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Is Shopify Safe? How Secure is Shopify Ecommerce Platform?

Is Shopify Safe? How Secure is Shopify Ecommerce Platform?

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author Artur Shevchenko

Shopify Expert in building themes and stores

time

12 min

Yup. This review focuses on the data security of online store users and also provides a constructive answer to the following question: is Shopify safe?

Reliability of your online store as well as security of the transactions are a pledge of stable sales, relations of trust between the company and the customer, and also prevention of your business financial loss.

There are two basic requirements in the field of online sales as for user and bank data:

1. The customer must feel protected from the moment he enters his credit card details up till he receives the goods;

2. The seller must be sure that the sale is made by an adequate solvent person who knowingly purchases.



This is the task of security systems. Let's see what problems threaten eCommerce stores and their customers, and what Shopify payment security system can offer when such problems arise.

What security problems do online store owners face?

Personal data of the users are the information that the attackers seek to obtain for their purposes. About the ways how they can get such information you can read below.

Phishing

Phishing allows the fraudsters to get your credit card details as well as login or password information. For instance, you received an e-mail with the following text: “Our bank provides you with a bonus of 15% for your relation to our brand”. Then you click the link of the familiar bank service you use. The only difference is that it is a seemingly identical copy that is located on the scam server. You enter your login and password, thereby giving these data to the fraudsters and then losing the money that was on your account. This is exactly how it happens.

According to Wikipedia, in the United States in 2008, 5 million buyers were victims of phishing. Every user who makes online purchases and transactions need to know about all of that.

What to do?

Do not follow the links of suspicious emails, do not disclose your usernames, passwords and credit card numbers to anyone, even to the bank employees. They do not have the right to request such information from you.

Below you can see an example of a phishing email:

Pharming

The next thing that can cause your data loss is pharming. This is a type of phishing, but only with a virus on the user's computer. The mechanism redirects the user to a bogus ip-address in order to obtain his banking data. Most often, a user-launched malware replaces one ip-address with another.

How to fight? Use the security of your mailbox, disable preview and do not read e-mails from unknown recipients.

Online Store Platform Vulnerability

This is a fairly common problem. Let’s illustrate a situation with one of our clients. We were working on an online store that had been hacked because of a malfunction of one of the platform components. So the experts found that the current database and files on the hosting were infected with the viruses. It took 7 hours to clear the server of viruses and restore the latest database dump, along with the files on the server. As you can conclude, this was a serious system failure that resulted in loss of both time and data.

Infection of the site with the viruses occurs due to poor quality or irregular support by the developers. It usually happens when working with free eCommerce platforms, that’s why we opt for Shopify.

Authentication

Both a customer and a seller must clearly identify each other through an email confirmation as well as basic data set, i.e.: name, phone number, address. In such eCommerce platforms like Shopify, there are reliable algorithms that point the owner to a suspicious order.

SSL certificate is a modern standard of data security for the users. It protects user data from interception by the third parties, encrypts the data in a certain way and transmits them to the server.

Do you need it? Absolutely, you do.

Fault tolerance and server attacks

Your online store must withstand a large flow of visitors and secure you against mass spam attacks.

A rather typical picture, when a newly founded online store is picking up, and the traffic gets into the Google index. This is a great achievement, if not for one thing. Along with the increase in traffic, your store is affected by the spammers who send millions of requests to your server. This leads to the fact that the server of your store fails to bear such increased loads and falls. Thus, your success can play tricks on you.

Is Shopify safe?

Insert a picture made by our designer, such as ShopFay

We have a standing dialogue with both our sellers and buyers from various eCommerce platforms online stores. And we get a common question about purchasing: is Shopify safe? Let's see.

Shopify is an eCommerce platform designed for small and medium business owners. Not all the users have the opportunity to spend most of their budget for the website support. Therefore, for the effective and stable Shopify secure payments, the platform developers have created automated mechanisms that monitor data security and payment transfers.

Shopify store security system

How secure is Shopify payment?

