The pandemic saw a rapid increase in the number of eCommerce stores and the number of people who are vulnerable online. While people shopping online are more computer literate than they were 5 years ago, and security has improved, there are still ways that you can help your customers feel safe using your website.

There are simple ways that you can test your site to ensure that your eCommerce is safe, secure and trusted.

Use Antivirus Software to Check Site

Testing your site for viruses on a regular basis is one of the best ways to protect your site for customers. An online store must be secured from debit and credit card scams, domain name and subdomain name takeovers, and other illegal activity. You can also encourage your customers to be proactive.

Smart tools, like McAfee antivirus software, can help to protect online shoppers from malicious sites that can contain:

  • Phishing scams: Duplicitous emails sent to online users that are designed to trick people into falling for a scam to reveal financial information, system credentials, or other sensitive data.
  • Spyware: Software downloaded without the user’s consent that harvests sensitive personal information and sends it to advertisers or cyber criminals.
  • Adware: Pop-ups that might be infected with malware.
  • Viruses: Pieces of code that can copy themselves and typically slow your system or destroy data.

Most antivirus software can be downloaded fast and runs in the background to protect a system from malware and phishing. Most such software is compatible with a number of search engines and applies automatic updates when new threats are detected.

The Google Transparency Report

Google’s Safe Browsing technology crawls billions of web addresses daily, searching for unsafe or unverified sites. Google crawlers discover thousands of sites daily that have been compromised. Pop-ups warn people who click on a site that the engine believes to be unsafe or for any other reason is not trusted by the engine. Users can also search specific URLs to see if a site has been compromised.

Testimonials and Reviews

Customers usually leave reviews or send testimonials. As an eCommerce, you can post your own reviews, but people might also go to Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor or other sites that are relevant to your industry to leave a review. You will not have control over these reviews, but you can comment or enter a discussion with customers. Businesses that have been operating for many years but have a small online presence can indicate a few things, such as a small business with a close network of loyal customers or a site that perhaps is not legitimate.

The Value of a Social Media Presence

Most online shoppers know to check for your social media presence as a sign of legitimacy. It is important for eCommerce merchants not only to ensure that information and branding are consistent across all channels used by the brand (with appropriate links on the website home age) but also to post regular updates, blogs and other information that connects customers with the brand.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests that online shoppers should look for the following elements on a brand’s website to check for authenticity:

  • Poor engagement with followers
  • Accounts with poor or no content and stock or recycled images
  • Fake reviews
  • Lack of transparency about who runs the account
  • Links to phishing scams and malware
  • Review the company’s contact and about info

Your website should have a clear contact page with an address, email and phone number. The better your contact page, including a map and email form, the better it appears to your customers who are looking for signs of legitimacy, as well as making it easy for customers to contact you.

Check the padlock in the address bar

Your eCommerce site’s credentials are an important indicator to a customer that your site is safe. Often, hackers will use URLs that are very close to your real URL, with perhaps a letter dropped or added. Customers know to look for the padlock on the address bar, which is a sign that your site is safe.

When customers click the padlock and look at the drop-down menu information such as if the site has a valid SSL certificate (which verifies that the web address belongs to the company), how many cookies are in use, other site settings, and whether customer data is secured on the site.

While the padlock symbol is not a definitive indication that a site is secure, it is still considered an indication that a site is secure.


Exploring the Website

Your eCommerce website should look professional, polished, complete and error-free. Any typos, grammar errors, poor-quality images, and or poor design elements are indicators that your website is not to be trusted.

Red flags for shoppers should include one-page sites, no contact information, no policies and a lack of in-depth information or a way to find out more information direct from the business.

Verify the website’s trust seal

Certified authorities create trust seals to confirm the legitimacy of a site. Depending on the region in which your eCommerce operates, different authorities will issue different trust seals that indicate that your eCommerce operates according to their standards. If you are certified with a trust seal, you should be taken to a link to a webpage that verifies the authenticity of the trust seal.


To secure your customer’s trust online, you must prove that you are trustworthy. By understanding what customers look for on your website and social media, you know what elements to offer so that they engage with your eCommerce and become loyal customers.