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What Is PCI Compliance And SSL Certificates?

March 9, 2013

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If you are expanding your online business, then you may consider using credit cards as an option for your customers to pay with. Since credit card information is highly confidential as it involves money transactions, you should protect it at all cost. The nature of the information is already classified. The thing is that it gets more complicated and scarier when the internet is part of it. Though the World Wide Web is prone to hacks, information breaches and interferences, there are still solutions created to somehow address security issues online.

When it comes to businesses online involving credit cards, concepts on PCI compliance and SSL Certificates are being discussed. These two factors have become part of the online businesses in terms of security concerns regarding the usage of credit card information. Some focus on these essential things, but there are still others who are not familiar with the risks that they may encounter due to the lack of understanding about them.

What You Need To About PCI Compliance

PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance is used to ensure that all the businesses and institutions that make credit card transactions maintain security when processing, storing and transmitting credit card information. It is basically used as requirements to ensure a secure environment for operations involving the payment of credit cards. Credit card providers have made a set of requirements to keep the information secure. Failure to comply will lead to charges. Thus, you need your online business to be PCI compliant. In order to avoid penalties, charges and legal issues, you need to follow several things.Your business will be PCI compliant if:

You keep your network secure

Even if you own a small business, you are still required to handle information securely. Small and large businesses have some things in common and one thing that they share is the use of information. If it is transmitted and processed online without high-level security, then chances would be security risks such as theft, fraud and information breaches will become very difficult to handle. When keeping your network secure, you have to focus on a safe network by protecting data, maintain information policy regarding security, testing and maintaining the network regularly, considering access measures and addressing vulnerability issues.

You protect the information

When processing highly confidential information such as credit card information, encryption should be included to avoid security threats. Keep in mind that the information should be only accessed by certain people.

You follow vulnerability management program

You must update your anti-virus or security software regularly to determine malicious and destructive programs as well as hackers. If you overlook this matter, then you will surely suffer from it and your business might shutdown.

You have to monitor your network and the information used

Monitoring the users who access the information is part of being PCI compliant.

You need to follow a security policy

You have to inform your employees in charge of the credit card operations the importance of information security. You have to educate them about the security policy to understand their responsibilities.

 If you own a small business, then there are simplified PCI guidelines for you to follow. Some considerations include:

  • Avoid storing customer PANs. Even those that are encrypted are prone to target. If you do not store it, then your database server will not be much of a target. Though your customers may find it inconvenient, you still have to think that it is part of security measures.
  • You have to encrypt pages that gather credit card numbers.
  • Make sure that your webserver does not get rooted to prevent hackers from intercepting and decoding your secure transmissions.

SSL certificates : An Overview

SSL certificates or secure sockets layer are defined as a security protocol intended for protecting online communications including the protection of classified data such as credit card information. When processing credit card payments online, one must look for SSL certificates to check the validity and legitimacy of the website. The SSL certificates work by establishing SSL connection. Usually, it is done via the website browser or the prefix HTTPS:// found in the address bar. These digital certificates are made of scrambled secret keys to prevent stealing personal information from the clients and they are used to protect the network.

SSL certificates help online businesses as they make the customers feel secure when making purchases online. Customers will not continue making deals with you and buy your products online if they think that your website is not secure enough to handle and protect their personal information. Online customers will avoid you if you do not have SSL certificates in your website. Getting these certificates means greater possibilities of making sales. You, as an online business owner, must think of ways to attract as many customers as you can. One way to draw attention is making the customers feel that they are being protected.

Security is not a matter to be ignored when it involves personal information such as credit card details. Using the internet has several benefits. However, it is prone to security threats and you may find it destructive when you own an online business or you are a customer who wants to purchase items online. You need to make sure that you are dealing with people who can protect you. If you are buying products on the internet and you are using your credit card or debit card to pay for it, then you have to find a legitimate site that can secure your information. On the other hand, you need to consider getting SSL certificates and follow a set of requirements such as the PCI compliance if you have an online business and you consider payments via credit cards.

There are actually things to consider when getting involved in online transactions. Whether you are a businessperson or you are a customer, there are several factors that you have to take seriously. Everything related to online security should be your priority. The internet makes your life easier by dealing with simpler transactions online, but it will complicate your life if you do not follow some guidelines or security measures.

Know Your Guest Author:

David Wicks is a free lancer author of web servicing companies and he loves to write articles on various topics on web host, web hosting reviews of 2013, top web hosting and many more. He has spent around 8 to 10 years in this industry.

About the author 

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My name is Dilip. I am a fan of the internet and love the many opportunities that the world wide web provides. If used constructively , the internet can give you an opportunity to lead a life free of the 9-5 treadmill and will be able to give more time to your family members. Read about internet entrepreneurship at my blog.

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