primary objective is to exude trust, then you should consider going with blue. Psychology has shown that blue is synonymous with trust, order, and loyalty. This is why companies like Facebook and PayPal, which rely on the idea of secure data, thrive on this color.

While your primary objective is to make sales, try not to go over the top, or it will likely turn customers off. Many websites think that the more ads they pop up on the screen, the more sales they will get, but that is not necessarily the case. Instead of focusing on the ads, make it all about the content, and instead of constant pop-ups, create smart, eye-catching ads that will pull the customer into your presentation. Experts recommend sticking to a maximum of 3-4 ads per page as a happy medium.

Most customers are well aware of the current e-commerce landscape. They know about online scams and the fact that even though some websites may look real, they are often made by cybercriminals to try and steal information. To avoid giving off this impression, make sure that you stay in contact with customers to know there is someone there that cares. Many companies understand the importance of communication and turn to SMS text messaging to provide customers with order confirmations and updates. This way, the clients know that they can turn to a person on the other end.

Written Methods

In addition to the subtle changes, there are also components that you can add that will provide clear signs that your site can be trusted. Start by adding a privacy statement on the bottom of your website or a dedicated page. Within the statement, mention that your customers' security is your number one priority and how they can contact you if they feel that their data is in jeopardy.

Another security improvement that you can make to your site is to secure it with an SSL certificate. This means that customer data is encrypted once entered onto your site. When you have this certificate, the HTTP at the front of your web address will turn into an HTTPS. Many customers are aware that the extra letter means that your company is serious about security, and they may choose you over the companies that don’t have the distinction.

Finally, it would be best if you were upfront about whether your website uses cookies. Internet cookies are files that contain the shopping preferences of a customer along with some personal data. Websites that use cookies store this information on users' computers to target ads for similar products at the customer in the future. Of course, if hackers were to steal this information, they could sell it on the black market. It is a good idea to have a pop up that requires customers to acknowledge that your website uses cookies because being upfront in this manner can go a long way.

Protecting Customer Data

Of course, nothing evokes trust and security with your clients as much as ensuring that your website is never the victim of a cybercrime. If their data is never at risk, customers have nothing to fear. As a company, it is your responsibility to keep important data on backup servers that are regularly maintained and have antivirus software in place so threats can be caught and stopped before making an impact.

It is also crucial that management teaches all employees about the importance of always staying vigilant and to avoid easy mistakes. The beauty of working for an online company is that you can often do so remotely. However, if your staff works out in public and on their personal devices, these devices must have security features turned on, including encryption and a strong passcode so the machines cannot be accessed if stolen. Not only are modern phones practically wallets, but they are also tantamount to mobile business servers, and losing a phone is like losing multiple lifelines in one.

When working in public, there is always the risk of man-in-the-middle attacks. Essentially, these are fake Wi-Fi accounts set up by hackers that look official but intend to trick unsuspecting users. When the victim connects to that network, they are really connecting to the hacker's device, and from there, the criminal can have access to your entire system and the inner workings of your website. When maintaining your website in public, always ask the proprietor of the establishment for the correct network.

In the end, your website is only as successful as the work you put into it. You may have the best product and intentions, but if your website does not promote security and trustworthiness, then you will be left in the dust. Try the tips above, modify as necessary, and you could see great success.

Beau Peters

Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he's learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading and trying new things.

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