6 E-Commerce Security Pointers for Marketers and Consumers Alike
3. Two-factor authentication. Online businesses increasingly use “two-factor” authentication to provide access to end users’ accounts. This combines something the consumer knows, such as a user name and password, with something the consumer has, such as a unique, one-time security code.
This code is typically generated by a small, plastic token, credit card-shaped smart card or SMS-enabled mobile device. Because a two-factor-protected site requires both the user name and password combination coupled with the one-time code, the theft of one is useless without the other.
4. Checking in. Customers should have readily accessible ways to raise security concerns with an online retailer. Online businesses should make phone numbers, instant messaging attendants and/or feedback forms easily accessible. And concerned queries from customers should be addressed in a time-sensitive manner.
5. Checking out. Given that checkout is when online deals are consummated, use that interaction to nurture trust. Most well-run websites — such as Amazon or eBay — send printable order and shipping confirmation emails. These features assure customers that someone is watching out for them throughout the transaction.
6. Education. Finally, businesses should take on the responsibility of educating their customers on what to look for as they transact online. This takes online security beyond the measures you put in place and builds trusted relationships between merchants and consumers that'll pay dividends far beyond today’s purchases.
Tim Callan is the vice president of product marketing at VeriSign, an internet infrastructure services firm. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.