The holiday season is now upon us, and small businesses with online storefronts are feverishly working to maximize their sales during these busy shopping months. So what can small businesses do to ensure that their customers' shopping experience is a smooth and enjoyable one? Symantec has created the following tips to help small businesses ensure that their customers can rely on their site to be safe and secure.
- Don't let malware put your site on the naughty list. Small businesses must deploy technology that provides complete protection and scans regularly for malware and other threats. You don’t want to be known as the website responsible for compromising confidential customer information and spreading malware.
- Double check your website's security certificate expiration date – twice! The last thing your small business needs this season is for customers to see a pop-up notifying them that your site’s security certificate (SSL certificate) has expired, and warning them to shop at their own risk. When customers see that, many will not continue shop on your site, but will go elsewhere. Can your business really afford that during the biggest sales season of the year? Make sure you know when your certificate expires and set reminders to renew them before it is too late.
- There is only one real Santa – this holiday let customers know that your site is the real deal. Incorporate technology that ensures your customers that your site is indeed your site. It is quite easy for criminals to set up a website that looks just like yours to dupe your customers and steal that information. Don’t let that happen to you.
- On the nice list? Showcase trust marks to increase customer confidence. It has been proven that businesses that have a trust mark (a logo on a website that is awarded by a company like VeriSign to boost customer confidence) on their site and next to their search engine results are rewarded with more business, as customers are inclined to shop on your site. Customers want to know from the start that their information will be safe, especially if they haven't shopped with you before. Put your best foot forward, and make sure you have the appropriate trust marks in place.
- Incorporate secure customer login so the Grinch can't steal important information. Before your customers purchase products from your site, consider having them use a login and password as well as a security question before they enter any personal and financial information. This gives your customer extra reassurance that only they can access their account information on your site. This is one extra step that provides extra account protection that your customer will appreciate.
So now that you have these tips in your back pocket, you will want to follow as many of them as you can. As a small business, you want to ensure that you get a sales boost wrapped in pretty ribbon under the tree this year. However, if you fail to protect your customers' information, you may instead receive a lump of coal.