A guide to securing your WooCommerce store from security vulnerabilities and the most famous scams
WooCommerce store from security
Due to the ease of use of WooCommerce and the provision of all the options that any online store owner aspires to, WooCommerce has become today one of the most used plugins for designing and launching online stores with WordPress.
Although it is easy to use and saves a lot of time to launch your own store, it is important to work on securing the store from frauds as well as security vulnerabilities, and it does not end only at the moment the website is launched online.
In this article, we first show you the most important protection measures against security vulnerabilities that a hacker may exploit to carry out an attack on the store, steal data, or completely disable the store.
Then, we talk about the most famous frauds, as well as possible security holes in online stores, so this article will serve as a reference for fully securing and protecting WooCommerce stores.
Is WooCommerce safe to launch online stores?
WooCommerce has a large percentage of the number of electronic stores operated by it via the Internet, exceeding millions, and its demand is increasing day after day due to the many strengths it enjoys, as it saves a lot of time for developers in developing and programming electronic stores.
In addition to the high level of security in the Allo Commerce system, where WooCommerce and WordPress are updated regularly to counter any sabotage attacks or hacking attempts sought by saboteurs from all over the world.
Despite the high degree of security enjoyed by WordPress as well as WooCommerce, the process of securing the store does not end here, as the store owner must always work to fend off any potential attacks by applying security measures to the store to protect the store’s data as well as customer data from theft or exposure. to defraud.
Therefore, the security of your online store ultimately depends on your keenness to clean the site from unreliable plugins and templates, as well as to carry out periodic updates to the system and the rest of the security and protection measures that we talk about in the following paragraphs.
And we had published an article in which we talked about the procedures that you must take if your site has already been hacked, as the article provides you with important tips and recommendations to take in this case.
Securing your WooCommerce store from scratch
The specific risks of WordPress stores are divided into risks resulting from technical and programming vulnerabilities on the site. There are also risks related to the procedures that the customer takes during the purchase and payment phase inside the store, so we start with you with the most important security measures that help protect your store from security and software vulnerabilities, then in the paragraphs Next we talk about the cheats that can be done from the user interface.
- Choose a secure web hosting: Choosing a secure hosting is the first step towards owning a sufficiently secure online store, so focus well on choosing a hosting company that has a good reputation among its users and security systems that always work in the interest of protecting your site from all hacking operations.
- Take care of the backup copy: One of the most important security and protection measures that you must take constantly is where backup copies help facilitate the retrieval of site data and files in the event of data theft or destruction of the entire site.
- Installing an SSL certificate: An SSL certificate adds an extra layer of security and protection to your online store, so don’t neglect to install a strong security certificate.
- Protection from blind force attack : One of the most dangerous attacks that e-stores are exposed to on WordPress specifically, and you have an article that talks about protection from blind force attack on WooCommerce stores and ways to protect from it.
- Choose strong passwords : There is no justification for using weak and easy-to-predict passwords in a world that has become riddled with widespread security hacks and scams, so don’t use weak or duplicate passwords.
- Installing security plugins : There are many plugins for securing and protecting WordPress sites, and it is enough to use one of the WordPress security plugins , which helps you detect any fraud or data theft that takes place within your site, which adds a good layer of security to your site.
- Update WordPress regularly: WordPress provides you with ready-made periodic updates, and you only need to apply WordPress updates to your site to protect your online store from malicious security vulnerabilities.
- Beware of pirated templates : Due to the wide and large use of the WordPress system in the world, so you find dozens of sites that offer you paid plugins and templates for free and for free, and the goal of publishing these paid templates for free to large numbers of users may be to plant malicious files inside the codes The source of these templates and add-ons to exploit them to launch sabotage campaigns or benefit from the data of those sites, so always try to adhere to the official sources of templates and add-ons within the store and stay away from pirated templates and add-ons .
The most famous scams and how to protect WooCommerce stores from them
After we got acquainted with the most famous procedures for securing and protecting the online store from the technical security vulnerabilities of the store, we now show you the most famous fraud and fraud operations that many shop owners are exposed to daily, and ways to address these fraudulent cases.
1. Store customers identity theft
One of the most famous fraud attempts that take place within the online store on an almost daily basis in many online stores around the world is stealing the identity of customers registered within the site.
