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Keeping Your Clients Secure

This morning, Fox 35 in Orlando had me on to talk about how some thugs beat the system using the new Apple Pay. Apparently, they stole some credit card numbers, inputted them into the Apple Pay and were able to use them without ever having to show an actual credit card. While some might think that Apple Pay was hacked, this was not the case. This was just some thieves beating the system.

But I couldn’t help thinking about this. How can we learn from this? My marketing brain just couldn’t let it go. I started thinking about my clients. When news like this hits the airwaves, everyone starts to panic and they get scared. I started to wonder “How could my clients make their customers feel more secure when visiting their website.”

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  1. If you have an ecommerce store or are collecting customers information, you should have a secure site. Call your web hosting company and tell them you would like to purchase a security certificate for your domain. This will give your URL an https: showing its secure and show the lock as an icon.  Here is an article that talks about the importance of a Security Certificate.

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  1. If you are collecting payment, it is wise for you to enlist a third party payment gateway such as PayPal.com or Authorize.net. This will allow your customers to process their payment through these companies and not directly on your website. Authorize.net and Paypal.com will ensure the safety of your client. You can advertise their logo on your site, as a secure certificate that can also make  your clients feel at ease.

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  1. Always make sure that you keep your software up to date. This will ensure that all your apps, widgets or third party plug ins are working as they should. Having out of date software could potentially keep some information unsecured or even collecting unwanted information. Ask your webmaster to check the updates periodically.
  1. Most important- DO NOT STORE PERSONAL INFORMATION on your website or your website server. If you are asking someone to pay for services or products, be sure to use the third party payment gateways or send them a separate invoice through Quickbooks or other accounting software. This will help decrease your liability of storing such information and also will give some reassurance to your customers going through a big name payment gateway or accounting software.

There is never any guarantee that sites won’t get hacked or credit cards won’t get stolen. With all the technology these days, thieves are finding more and more ways around it. It’s best as a vendor to ensure your customers that doing business with you is a safe and secure endeavor. Applying these principles to your website will be a great start.

Best,

Tom