Someone “purchased” from your site and one of two things happened:
- The buyer’s credit card data is compromised & the buyer holds you responsible.
- The buyer didn’t purchase the product, still the credit card is charged.
As a small business owner, marketer, merchant or a retailer, it is necessary to make the website secure, especially when the site is used for selling products and services.
Online Fraud Prevention and Fraud Control
Here I will talk about two important factors you should not ignore while setting up an online product-based business – PCI and VeriSign.
Let’s see what they are in detail.
The Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance policies were created to prevent Internet fraudulent activities. The huge amount of data theft possibility led to the creation of PCI compliance policies.
The VISA, MasterCard, Discover Card, JCB and American Express cards adhere to its policies. It is required from every merchant that stores and processes payment information maintain the “minimum security standard,” according to PCI guidelines. Non adherence to the guidelines results in additional fees or debarring from the credit card processing facility.
To help in this, the PCI has developed a 5 point guideline for the merchant to follow:
1) To protect credit card information by creating a safety network
The network in which the consumer card information or even the names are stored should be kept in a secure place.
For instance, if the consumer is paying through an online transaction then the web server page should be encrypted and contain an SSL certificate authority. Or, suppose that the merchant uses a personal laptop for storing information then the laptop should be kept secure behind a computer firewall.
Basically, the PCI compliance means creating maximum and effective security standards for fraud prevention.
2) To implement measures limiting access to the stored information
The card holder data should be accessed by those only who needs to use them. Even if all the technological applications are in place to prevent information theft, one cannot discount the possibility of human breach in security.
Therefore, PCI compliance guidelines strictly imply giving control measures only to those who really need them. Otherwise, no other person should have access.
3) To maintain the safety network by regular monitoring and testing
Regular monitoring and testing is necessary to detect security scams or any fault with the security. This does not necessarily mean any fraudulent activities; it only sheds light on any potential security risks that can become a big issue later on if the security risk is detected my any scam or phishing site. The merchant can sign up with security testing and auditing services to check the security system.
4) To create a management program to deal with any credit card information crisis
This PCI compliance is easy to adhere. In this, the person or merchant operating the computer containing sensitive cardholder information needs to update the computer security systems or browser now and then to erase any scope of data loss. Ensure that the security check system installed is always up to date.
5) To scan the data quarterly to remove any vulnerability
Whether it is a large or small firm / company, every establishment needs to scan the data quarterly to remove any possibility of security breach. If there is a big company involved, every employee needs to be trained on the PCI compliance rules and also should follow them strictly. Any discrepancy needs to be immediately sorted out.
Before a merchant is allowed to process credit card payments, they are checked first and then authorized. The authorization can be cancelled if the merchant company does not adhere to the PCI compliance policies.
Since 1995, VeriSign has been offering SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates for online transactions to ensure data theft prevention and security to the online purchases. The SSL certificate authority is a major requirement for websites that sell products and services online because without guaranteeing transaction safety, it is next to impossible to convince buyers / consumers to purchase from a particular website.
99 percent of product and service based websites working today have the VeriSign SSL certificate seal or logo at the end of the page. It is an indication for the consumer to know that their personal data input on the site is kept safe and transferred to the merchant website in encrypted mode.
In simple words, a VeriSign certificate means complete safety and security with the financial transaction in process.
Other reasons for its necessity are:
Proof of Authentication
Not everyone is given the SSL certificate authority to publish the logo on their site. Before giving permission, the company performs authentication measures to ensure that the applicant for the certificate is the same person who will be operating the website.
Only with satisfactory identification does VeriSign allow SSL certification license. This process helps in guarding against unauthorized access to the particular website.
An encrypted web session between the customer website browser and the merchant website browser can only happen when the customer website browser acknowledges the validity of the VeriSign SSL certificate.
When both the website browsers are linked, the merchant site browser gives the other browser an indication of its validity. Only when the validity is approved, the web session takes place. The data is encrypted and transferred to the merchant account securely.
How many times has it happened when a consumer wanted to purchase a product or service from a website but decided negatively at the last moment because there was no credibility in the transaction? By lack of credibility I mean the absence of the VeriSign certificate authority on the website, which made the consumer withdraw the purchase.
After all, a customer will always be worried about the safety of the transaction because he/she inputs sensitive personal and credit card information. Without any assurance from the merchant side about the credibility of the transaction, it is impossible to convince a buyer. It will only lead to business loss.
However, if the website displays the VeriSign SSL certification then the consumer will purchase with confidence. It will also give the merchant account a competitive edge against others.
To protect online shoppers, the FBI has directed consumers to only use those websites that display SSL certificate authority. Only an SSL certificate ensures safe and secure transaction. A website with this certificate will have the web URL starting with ‘https’ and also display the safety ‘lock’ icon on the transaction page.
Without these two indications, a consumer should never make a purchase. Fraudulent practices are a huge problem with the Internet these days and authorities are trying their best to make online shopping a safe method.
A product or service-based website which is PCI compliant and has the VeriSign SSL certificate authority, it ensures two things – consumer safety and seller creditability.
Aren’t these two your priorities also?