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Keeping your online shop secure

Internet shopping is becoming more and more popular, with an increasing number of companies offering online shops in addition to their traditional retail outlets. But when setting up an online shop, you need to take steps to guarantee security. Here’s our checklist.

25 September 2019, author: Natascha Fabian, photo: Helvetia

sitting woman with laptop

An online shop alongside a traditional retail outlet offers retailers a great opportunity. However, it also brings new risks, since the entire purchase process takes place online.

Taking preventive measures to minimize risks 

What can you do if the customer isn’t paying? Or if the shop is attacked by hackers? The following measures can help you minimize these risks.


  • Define payment deadlines and stipulate them in your general terms and conditions.
  • Use established payment channels such as banks and credit card companies.
  • Monitor your outstanding payments regularly.

Online shop technology: 

  • Keep your web application up to date.
  • Use encryption to make sure that customers’ personal details remain secure during transactions on your website.
  • Install a web application firewall.
  • Have your website security checked regularly by an expert.
  • Make backups of your website and any databases on a regular basis.

Online shops are also a common target for hackers who want to access customer or credit card details. In this respect, the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation specifies strict regulations that shop owners need to be aware of.

Safeguard against residual risk 

Despite preventive measures, there is always a residual risk. This is why it’s important to protect yourself accordingly. Helvetia recommends that all SMEs with an online shop take out residual debt insurance to insure themselves against customer payment defaults. In addition to standard public and professional liability insurance – that all SMEs should have – Helvetia also advises taking out cyber insurance. This insurance covers damage to third parties, for example, if hackers gain access to your online shop. It also covers policyholder losses, e.g. restoring your shop and covering any loss of earnings due to a cyber-attack. You should also check whether you require any other insurance, such as for transport, IT infrastructure or company inventory.

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