Online payment options are growing more and more popular each day, and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking payments online is more necessary than ever before. However, the taking payments online may make your company more vulnerable to financially motivated cyberattacks on you or your customers. This is why it’s crucial to make sure your business is taking payments in the most secure way possible.

The Risks of Taking Payments Online

Unfortunately, cybercrime is more common than you’d think, and the consequences can be severe for business on a good day, much less in the middle of a global crisis. Right now, businesses are more at risk than ever before when it comes to cybercrime and social engineering tactics. 

Beyond the loss of money, there could be a great loss in business as well. According to some sources, 19% of consumers said they wouldn’t continue shopping at a business that had been infiltrated by cyber hackers. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. As long as you’re careful about the way you accept payments, the online safety of you and your customers will be preserved.

The Most Secure Ways to Take Online Payment

Use a Secure E-Commerce Platform

Using a properly secured e-commerce platform takes some of the weight off your shoulders. You’ll have a third party to keep your business safe and provide extra security. Be sure to choose a trusted platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, and do some research to see which platform works best for your business.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is one of the easiest and most important ways to protect your business when it comes to any kind of online account. Having this and using it on your social media and all other logins and accounts makes sure that every login is secured and your financial information remains safe. Learn more in our guide to multi-factor authentication. 

Keep Your Customers Well-Informed on Security

The security of your customers matters just as much as the security of your business. That’s why it’s important to make sure your customers are informed on how they can keep their information safe. Tell them explicitly about how to keep their information protected during a transaction, and make sure they know about forms of security like VPNs and security software. 

Don’t Store Your Customers’ Payment Data

Another simple way to keep information safe from cyber hackers is to get rid of any customer data as soon as you no longer need it. Cyber hackers won’t be able to access personal or payment data if it  doesn’t exist. If payment data must be kept, keep it on a private server. 

Keep Your Software and Platforms Updated

Always ensure you’re running the most recent version of your operating system and platforms. Also, be sure to regularly update anti-malware and anti-spyware software in order to protect your network from viruses or malware. Off-the-shelf solutions aren’t always as robust as you might think, so get in touch with Alt-Tech to learn more about custom solutions for your software and systems. 

Purchase an SSL Certificate

SSL certificates offer a trustworthy way to protect data transferring between servers. Certificates are issued through a Certificate Authority to ensure it can be trusted. Getting an SSL certificate is another basic way to secure your information. 

Be PCI Compliant

PCI compliance refers to the PCI DSS, or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It’s a universal set of standards enforced by corporations such as Visa or MasterCard. These standards include multi-factor authentication as well as running quarterly checks. You can visit the PCI Security Standards website to view the full list of requirements. Being PCI compliant will ensure your data is safe and secure.

Keep Your Business’s Data Secure

During a crisis like this, the threat of cyber attacks is greater than ever, so you’ll want to take a few extra steps to protect your business and its data. Managed cybersecurity services keep your information secure and safe from cybercrime so you can breathe easy. Plus, you get access to all the resources, tools, and information you need for specific situations. 

Get in touch with our cybersecurity experts for more information about payment processing, or to get answers to any other virtual business questions you have.