How To Navigate Cybersecurity Threats as an Amazon Seller: A Comprehensive Guide

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As an Amazon seller, you know digital marketplaces like the back of your hand. But amidst all the success and challenges, there’s danger—cybersecurity threats.

The world of e-commerce has opened the gates for you to reach customers all around the world.

When stepping into the business world, the first issue everyone faces is competition.

Your competitors are out in the open. The market impacts them. They have the same problems you do, and you are both playing a game of who’ll be better for the customer.

How can you fare against someone who’s been selling for longer, has better prices, or has more money for marketing?

That problem will pound at your head until you solve it. Then, out of nowhere, you find out about the bigger danger—cybercriminals.

Cybercriminals are different.

They break through your defenses when you make a mistake and wait for the perfect time.

Just when you think that you’ve made a massive profit, they can drain your account, steal information, and ruin your reputation.

That’s why cybersecurity is a critical aspect for your business to survive and thrive.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn how to navigate the treacherous waters and protect yourself and your customers.

Whether you’re a seasoned seller or new to Amazon, it doesn’t matter.

We’ll cover everything from the dangers lurking on cybersecurity threats to how to spot them and what to do if you make a mistake.

Let’s get into it.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Cybersecurity is Essential for Amazon Sellers: In the world of e-commerce, cybersecurity is crucial for both seasoned and new Amazon sellers to protect their businesses and customers.
  • Common Cybersecurity Threats: Familiarize yourself with common threats like phishing attacks, account hijacking, and malware to be better prepared.
  • Two-Step Verification: Enable two-step verification for added account security, making it difficult for hackers to gain access.
  • Strong Passwords: Create unique, complex passwords for each account and avoid common or easily guessable choices.
  • Regular Account Checks: Periodically review your email and phone details, users with account access, and notification settings to ensure they are up to date.
  • Beware of Phishing Emails: Amazon will never ask for sensitive information via email, so be cautious when receiving such requests and always check the email’s return address.
  • Never Click on Suspicious Links: Avoid clicking on links in emails and instead access your seller account directly through the official Amazon website.
  • Report Phishing Attacks: If you receive a suspicious email, report it to ‘stop-spoofing@amazon.com‘ to protect others from falling victim to scams.
  • Cyber Liability Insurance: Consider investing in cyber liability insurance to mitigate potential legal and financial consequences of data breaches.
  • Education and Training: Implement cybersecurity training for yourself and your employees to reduce the risk of human error in causing cyberattacks.

The Most Common Cybersecurity Threats

most common amazon cybersecurity threats

A calm sea never made a skilled sailor.

That’s how the saying goes, and it’s true in business. You’re out in the open as an Amazon seller, trying to catch customers.

You use marketing strategies and ads to lure them in and seal the deal with great prices.

When you transition into a new niche, you explore uncharted waters where new hidden dangers and cunning adversaries await.

The winds could change. Sharks could start circling. Or a pirate crew can decide to target you.

But in the modern world, the new pirates are the ones with hoodies and laptops instead of sporting flags of skulls and bones.

In this scenario, the hunter becomes the hunted because they’re out to get your spoils.

Here are some treacherous ways they use to jeopardize your Amazon empire.

Phishing Attacks

Sea references make a lot of sense when you discover that phishing is a spin on the word fishing.

Scammers and hackers will dangle a fake lure in front of you. That can come in the form of an ad, a website, or a legitimate email.

If you bite, you’ll give them the information they want: email, password, credit card, social security number, or other valuable data.

A phishing attack can happen in several ways, but most of the time, it happens through email. Scammers will register fake domains and pretend to be real organizations.

In this case, it will be Amazon support or customer service.

When creating a fake domain, they often combine the letters’ r’ and ‘n’ to make them look like an ‘m’.

So, instead of getting an email that ends with ‘amazon.com,’ you’ll get an email from ‘arnazon.com.’

In other cases, they make domains with Amazon in the URL.

An example is getting an email from ‘james@amazonsupport.com‘. You’ll see the original branding in the email, and you could bite by clicking on a link, downloading an attachment, or resetting your password.