In this case, the vandal steals the login data of one or some of the customers registered on the site, and then logs into the customer’s account and completes the orders using the customer’s payment method, and thus the customer becomes a victim of this procedure.
In this type of fraud, the customer often submits a request to recover his money, and in most cases the money is actually recovered, and the store owner is the biggest loser in that case.
In order to avoid this type of fraud, it is preferable to use a secure payment gateway that provides high levels of security and protection during payment on the order completion page inside the store, as some payment gateways provide a way to confirm the purchase process using OTP messages, where a message containing a code is sent to confirm the payment process to the customer and the process is not completed Pay only after entering the security code successfully.
2. Purchases using stolen payment cards
Vandals do not tire of looking for devious ways to carry out fraud operations that they carry out on electronic stores, and purchases made using stolen payment cards are considered one of the most famous of these fraudulent operations that your online store may be exposed to one day.
In this case, the fraudulent process may not be noticed easily, because the thief creates an account inside the store and may agree to the terms and conditions with open arms as well, and when he makes a purchase for one or some products inside the store, he enters payment card data stolen from another person without his knowledge.
Purchases made with stolen payment cards often succeed, but you can counter this type of fraud by coordinating with the company you deal with to install the payment gateway inside your store, as any payment process made with a payment card belonging to a country other than the country from which the customer enters can be canceled or rejected To the store, you can also activate OTP messages that are sent to the cardholder’s phone number to confirm the payment process successfully and without problems.
3. Merchants deceive customers
If you have a multi-vendor store, you are exposed to this type of fraud, in which one of the merchants registered in the store displays some fake basket on the store, and the customer purchases the fake product and completes the payment process.
In this case, the customer pays for a product that only sees his image, and in the end he discovers that there is no real product to receive.
This type of fraud has been exposed to many companies, even major companies such as Amazon, which allow multiple merchants and sellers on its platform, but Amazon has reduced this type of fraud through interview procedures as well as face-to-face video calls with new sellers wishing to register on the platform to start selling. Selling with real and known identities.
You can address this type of fraud by verifying the identities of the registered sellers within your store and do not register anyone who is unknown or unsure of his true identity because in the end it is the store owner who suffers from the negative evaluations of the store as well as requests for refunds.
4. Catching the personal data of the store’s customers
You should not assume that all customers registered in the store have sufficient awareness of the procedures for protecting and securing their data via the Internet, as some saboteurs send emails to your customers in the name of the store and ask them to send sensitive data in order to review the data and confirm their membership within the store.
In this case, the saboteurs can capture the data of the e-store customers through these fraudulent messages, and thus this data can be used to make purchases using the customers’ payment data.
This type of fraud can be addressed by sending mail messages to the customers of your store warning them against dealing with any postal or text messages or any messages asking them for personal data or for their accounts inside the store in addition to alerting them that the store does not ask its customers to confirm the data except through communication channels Know and clarify the channels of communication between you and your customers in order to increase their awareness and prevent any fraudulent attempts to steal or hunt for their data.
5. False or fraudulent requests for store products
This type of fraud is akin to theft, as in this case, saboteurs complete purchase orders from within the store using fake delivery data, and when the representative arrives with the product, the product is stolen from him without paying the price, and the matter may develop into more than that.
There are some simple ways to address this type of fraud, the most famous of which is to make a phone call to the customer who requested the order, and the call is recorded while confirming the order with him before shipping the product, and thus you have an audio recording that shows the voice of the person requesting the order.
It is also possible to implement a system to confirm the phone numbers that customers add to their accounts inside the store, so that it does not allow vandals to register random or deceptive phone numbers, and thus reduces the possibility of placing fake orders on products inside the store.
6. Defrauding trusted customers into purchasing products
One of the operations that you are expected to encounter within your online store is that one of the store’s customers orders more than once without any problems until he completes more than one successful legitimate purchase within the store.
After that, the customer himself completes an order for a large amount and pays using his payment card. Then, after receiving the order, he files a complaint that his payment card has been stolen and denies the entire purchase process in order to recover the full amount of the purchase for the order he made.
Of course, this is the most difficult scam to deal with, and as they say, the stab that comes from those you trust is the most severe.
