Better website security should be among the most popular New Year's resolutions for merchants in 2013.
This is because the “Website Attitudes Study” from popular hosting company 1 &1 reveals that 54 percent of online consumers worry about the risk of their personal information being compromised online. Moreover, the study found that 33 percent of surveyed consumers have either had their own personal information compromised or know someone else who has had their personal data lost or stolen online.
This data makes it no surprise that consumers are becoming more cautious when it comes to inputting personal data online. However, 47 percent of these consumers believe that small businesses are the biggest target when it comes to malicious online activity, which means that online customers are less likely to make a purchase on a small business’s website. In fact, only 14 percent of survey respondents believe small businesses are fully protected online, while 29 percent of respondents admit to abandoning a transaction because of security concerns. Conversely, 70 percent of the respondents claim that they are likely to spend more money with a business that shows it takes steps to enhance its online security.
Luckily, a new service from 1 &1 and SiteLock provides better protection to websites that are built with hand-coding or open-source applications. Typically these types of sites carry higher security risks because simple mistakes, such as forgetting to close a parentheses when entering code or not applying updates to an open-source application, can leave the site vulnerable. However, the new SiteLock feature enables 1 &1 clients to scan their site for design vulnerabilities, so they can stay informed about their online security levels. Additionally, the feature comes with a shield icon to display on websites to show both hackers and customers that the site is protected.