written by Matthew Stern
Jewelry store robberies still happen in the brick-and-mortar stores but the criminals behind such acts now have a new tool in their arsenal.
While you can always rely on the police, CCTV camera, and a bunch of other factors to catch these offline assailants, the same is not true for their online counterparts.
The worst part is that these hackers and scammers are not just coming after you as the store owner, but all of your clients and customers also.
You surely don’t want that. We don’t want that either.
Today, we discuss the tips and tricks to defend your online store against breaches and hacks.
Tip #1 – Enable HTTPS Everywhere
A site running on the HTTPs protocol is not a mere formality. The entire last S stands for ‘secure’ so you should know that there is a message in there.
With an SSL certificate running on your website (thus, HTTPS functionality), the data that your customers and clients enter to your website passes through to the database securely. You don’t have to worry about hackers intercepting such data midway at all.
On the other hand, it also helps these clients and customers know that you can be trusted. More people know what they stand to gain from HTTPS now so you would be hurting your reputation if you were not using it anyway.
Tip #2 – Choose Secure Logins
While everyone can see the front end of your website – unless you are intentionally geographically restricting things to certain regions – the back end is meant for the site owner and admins only.
A lot can be done and undone from the backend of the website. From injecting malware into the online store to deleting it altogether, you never want your admin dashboard at the mercy of an unauthorized individual.
When choosing website admin logins, this is not the time to see what 8-character passwords can do for you. Look for an online password generator (they usually come free) and come up with the strongest string of passwords to secure your store.
Tip #3 – Define Admin Roles
So, you have to give someone else access to the backend of your online store.
Such situations arise when you have a large store that needs a lot of products uploaded and you are going with a virtual assistant. You could also be looking to get SEO done, have posts uploaded to your website, or some fixes done by other professionals.
Even though they are pros at what they do and should be ethical, the world is far from being a perfect place. Likewise, we have to consider the fact that they could slip up and allow the password to get into the wrong hands.
What to do? Never share the admin account password with them.
Create other user accounts with as many permissions as the guest needs to do what they need and share that with them. With limited permissions, there is little damage they can do to your site.
Tip #4 – Install a VPN
Why would you need to have a VPN for an online jewelry store?
For one, hackers might not be able to get into your website by other means but they can still intercept the data that is being sent to and from the website. It would also please them to intercept such data from the owner of the website itself.
Beat them at that game by buying a VPN to encrypt your network. We said buying because only the premium versions are sure to do good enough work of protecting you. The good news is that most top VPN providers keep their offers affordable.
Tip #5 – Enable 2FA
You have a strong password and you are not sharing it with anyone. Why would you need 2FA again?
There are several ways that you can have your passwords leaked without even knowing about it:
- Logging in on another device and forgetting to clear your sessions completely.
- Unauthorized access to a written-down password.
- Unauthorized login to your online jewelry store with your computer. After all, most people have their passwords saved on their units.
- And more.
No matter which one of the above is the case, a simple two-factor authentication enabled will get you better security.
PS Opt for authenticator apps rather than sticking with SMS-based 2FA. Experts suggest that hackers can intercept SMS if they are serious enough about the breach, but that would be almost impossible with an authenticator app that generates the code in-app
Tip #6 – Update your Website
Updates and upgrades are not uncommon to physical devices and computers.
These updates and upgrades do bring new features to apps, programs, and the computers that run them too. Beyond that, though, they are more important for the security patches and fixes that ship with them. This way, OEMs and developers can fix flaws in their codes before threat actors start taking advantage of such exploits – or take more advantage of it in other cases.
Fortunately, most CMS providers also send out updates and upgrades to their software. The same is true for plugins and such other installations you might have on your website.
Depending on what CMS your website is built on, make sure it has all of its codes up to date.
Tip #7 – Backup your Store
There is nothing as painful as losing a store that you have been working on and keeping for years.
Even if the store were just a few months old, a lot of work must have gone into it.
The worst thing is that most people who lost their stores, in one way or the other, could have had it all back if only they backed the website up earlier.
This might sound technical but it is as easy as it comes. These are the three different backup models that we recommend for every online jewelry store:
- Local backup – on WordPress websites, for example, download local backup plugins to create a current status for your website. Some of these plugins can be automated, but go in manually to ensure things are going as you want them.
- Server backup – this happens with your specific hosting company. We haven’t seen one that offers automatic backup yet but they may be out there. But then, we prefer that you do things manually instead anyway.
- Offline backup – both backups above are stored on online platforms. Download and keep offline versions of any of the created backups above. It is usually more straightforward to download the server-side backup and restore with it.
Should your site fall into a glitch, get targeted by hackers, or be held under ransomware attacks, you can just restore it to the last point where it was working well and continue from there. Search engines won’t feel anything amiss and your customers would be none the wiser too.
Get Started Today
Since threat actors are working around the clock, so should you not leave time between knowing these and implementing them.
Implement all of the above tips today and be sure to have a more secure online store on your hand. If you are less tech-savvy and are scared of breaking something, ask someone experienced on your team to do it. Or, you could also hire a professional freelancer to help you implement the on-site aspects of this security model.