What Does a Secure Web Page Look Like and Why Does It Matter?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

It’s no secret that your e-commerce checkout processes should be safeguarded. But what you might not have realized is that security should extend to every web page on your site.

Web page security isn’t something that happens naturally. Rather, it requires e-store owners to take a proactive, ongoing approach not only to make their web pages secure, but also to let customers know they’re trustworthy.

Why Secure Web Pages Matter, Regardless of Content

It’s become far too easy to approach web page security with complacency where there are no sensitive user or financial details at stake. All it takes is a single gap in defense and cyber attackers could infect your website with malware. What’s more, customers take notice of websites that appear un-secure and respond accordingly (i.e. they bounce!).

If you didn’t realize how much individual web page security can affect your e-commerce store, take a look at these top considerations:

Security Builds Trust

Which are you more likely to trust: a web page that loads as normal when clicked on, or a website that Google itself has labeled as Not Safe?

A recent update to Chrome indicates that Google will mark all websites that lack valid SSL as “not secure” to give customers a heads-up. Imagine what such a label would do to your sales!

Though shoppers may lack the technical knowledge of what makes a website secure, they understand the risks associated with unsecured web pages. One study notes that roughly 85% of shoppers will avoid a website that doesn’t look secure.

If you want your shoppers to become buyers, earning their trust gives you a better chance of closing in on the sale.

It Protects Sensitive Data

Credit card numbers aren’t the only type of sensitive data you collect. Any forms you use on your website, from email opt-ins to surveys, should also be treated with the same privacy as customer financial data.

It Reduces Your Risk

When your website is unsecured, and shoppers make a purchase or fill out a form, you’re putting their sensitive information at risk. If their information were to become compromised, you could be held liable.

Securing your website isn’t just to give your customers peace of mind. It’s also to ensure you remove as much risk as possible from potential damages to your business.

Secure Websites Tend to Rank Higher

Google stated last year it would give preference to websites that are secure. Though Google is often secretive about the specifics of its algorithm, the company has directly stated that security is a ranking factor businesses shouldn’t ignore.

5 Telltale Signs of a Secure Web Page

Most online users can visually verify whether a web page looks safe or not. The following criteria is used when evaluating a website for authenticity and security:

#1- The ‘S’ in https

The ‘s’ in ‘https’ stands for ‘secure.’ It indicates the website is using an SSL certificate (secure socket layer), which protects your data as it’s transferred from your browser to the website. Companies must go through a validation process to acquire an SSL certificate.

There are multiple layers of validation, with Domain Validation (DV) being the lowest and easiest to obtain and Extended Validation (EV) being the highest and most secure form. To get a DV certificate, the applicant must only prove they own the domain. But the EV certification requires proof of domain ownership AND their legitimacy as a business.

How can you tell which is which? Websites with the EV certificate are indicated by a green address bar with a padlock icon.

#2 – Trust Seals

Buzzwords like “Secured” or “Verified” on your web pages aren’t just for shows. They’re usually the sign of trust seals that proves you partnered with a security agency to protect your website.

They can indicate the last time your website was scanned for malware or other safety-related features.

However, it’s not enough to simply add an image of a trust seal. Users can and should be able to verify its authenticity to make sure it’s a real trust signal.

To prove its legitimacy, users can click the icon and be taken to a verification page.

#3 – The Presence of a Privacy Policy

Reputable companies are upfront about how they collect, store, and use visitor data. This is usually detailed at length in a privacy policy posted somewhere on the website.

Countries like Australia, Canada, and the EU have laws that require privacy policy details. But even if it weren’t mandatory, it still goes a long way in showing the website owner cares about protecting your data.

#4 – Company Contact Information

Legitimate companies will display their contact information, such as address and phone number, so shoppers know how to get in touch with questions or concerns. Studies show that nearly half of shoppers will leave a web page that doesn’t contain a phone number.

Adding other trust factors like a return policy, email address, and social media accounts can also help to raise shopper confidence in your business.

#5 – Lack of Malware Indicators

Even if you have an SSL certificate, trust badges, and contact information, your website could still be infected with malware.

Suspicious signs include outlandish pop-up offers, website defacement, multiple spelling or grammar errors, and odd or misplaced links (e.g., links in the comments section).

Only through diligent testing and exploration of your website will you be able to uncover issues. Scan your customer comments to ensure they remain legit and non-spammy. Try to avoid creating pop-ups or other elements that could be mistaken for malware. And always proofread your content prior to publishing.

Is Your Website Secure?

Which of the above security elements are you missing? It’s important you address any holes in your website security to avoid missing out on sales or impacting your reputation.

Our team at Glendale Designs can help you identify and correct any issues to your online security to give your customers the shopping experience they deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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