Keeping Consumer Data Safe

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Every day on popular eCommerce sites, millions upon millions of people are entering valuable information. Their names, their credit card information, their addresses, and more all being uploaded in rapid quantities. All this sensitive info, especially in regards to payment profiles, has since become the target for malicious cyber attacks and hacking schemes. For businesses implementing their online payment systems, how can they ensure that consumer data is kept safe?

What does Cyber Attacks Look Like

Hackers typically target valuable data in order to steal money and are usually able to do it before the customers even realize that something is amiss. There are all sorts of ways hackers can access information, like sending malicious code to websites that intercept payments or using bots to guess millions of combinations of letters and numbers to access user accounts. Some hackers won’t even stop at individual users but target a website’s entire back-end database. While these attacks are relentless, there are thankfully several things most businesses do in order to keep sensitive information out of criminal hands.

Ways to Keep Data Secure

There are a lot of methods employed by businesses that keep personal data protected. With these methods, even the most persistent hackers find it impossible to break through and steal data. Data encryption is one leading method. Here data is encoded in such a way that it’s incomprehensible to anyone besides the holder of the key to decrypt it. Encryption uses algorithms to scramble data and obscure it from any prying eyes. Many organizations also make use of SSL certificates to encrypt payment information while it’s in transit.

Frequent updates and use of antivirus or anti-malware software are common practices among businesses. With viruses getting more advanced and hackers finding new methods to work their way into systems, most companies apply frequent updates and patches to all their software offerings and services. These updates not only provide increased stability, new features, and faster operation but offer an increase in security as well. Some businesses even hire ethical hackers to try and break into their own systems so that solutions can be uncovered.

There are also many legal guidelines for businesses to follow that work in tandem with keeping consumer data safe. For example, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act prohibits the gathering of data for kids under 13, keeping their sensitive information offline entirely. For other types of data, The California Consumer Privacy Act, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set guidelines for the collection and management of personal information. Depending on local laws, there are several regulations just like these that work to keep data in good hands. Some online services like Magento 2 GDPR Extension will even allow online stores to change their processing methods to stay GDPR and CCPA compliant.

While it’s a sad fact online cyber-attacks may never truly go away, we can rest assured that businesses have a wide variety of tools at their disposal to make the internet and their marketplaces safe for all users.


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