You’d fall for the scam. Phishing attacks are the hardest to protect against, and we’ll cover how to spot them.

Account Hijacking

Your email is your treasure chest, and your humble password is the key that unlocks it.

Everything you do online gets monitored, and someone could trace your digital footprint. Keep your email protected because hackers can break it with brute force.

Account hijacking happens when a bot or a user takes control of your account and uses it to do harm. This includes your email, bank, and social media accounts.

If you’re not careful, you can help the hackers sail the seas of the internet by telling them where X marks the spot.

One example is sharing your passwords with employees over messaging apps. Another cause for plunder is using common phrases like ‘password,’ ‘123456‘, your surname, or pet.

To outwit a brute-force approach or guesses, you must add complexity to your passwords.

Combine a mix of numbers, special characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, or a phrase at the end. The longer it is, the better it is. That’s true for the plank on a ship and your password.

Malware and Ransomware

Think of malware as a disease that infects your devices and ruins your entire journey. Like catching a cold, you most likely won’t know where it came from or how it happened.

Most of the time, malware sneaks aboard through innocent-looking attachments, infected websites, or suspicious downloads.

Once it’s on your device, malware can steal data, disrupt operations, and sink your entire business to the bottom of the ocean.

However, this is the easiest attack to protect yourself from. A combination of antivirus software and a VPN is more than enough to be completely protected.

Virtual private networks hide your IP address from prying eyes and help you stay safe on public networks.

Even if a cybercriminal wants to attack you, they’d have to go through multiple layers of encryption just to get to your IP.

That’s a hard pass, and they’ll move on to a different target.

The antivirus will scan downloads for viruses and keep your device safe. Even if you mistakenly download an attachment with malicious code, the antivirus will find and remove it.

Learn How to Build Your Own 7-Figure Amazon FBA Business

Part of the Junglescout suite of excellent FBA tools, the learning academy is a comprehensive video training library containing hours of content, including training videos, webinars, and interviews with successful Amazon sellers.

Whether you’re just starting your business, or growing your brand, get expert training from Amazon sellers without the hefty price tag.

Navigating Cybersecurity Threats – Best Practices

It’s integral to follow the best practices to minimize cybersecurity threats.

Amazon is one of the safest websites in the world, which also means it’s a candy store for hackers and scammers.

It was like a feast for them when everybody was locked in their homes during the height of the pandemic.

Almost 400 million customers had their data exposed at that time, and twice as many retailers were targeted with attacks. Not knowing how to protect yourself online is a liability.

Here’s what to do to protect your account.

Step 1: Two-Step Verification

Two-step verification is step number one.

It’s an extra layer of security because you’ll need to physically open Google Authenticator on your phone. Even if someone breaks your password, they’ll need to steal your phone to log in.

As an added measure, install a remote wipe option in case that happens, so you can delete all information on your device if it gets physically stolen.

Step 2: Strong Password

The next thing is to set up a strong password.

Create a different one for each of your accounts. This is crucial. If you use the same password on all accounts, all it takes is one to fall, and all of them will be compromised.

Using a password manager and storing everything securely takes a few extra seconds.

You don’t use the same key to unlock your house and your car. Don’t do it with your password. Integrate long phrases, numbers, and symbols, and use uppercase and lowercase.

Never use your phone number as a password or other publicly known information.

Step 3: Check Email and Phone

Regularly check your email address and phone when you log in.

That doesn’t mean you should do it every time, but once a month is enough. Check if everything is up to date, and set an alarm or an entry in your calendar so you don’t forget about it.

Step 4: Separate Accounts for Users

If you have a team, every new user must have an account.

When you check your email and phone details, review the users who can access your account and delete the ones who don’t need it anymore.

Major corporations suffer breaches because employees make mistakes. Almost always, the cause of a cyberattack is human error.

Being careful about who you give access to and how they treat their devices is essential in this day and age.

Step 5: Notification Settings

Finally, set up your notification settings correctly.

Know which emails you subscribe to, and be wary of everything else that comes your way. Amazon never asks for sensitive information through email.

Only enter data on their website that you know is the official one. Never land on it through an external link because it can be a scam.

