The new year holidays are almost here. After one full year of adjusting to the new normal created by the pandemic, everyone finds themselves getting ready to enjoy their days off from work. The season is important for most Sri Lankan based store owners since this is the first season of the year that they get the opportunity to enjoy a lot of sales at once. This is common to both physical stores and online stores. But this year, a lot of eyes are focused on online stores since the past few months have motivated shoppers towards online shopping.
Shopping does not always find itself as a business transaction. There are moments where it also becomes a cover for fraud and corruptions. Therefore, as online shop owners, it is important to be ready for any threat that your business may face especially during the holiday season, where a lot of money comes in and goes out.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is one of the best ways to fortify your accounts by enabling strong authentication tools. Biometrics and a unique one-time code sent to your phone are two of the most famous MFA’s. These tools can protect your accounts from hackers and other illegal logins. Having MFA tools activated at your store’s account access points is one of the most reliable security methods used by online businesses.
Keeping all the software connected to your online shop up to date is important since hackers can always find a way to identify a loophole in an outdated version of the software application that you use for shopping or to handle your business. Therefore turn on automatic updates and avoid any losses.
Watch Out for any Unusual Behaviour
You might receive emails from hackers who pretend to be online suppliers reaching out to you with attractive discounts. If you receive such emails or text messages from a store or a supplier that you do not recall subscribing to, always search for the seller online and check whether the same information is available on their official website. Check for customer reviews and their social media presence. It is always a good option to only accept offers from stores that you are familiar with.
Identify Fake Websites
You can easily identify a fake website if you have a good eye. Even if you reach out to an e-commerce platform through a very professional advertisement, the website that you are directed to might be controlled by hackers. Therefore, check for grammar issues in the texts, low-quality images, and misleading contact information. These are three main ways to identify a hoax
Always Back Up
Have all your business-related information stored in separate folders or drives that are not connected to any other network. Make sure that this information is only accessible by you. Use strong passwords to access this information. Follow the 3-2-1 rule. It’s simple. Keep at least three copies of the data. Store two backup copies. Use different storage media for each backup and have one storage device located offline.
Go for Alternative Payment Methods
If you are a frequent online shopper, it is safer to use different payment methods. Do not register the same payment method to every site that you purchase from. If you have been using a debit card, switch to a payment method such as your credit card or a third party payment method such as PayPal. Some eCommerce websites also present the option to pay cash on delivery. It is also a safe option since there will be no expense even if the seller fails to send the product.
Hackers always have an eye out for big money. Purchasing expensive products through online mediums is very dangerous. Major eCommerce platforms are always targeted by hackers since there are a lot of expensive purchases done by these businesses since they tend to be the most trusted. But most of these large eCommerce businesses have weak links that hackers can easily tap into. Therefore, you will feel much safer by shopping from small businesses.
These are some of the tips you can always follow to be safe when shopping or selling online. We witness a lot of pickpockets and other forms of robberies when shopping in real life, especially during a festive season. Online robberies are much trickier since you are convinced to pay money and tracking down these robbers can be really hard. Therefore be safe, and enjoy your holidays!