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    3 ways to show customers you’re keeping their data secure

    Smarter Writer
    Smarter Team

    A team of business and technology journalists and editors who write to help Australia’s community of small and medium businesses access the technology and know-how that helps solve problems and create opportunities.

    Smarter Writer
    Smarter Team

    A team of business and technology journalists and editors who write to help Australia’s community of small and medium businesses access the technology and know-how that helps solve problems and create opportunities.

    Give customers every reason to shop with you by showing them your business is secure online.

    Secure payment on a mobile phone

    Research from the Telstra Business Intelligence report on Managing Risks Online shows that customers are more concerned about online security since COVID-19. This suggests that when people are shopping online, they are looking to spend with businesses they can trust. Let’s take a look at three things you can do to show customers that your business – and their data, if they choose to spend with you – is secure online.

    Show that your business is legitimate

    The presentation of your website plays a huge part in the way your business is perceived – and you want to give people every reason to believe you’re operating securely online as soon as they land on your page. In fact, the Telstra Business Intelligence report on Managing Risks Online found 86% of consumers would avoid dealing with a business if they felt their personal data wouldn’t be kept secure, so it’s worth making a good first impression.

    Where to start:

    • In addition to displaying the business website essentials that customers are looking for (like contact information and opening hours), FAQs, testimonials and reviews can also help show the legitimacy of your business.
    • Outline your data, security and privacy policies on your website.
    • Consider ‘security-by-design’, which means building online security measures into your business website from the ground up to ensure customer data will be kept safe. This can include things like multi-factor authentication for members and reCAPTCHA authentication for form completion. The eSafety Commissioner’s Safety by Design initiative is a handy resource for guidance.
    • Get familiar with your obligation as a business in keeping customer data secure - from what you are allowed to collect, to how you manage and store it.

    Secure your website with an SSL certificate

    The Managing Risks Online report found that 81% of consumers surveyed said a website being trustworthy (that is, one with an SSL certificate) is important when they are engaging with SMBs online. An SSL (or ‘Secure Sockets Layer’) certificate provides data encryption, so that any data entered on a website remains private and unmodified. It can help keep your customers' personal information secure, minimise the risk of a security breach and help meet customer expectations. You can tell if a website is secured with an SSL certificate if there is a small padlock in the address bar at the top of the browser window, and the URL will also begin with ‘https://’ (instead of ‘http://’).

    Where to start:

    • Many website hosts provide SSL certificates and automatic configuration. See if your website is already covered or if it’s included in a new site build if you’re starting from scratch.
    • If you’re configuring an SSL certificate yourself, consider speaking to an expert to make sure it’s running properly. Let's Encrypt is a good resource for manual configuration.
    • Keep an eye on when your certificate expires. You can check its status by clicking the padlock icon. It should read as ‘valid’ and the expiry date will be listed in the details.

    Offer secure payment options

    When shopping online, people want to know they can purchase an item securely, using trusted payment options, like PayPal for example. A secure third-party payment provider can help give customers confidence that their data, purchases and money have the best chance of being protected if they spend with your business.

    Where to start:

    • Weigh up various payment platforms to find one that suits your business and that customers know is secure.
    • Clearly state the payment options you offer on your website upfront.
    • You should only store customer data and information that you need, so avoid storing customer credit card information on your server and clearly state this in your privacy, data or security policy.

    These three things can go a long way in showing customers that your business is secure online. After all, it’s an increasing priority for your customers, so it should be a priority for your business.

    Need help protecting your business online?

    Telstra Business Cyber Security Services offers 24/7 support and more.

    Find out moreNeed help protecting your business online?

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