Website Security for National Small Business Week.

This year’s National Small Business Week is upon us, with 50 years of energy behind it. The occasion is sponsored by the US Small Business Association, celebrating how small businesses are critical to an economy of growth and job creation.

The most vital part of a smaller business is to sell what you produce, be it services or goods or a combination. As people turn to the web to find information, shop, and compare prices, it’s important to remember that at least 3 out of 5 of them will not actually buy anything, and are just visiting to look around and learn. There’s evidence from various polls and split testing that people tend to buy more when they feel secure about sharing financial information, which added to PCI compliance needs require a security solution appropriate for the business.

Determining an appropriate website security solution is one of the challenges of smaller businesses. If security isn’t your core business, your options include hiring a specialist to handle building a website, using a service that builds a site and/or transaction engine for you, or turning to an e-Hosting arrangement where a third party takes care of everything. It’s a challenge to oversee the security and execution of the build if you don’t know what questions to ask, or what tools to use to verify that the best practices were followed. So what does it take to make people feel secure and happy about buying? That’s the question on the lips of all the internet retail businesses.

As one platform providing e-commerce sites to SMB merchants, Yahoo! Small Business handles any e-commerce transactions via a Symantec SSL certificate issued to a domain. These merchants display the “Norton Secured” seal on their Yahoo-based pages. Other companies are following this business model as well, providing different levels of service that cater to the level of need (and experience) of the business. My advice would be to ask a lot of questions regarding SSL encryption and trust marks for any transactional websites. Trust drives confidence, and confidence drives conversions!

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