Protect your personal data when you buy online

If you’ve ever bought anything online, you’ll know that you have to trust the site you’re using to keep your personal and credit card details secure. The internet is a notoriously unsafe domain, so internet security is a big issue with private consumers. The general public has become much warier of using sites they perceive as risky due to the number of high profile reports of sensitive data being accessed or misused from well-known sites.

The potential loss of sales revenue due to lack of trust could be huge given the size and continued growth of the online shopping market, particularly in the UK. The online retail association IMRG estimates that 865m deliveries of online purchases will be made in the UK during 2014. While much of this activity will be done on a pc, research by Millennial Media and comScore found that mobile shopping is also growing fast, with 51% of retail activity occurring on mobile devices during 2013. So, for all businesses who use e-commerce, online security must be seen to be trustworthy to capture a piece of the increasingly valuable online market.

Making e-commerce sites secure – SSL Certificates

The most widely used and trusted security protocol is SSL, which is short for Secure Socket Layer. This piece of technology encrypts the connection between the consumer’s web browser and the e-commerce site’s web server. The encryption process ensures that data transferred between the two remains private and protected from the ever-increasing risk of malware viruses and direct hacker attacks. Once installed, consumers will see that the site has SSL in place as a padlock icon will be visible in the address bar, and the web address may also be highlighted in green.

To apply the SSL protocol, it needs to be enabled on the website’s server. To do this, an SSL Certificate must be bought, which identifies the site. The software must then be installed on the site’s server. Retailers can buy SSL certificates from several sources, with each provider offering different features and pricing to match individual business needs. There’s no doubt e-commerce is here to stay, and those with SSL Certificates will be in the best position to reap the most from their e-commerce activities.

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