You can work to avoid such frauds by coordinating with the shipping companies by ensuring that the customer signs the receipt invoice or any other confirmation method confirming the customer’s receipt of the medicine or confirming that any other person has received the medicine so that he can refer back to him if he is exposed to this kind of fraud.
7. Display products that affect your store’s reputation
One of the fraudulent operations that are carried out in order to damage the reputation of the online store only and do not aim to steal products.
If you have a multi-vendor store, it is likely that a competitor will create a seller account within the online store, and after successfully activating his account, he will add a lot of products randomly, whether by adding imaginary prices or adding unreal product images or other data or products that may affect negatively. on the store’s reputation.
This type of fraud is considered one of the easiest frauds that you can confront by verifying the identity of any new merchant by requesting registration as a seller in the store and verifying his data, in addition to developing a solid system to review all products that are added to the store.
Measures to protect the store from security vulnerabilities and fraud
Now you have formed a good view of the most famous scams that your online store is likely to be exposed to, and as you have noticed, almost all frauds are not due to WooCommerce being insufficiently secure, but due to some tricks and loopholes that vandals try to exploit in order to gain access to Executing sabotage operations or theft and fraud.
In the following paragraphs, we give you some tips regarding the security measures that you can start to secure your online store from fraud and security breaches.
1. Applying a security scan for the online store
There are a lot of tools and programs that provide you with the ability to conduct a comprehensive security scan of the store to identify the security gaps in the store and its pages, and thus it is possible to work on filling these gaps and fixing them before a vandal enters and exploits them to his advantage in stealing data or carrying out fraudulent operations inside the store.
There are many security scanning programs such as the intruder service, as well as the upguard service, which provides you with a free period to try it and perform a security scan of the store that provides you with very accurate and useful data about security vulnerabilities within your store and the most important recommendations for fixing and eliminating them.
2. Enable two-step verification when members log in
Two-step verification is one of the security procedures that major companies have begun to apply to their electronic systems, as it prevents a large percentage of fraud operations that take place on the Internet.
Enabling two-step verification in WordPress is one of the easiest security things you can do, as there are many plugins that do this, such as Google Authenticator , which helps you activate two-step verification for members of your online store in very simple steps.
3. Checking the customer’s address to receive orders
One of the security measures and the protection of customer data within the store is to verify the delivery address that customers place within their account in the store.
Some local and international banks also provide this service, where the customer’s address inside the store is matched with the address registered in the bank issuing the payment card, and the purchase can be rejected if the order’s address does not match the address of the person registered in his bank.
4. Track the geographical location of your store’s customers
Many online stores are now asking the customer’s permission to track the geographical location, in order to discover logins that are made on customers’ accounts from unknown or unreliable places.
Geographical location tracking is useful in adding a good layer of protection for customer data inside the store and the possibility of refusing logins that take place from unreliable or unusual places for the customer to enter from, as it is possible to refuse login in this case and send a notification to the customer to secure his account and confirm the data.
5. Require users to use strong passwords
Many customers and online store users are not aware of the security measures that they must take to secure their data online.
Show special notices using strong passwords to your customers within the login form or new membership registration form in the store.
We provided useful information to customers about how to create a strong password that is difficult to crack, such as adding special symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters, and the password should not be less than 8 characters, for example.
6. Install and activate one of the WordPress security plugins
Using a WordPress security plugin is one of the important security measures that help you reduce fraud that can take place within your online store.
WordPress security plugins are very useful for securing your online store from possible hacking operations, as they can send you reports about hacking attempts that took place within the store, and the IP addresses from which these sabotage attempts were made.
In addition, it sends you alerts about suspicious activities that take place within the store, which helps you track any suspicious activity in the store and work to address it before incurring any losses.
In the end, securing WooCommerce stores has become one of the important measures that the store owner must pay sufficient attention to, due to the increased possibility of exposure to malicious attacks via the Internet.
Do not wait for the moment when the hack occurs and start from now and review the level of security within your store and be sure to implement all the security measures that we talked about in the article to secure your store from any fraud or expected hack because this may cause significant financial losses in addition to the reputation of the store that is negatively affected fraud and hacking.
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