Why Public Data Breaches Cost Your Site Money (and What You Can Do About It)

Let’s start with the obvious: security breaches are bad for business. They puncture sterling brand reputations, can run up steep legal and security consulting fees, and are a time-consuming headache to remediate.

Far less obvious (and much more damaging) is that breaches actually harm all websites, including ones that haven’t been breached. How? Data breaches create a climate of fear where nearly all Internet users have security concerns, no matter what site they’re on. People are worried that links may be malicious, ads may be malvertisements, and that sites could be phishing scams.

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All of that explains why nearly 1 in 5 shopping carts are abandoned because of security concerns. Many if not most of those sites were safe, but these days, if you don’t take steps to show consumers they’re safe, they’ll assume the worst.

That’s why replacing that customer fear with customer trust is essential, and why any steps you can take to build trust are so valuable. Below, we’ll show you the steps to restore the faith of cautious customers by showing them your business is trustworthy.

1. Get real humans to endorse you

Make sure to get positive quotes from customers and display them prominently on your home page! This should quickly put to rest any doubts people may have about your reliability. Bonus points if you include their picture next to the quote.

2. Good press is good press

Display any noteworthy press from media outlets with name brand cachet, and be sure to include the logos from the news companies. People will implicitly trust your site knowing your business has been reported on by a trustworthy news organization.

3. Market your security

This one is a no brainer. Given that the problem is security fears, it’s common sense that you should let people know your security is top notch. A highly effective way of doing this is by displaying the McAfee SECURE trustmark.

The trustmark lets visitors know that McAfee, a highly trusted third-party, has tested and certified the security of your site. In the past, A/B tests have shown the trustmark to increase conversions by more than 10%!

4. Transparency is key

This one is multi-step because transparency is so broad (and so crucial).

4.1 Clear pricing

No one likes sticker shock, especially about shipping cost, taxes and fees. Be upfront when you display your prices, otherwise people may feel you aren’t an upfront business person.

4.2 Be accessible

You should display your contact information on a separate page, and include a physical address if possible.

4.3 Live chat

Providing people the option to talk through any problems with a live representative shows you’re responsive and on top of things—in other words, the kind of business they can trust with sensitive personal and financial information.

4.4 Employee pictures

A picture is worth…a lot more than a thousand words. Include pictures of your employees to foster a connection with your customers, and show them the real people behind the business.

5. Clean Up Your Website

Although they may not seem important, little problems—meaning slow loading pages, broken links, and 404 errors—make a bad impression on visitors. If someone doesn’t care enough to fix a broken link, the thinking goes, what steps are they taking to keep my personal information safe? First impressions go a long way, so make sure yours is a good one.

If you’re a McAfee SECURE certification subscriber, a very easy (and cheap) way to solve these problems is with TrustedSite Pro. Not only does it locate these types of errors so you can easily fix them, but it also helps you improve your performance in Google search results!

Final thoughts

Security breaches are scary, and are something many businesses don’t like thinking about (neither do we, honestly). But dealing with customer doubts is just a part of doing business online. The companies that excel at making people feel safe will have a huge leg up—so make sure you’re on of them!