Ecommerce sites can look forward to overstuffed stockings this holiday season. Holiday sales are expected to increase by at least 4 percent this year, for an anticipated total of $1.04 trillion – and for the first time, online spending is expected to exceed in-store sales. In fact, consumers plan to spend 51 percent of their holiday shopping budget online, compared to 42 percent in stores.

Despite these trends, a recent study by SiteLock shows that nearly one in three online shoppers do not plan to shop online at all during the holidays.

Unfortunately, their fears are justified. SiteLock found that 27 percent of consumers worry about their information being compromised, and with good reason. The average website experienced 63 attacks per day in Q2 2017 – up from an average of 22 attacks per day in 2016. Many of these attacks include malware, which is software created for malicious purposes – such as stealing sensitive customer information. If you haven’t noticed any attacks hitting your eCommerce site, don’t be surprised. Recent trends indicate that malware is becoming more deceptive and difficult to detect. Out of six major malware trends identified in Q2 2017, four specialized in quietly breaching a site and maintaining a hidden presence. And don’t expect your customers to see evidence of malware on your site – 23 percent of infected malware files include a backdoor file, which allows cybercriminals to enter and exit your site without your knowing. It’s no wonder consumers worry about shopping online because they think their information will be compromised, as it could very well happen without any warning. Even more concerning, if your customers find out your site was at fault, you can also count on losing their business. In fact, 65 percent of respondents who have had information stolen or compromised due to online shopping no longer shop online or refuse to return to the site where their information was compromised, which is a loss most online retailers – especially small businesses – can’t afford.

A secure shopping cart isn’t enough to protect your website from attacks and safeguard consumer information. Fortunately, you can easily secure your site and resolve consumer fears in time for the holiday rush. SiteLock survey results reveal that 52 percent of respondents say a store that provides a secure payment network makes them feel more confident. As an online retailer, there are a few things you can do to help prepare yourself and protect your customers. For example, become PCI Compliant if you haven’t already. You’ll reduce the risk of fraud for your customers while avoiding a hefty fine that might cost you $100,000 or more. You can also use a website scanner to proactively check for malware or use a web application firewall with a CDN to help speed up your website and ensure only legitimate traffic hits your website.

Relieve your customers’ fears of shopping online this holiday season by taking proactive security measures, and ensure happy holidays for both your customers and your business!