Investigating customer-facing security features on South African e-commerce websites

Deen Brandreth, Jacques Ophoff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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E-commerce websites often store sensitive customer information and there is the impression that customers are not as concerned about protecting their data as they should be. Instead they often choose convenience over security. There are those who argue that e-vendors do not provide the necessary environment to adequately protect their customers’ data by utilizing multi-factor authentication and by providing customer support that educates and encourages customers to follow security best practices. This study develops criteria to evaluate website security and goes on to investigate how the top 20 South African e-commerce websites perform against this. The results show that multi-factor authentication is underutilized and security in the form of password-based authentication can be improved. Furthermore, despite many customer support channels and resources, there is little emphasis placed on educating and encouraging customers to follow security best practices. The results suggest areas for security improvement in order to build trust in e-commerce websites.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation and Cyber Security
Subtitle of host publication19th International Conference, ISSA 2020, Pretoria, South Africa, August 25–26, 2020, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsHein Venter, Marianne Loock, Marijke Coetzee, Mariki Eloff, Jan Eloff, Reinhardt Botha
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783030660390
ISBN (Print)9783030660383
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2020
Event19th International Conference on Information Security - virtual conference, Pretoria, South Africa
Duration: 25 Aug 202026 Aug 2020
Conference number: 19th

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference19th International Conference on Information Security
Abbreviated titleISSA 2020
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
Internet address


  • E-commerce
  • Security features
  • Account creation
  • Login
  • Security management


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