Maintaining the security of your shopping cart is an ongoing issue, it was before, it is now and will remain so. If you’re a small business with a website trying to break into this fresh, but competitive market, shopping cart software integrated to your website would certainly be a great investment. However, several issues will need to be addressed in your planning and maintenance budget. The more significant will be the issue of maintaining your shopping cart security. This help to protect the privacy and financial information of you and that of your shopper’s.
Shopping Cart Security
Let’s begin with the basic concept of online shopping carts. Shopping carts are online software applications which facilitate visitors to make purchases by shopping on the Internet, which are generally paid electronically by some means. If you already have, or plan to have an online store, you will need a reliable and secure web host to host your shopping cart application. You also need shopping cart software that is easy enough to use and functional to your current and near future needs. Additionally, unless you house PHP programmers and web designers in house, you will need a company who develops shopping carts. Note that a developer is neither a programmer, nor a designer, but rather the person responsible for the project completion… Like a contractor, some things they will do and other things like custom programming and design they will have contracted parties complete for you.
A shopping cart at its most basic description is the added website functionality of a check out, which generates the total purchase, computes for the shipping costs, records the needed personal information and processes the payment to the chosen Gateway or online collection service you choose. The most commonly recognized security aspect of the shopping cart lies on the Secured Socket Layer certificate or SSL which encrypts the transmission of the personal information entered by customers up until the time the information reaches the payment gateway. The SSL is the responsible for making the pages address prefixed with “https”. Meanwhile, the payment gateway or credit cart gateway is receives the information, validates and charges the purchase on the credit card with their own software. Upon validation, you cart is notified and the transaction is complete.
It is important that you let your customers know that you have done your part to make the website secure and hack free. Never underestimate your shoppers. If they feel that something is not right with a your shopping cart, they will most likely leave without purchasing.
To most effectively do business online, you will not only let your shoppers know that you are secure, but practice what you preach as well. Keep your shopping cart, server software and other applications like email up to date … always. Have your shop scanned quarterly for PCI/DSS compliance… If you accept credit cards, PCI compliance is not negotiable, but rather required.
Be clear and accurate about your shopping cart policies and guidelines. I know it might be tempting to use various legal and marketing tricks, but, you need to remember that your store’s visitors are not experts and presenting them with a policy or guideline that is high complicated and overly difficult to understand will reflect on your business’ reputation…. Many will leave for an easier purchase at the next click.
We can only stress the importance of security in these kinds of ecommerce applications. I have heard, same as anyone else, stories of identity thefts before and so have your customers. Most consumers will be looking for shopping carts that can protect them from possible theft of credit card and personal information.
One of the most crucial pieces of a secure network is to use the services of well respected and secure service providers and web hosts. That being said, you may choose wrong early on, be ready to move your website if you need to. While many web hosting companies will make moving your shopping cart seem daunting and impossible… Its not and you have to do what is right for your business. Spend some time checking on theses service providers and get to know them.
The bottom line is, you must maintain a secure shopping cart for your customers. You have tons of valid and robust options at your disposal in the current market, so having an insecure or out of date network or cart is totally inexcusable.