The problem of Shopify Security covers 2 groups of stakeholders: the buyers and the owners of online stores. It is important to secure both of these categories, and not just to provide remedies for only one of them. There is an opinion that the level of your online store security depends on the tariff plan. That is not true: no matter what your tariff is, you get an equally high level of security.

All the plans, ranging from $ 29 per month up to the most expensive ones have the same security standards. You do not need to install clever applications, set up server parameters for a long time, manually set ssl certificates, or call the FBI group to help you secure your store. There is only one small point about the Plus plan.

In this tariff plan, you get much better security because it provides the processing of a large mass of information. The server needs to withstand the maximum number of visits that the users perform at the same time.

Security standards

PCI compliance is the data security standard for the payment card industry, developed by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Board and established by the international payment systems such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, and Discover. Without this standard we cannot imagine modern e-commerce, since it implies an integrated approach to ensure the information security of payment card data.

Shopify is certified according to the Level 1 PCI DSS standard. It means that the stores are equipped with data encryption tools, protection of Shopify payment transfers, prevention of viruses at the servers, risk analysis tools as well as constant security monitoring. The buyer and the seller are already secured at the stage of transactions and card data entry.

SSL certificate

Also, for effective data protection, every Shopify store is equipped with a free 256-bit SSL certificate. This is 256 bit encryption, which is considered one of the most reliable. The cipher looks like this: 115,792,089,237,316,195,423,570,985,008,687,907,853,269,984,665,640,564,039,
457,540,007,913,129,639,936 (78 digits of possible combinations).

This principle is based on the Public / Private Key Pair approach. Encryption in 256 bits means that an attacker will have to make only 2 out of 256 attempts to crack a key that looks like a 78-digit number. Consequently, there is a 2-bit key. Therefore, it will have 2 2 (4) digits - 00, 01, 10 and 11. Thus, a 256-bit key can have 2,256 (index on top) possible combinations.

Theoretically, it is possible to guess this number, but practically it is unreal.

Server fault tolerance

Every Shopify store owner receives technical and customer support from the platform developers on a 24/7 basis. We can confirm this statement basing on our personal experience. For 2.5 years of working with this platform, we have faced only a few global service crashes, which were corrected within an hour. You can see the statistics here  - status.shopify.com.This link shows the current status of the platform and Shopify security issues that have been fixed. The servers are constantly stable and withstand heavy loads.

Shopify fraud analysis or is Shopify transaction safe?

Fraud analysis is a Shopify data protection system. This feature functions in every online store.
help.shopify.com/en/manual/orders/fraud-analysis. It consists of a number of indicators that are collected into a single system: ip-address, location of the buyer, shipping address, the number of registration attempts, etc.

Thanks to this feature, you can detect a suspicious order from the fraudsters. Below you can read  the scenarios of different situations.

So you got the order. Then, in the Fraud Analysis tab, you receive the information that 10 attempts to place an order from different credit card numbers have been made, and the customer’s IP address is in the list of the spammers.

Let’s suppose you have received a payment for this order, and you do not care that the goods may not be picked up. The development of this situation may be as follows:

Scenario 1: After receiving the payment, the card data was stolen. The cardholder applies to you for a refund, because he did not make this purchase. You will have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out the situation, and later, return the money to the cardholder.

Scenario 2: You are already aware of this scenario, so when you receive a suspicious order, pay attention to these signals and get in touch with the buyer. After clarifying the features of the order, you get that this is not a fraudster, but a buyer who just does not know how to use an online store or has some connection problems. The reasons may be different, but due to the proper reaction to the warning, you have secured yourself and the client from a troubling situation.

Conclusion

So, is Shopify safe for customers or is buying from Shopify safe? Yes, indeed. Customer sales and the reputation of the platform depend on how secure is Shopify.  That’s why the developers strictly follow it. If you want your online store data to be safe and to avoid the situations when your data suddenly disappear, you’d rather choose the Shopify platform. If you are already working with this platform and you have certain difficulties or maybe questions, our experts would be pleased to assist you.  Fill in the form and our Shopify Consultant will help you determine the ways of increasing professional growth.

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