Starting an online business is exciting, to say the least. However, it is also a challenge because you have to engage in marketing, add new products and deal with customers on a regular basis. It can get overwhelming.
One area that you cannot afford to let slide while taking care of your business is security. Using the Woocommerce platform does carry the risk of being hacked.
The popularity of the platform is what contributes to its vulnerability. It is estimated that as of February 2018 a whopping 2,241,106 websites are using the Woocommerce platform.
This makes it almost guaranteed that criminals are always trying to find ways to hack the platform. Here are some ways you can improve your Woocommerce security.
1. Secure The Devices You Use To Access Your Business
The first place you should start when thinking about securing your Woocommerce store is your computer. Make sure that your personal information is not vulnerable.
This means that you should ensure that your anti-virus software is up-to-date. You should also have spyware in place to prevent anyone from stealing information from your computer about your Woocommerce store.
Be careful about how you open emails on your computer, since these can leave you open to attacks that will compromise your private information. Consider using a VPN to keep connections between your computer and your website hidden.
2. Update WordPress for Woocommerce Security
Stay on top of your updates. Running your online store will keep you busy but you should never be too busy to update your WordPress core when prompted.
Look out for those WordPress core updates every four months. This release usually fixes bugs or security issues that have been found.
However, WordPress core updates are not the only updates you should be on the lookout for. You also need to ensure that you keep your theme and any plugins you use updated to avoid security issues.
Aside from the normal plugins you may be using to enhance your business, you should also be using a security plugin. There are several available that will work with your Woocommerce store.
Do not get overzealous with these plugins and use more than one. You only need one to do the job and using multiple security plugins can cause a clash that may cause your site to crash.
3. Usernames and Passwords
Strong usernames and passwords are a must if you want to ensure the security of your Woocommerce store. The fact is that hackers know that they should look for the obvious, when it comes to passwords. In fact, they have software that easily cracks the obvious ones.
Take advantage of the built-in feature that WordPress offers which helps you to create strong passwords quickly. If you currently use the username “Admin” to log in to WordPress site then you are currently open to hackers because this will be the first thing they will try. You must combine a strong password with a username that will be difficult for anyone to guess.
4. How Is Your Hosting?
Security is not just about keeping your WordPress application as secure as possible. It’s also about keeping your hosting server secure.
In order to do this, you must ensure that you have firewalls in place. Using a strong password and username for your hosting server is also important. You should also make sure that you are careful about how permissions on critical files for your site are set up.
While shared hosting for your Woocommerce site is the most popular option, it is not the most secure. This is because your website doesn’t have to be the one that is attacked on the server to become vulnerable. If another website is attacked then you become open to attack as well.
5. SSL Certificates and Backups
Ask your hosting provider about installing a SSL certificate if they haven’t already. You should also make sure that your SSL certificate is always up to date. If you do not have an SSL certificate the google chrome browser which many of your potential customers use will flag your site as dangerous.
The reason why an SSL certificate is so important is that it encrypts information that is passed between your customers’ web browser and your website. This is an important security precaution to prevent sensitive information from getting into the hands of hackers.
When it comes to eCommerce platforms such as Woocommerce, having backups of your site is essential. A single security breach can bring your entire site down in seconds. If you do not have backups this could be devastating because your site will be offline for days causing you to lose money.
Do not just have one backup for your website, have multiple backups ready at all times. You can use plugins to automatically backup your site.
Your plugin will most likely give you choices about how often you can backup your site. The best thing you can do is to pick the most frequent option.
It depends on the plugin but backup may be hourly, daily or monthly. The more frequent it is, the less information you will lose if your site is crashed by a security breach.
Starting a business is exciting and challenging. A Woocommerce store requires you to do many things to keep your business afloat. However, if your business is not secure then you have nothing.
Woocommerce security is paramount for both yourself and your customers. You do not want your information or theirs to get into the hands of unscrupulous people. This will destroy the credibility of your business in ways that you may not be able to recover from.