Saturday, August 31, 2013

Protect Your Customers, Your Website, and Your Reputation

Overview: Hackers pose a serious threat to any online business, but you can secure your site and protect your customers with two simple, affordable security measures.

If you want your business to succeed online, your customers need to feel confident that their personal information – such as credit card numbers and passwords – is safe. If they think their sensitive data might be compromised, they'll find somewhere else to shop.

There are a number of ways to protect your customers, and your website, but two of the most common solutions are an SSL certificate to encrypt your transactions and a site scanner to identify potential security holes that could be accessed by hackers.

Quick Solution: A Go Daddy SSL Certificate provides the same level of industry-standard security - and includes a built-in malware scanner - all for up to 90% less than other providers.

Add a virtual padlock to your site

It doesn't matter if your visitors are filling out a form, providing their credit card information, or simply logging in to your site - if the page where they're entering their data isn't secured by an SSL Certificate, their information could easily be intercepted by a hacker.

An SSL Certificate encrypts information transmitted to and from your site, making it nearly impossible for hackers or other cyber criminals to intercept it. Names, addresses, passwords, account and credit card numbers -- all are safe when submitted to a website with a valid SSL.

Interesting Fact: In a survey conducted by the Synovate, 62% of respondents said they look for the lock icon in a web address bar before doing business on a website.

An SSL Certificate doesn't just protect your site, it shows customers that your site is secure. When they reach a page that's protected by an SSL, the address bar will display a padlock icon and the beginning of your URL changes from http:// to https://. With an Extended Validation Certificate, it's even more obvious — the browser bar turns green as a visual indicator that your site is secure.

In addition to the actual protection, an SSL Certificate gives visitors peace of mind. That's because your business must be verified as legitimate before you can even be issued an SSL Certificate. When your site is secured with an SSL Certificate, customers know that you are who you say you are so they're more comfortable providing their personal information online.

Identify website security flaws - before a hacker does

Unfortunately, hackers do more than steal data. They break into sites through seemingly harmless areas, such as the fields on your forms and logins or through unsecured scripts or plugins on your site, and inject viruses and malware links into your site to infect your customers. Scripts and other plugins can certainly help you improve your website, but unfortunately, not all of them are coded to be secure.

Interesting Fact: Some hackers intentionally target small business websites since they tend to have less security than the big-name corporate sites.

Thankfully, there are easy, effective ways to find vulnerabilities and keep your site - and your customers - safe. Website Security Scanners dig through your website's code to find any holes that could be exploited by hackers. If there are any issues, the scanner will alert you and provide easy-to-understand instructions on how to resolve it.

What to look for in a Website Security Scanner

Keeping your site safe is a 24/7 job, so the first thing to look for is a scanner that works frequently, preferably on a daily basis. If your scanner only checks your site once a month, you're potentially exposed (or even infected!) for 29-30 days after the initial scan. Along the same lines, you want a scanner that launches automatically, so you don't have the hassle of remembering to run it every day.

Another key feature is the information and resources it provides. Discovering a security issue is only half the battle; a good scanner will give you easy-to-follow instructions on how to resolve it or, for more severe issues, give you access to a security expert who can talk you through the procedure.

Quick Solution: Website Protection Site Scanner is backed with support from Go Daddy's award-winning security team.

Lastly, one of the most overlooked features is a display for visitors. A scanner may provide you with an email stating that your site is secure, but that doesn't help potential customers who are wondering if your site is safe. Look for a site scanner that will place a time-stamped label or seal on your site so visitors can easily see that your site has passed a recent security scan.

A safe site is a successful site

Security is a huge issue for any website, but especially for small businesses. A couple basic security measures can mean the difference between one-time visitors and long-term customers, so don't overlook the value of website security. You can get customers to your website through effective marketing, you can keep them on your website with great design and content, but you won't be able to get them to buy from your website if they don't feel safe.