Type the URL manually. It will take a few more seconds of your time, and it will save you a lot of headaches later.

Pros and Cons of Cybersecurity for Amazon Sellers

Pros:

  1. Enhanced Cybersecurity Knowledge: Amazon sellers can gain a deeper understanding of cyber threats, risks, and attacks, empowering them to make informed decisions to protect their business from cybercrime.
  2. Protection Against Data Breaches: By implementing security measures and using cybersecurity tools, sellers can reduce the risk of data breaches that could compromise customer and corporate data.
  3. Improved Network Security: Strengthening network security safeguards sensitive information, ensuring a safe environment for conducting business on Amazon.
  4. Increased Customer Trust: Demonstrating a commitment to cybersecurity can enhance customers’ trust in the seller, encouraging them to make purchases with confidence.
  5. Prevention of Cyber Espionage: Knowledge of advanced persistent threats and cybersecurity best practices can help sellers defend against cyber espionage attempts.
  6. Effective Security Solutions: Sellers can explore a variety of security solutions and systems to fortify their defenses against cyber threats, providing peace of mind.

Cons:

  1. Resource and Time Investment: Implementing robust cybersecurity measures may require a significant investment of resources and time, which can be a drawback for small businesses or sellers with limited budgets.
  2. Complexity: Understanding and managing cybersecurity can be complex, especially for those without expertise, making it a challenging aspect for some sellers.
  3. Ongoing Maintenance: Cybersecurity is not a one-time task; it requires continuous monitoring and updates to stay ahead of evolving threats, which can be a time-consuming process.
  4. Potential Disruption: In some cases, heightened security measures can disrupt normal business operations, causing inconveniences for both sellers and customers.
  5. Financial Implications: While cyber liability insurance can mitigate financial losses, sellers may still face financial consequences in the event of a cyber attack or data breach.
  6. Need for Cybersecurity Professionals: Sellers without in-house cybersecurity professionals may need to invest in external expertise, which can add to the operational costs.

How To Spot An Amazon Phishing Attack

how to spot an amazon phishing attack

Because you’re an Amazon seller, you’ll be getting loads of emails from them.

Whenever something gets sold and shipped, you’ll receive a notification.

But sometimes, you’ll get emails that look like they’re from Amazon, but they’re a scam in disguise.

These cybersecurity threats and attempts are sophisticated. They want to direct you to a website that wants to steal your information and commit fraud.

The first line of defense on your end would be to know what Amazon will never ask in an email.

Amazon will never send you an email asking for:

  • Your account passwords
  • Your pet name, birth city, or mother’s maiden name
  • Your Social Security Number, credit card number, PIN, or bank account information
  • Updates about your Social Security Number, credit card number, PIN, or bank account information

Always make sure to check the return address on the email.

If it doesn’t end in ‘amazon.com,’ it’s a scam. It doesn’t matter what kind of email provider you’re using.

You can always go to the return path or see who you can reply to in the conversation if it’s a long thread.

Here are some examples of phishing emails:

  • james@amazonsupport.com
  • amazon.security@gmail.com
  • Payments-amazon@hotmail.com
  • info@payments-amazon.com
  • support@arnazon.com

The contents of the email will contain something urgent.

An example is that someone tried to log in to your account from Nevada, and if that isn’t the case, you click on a link and reset your password.

When you click on the link, it will lead to a spoofed website that has the word ‘amazon‘ but isn’t the real deal.

When you input your password, the hackers have everything they need to log in and wreak havoc.

That’s why you always need to read emails thoroughly and check them for typos and grammar errors.

Usually, these cybersecurity threats are usually initiated from third-world countries, and they use Google Translate before sending. If the English seems off, treat it as a scam.

With the introduction of ChatGPT, scammers are getting better, which is why you need to be more wary of the sender and the URL.

Sometimes, hovering over a link before clicking will show the URL you will open. Somebody can hyperlink a different website into an innocently looking URL. However, hovering can be fooled too.

If everything seems completely legitimate, look at the page that opens in your browser.

Do not click on the link when you get an email about suspicious activity. Instead, log into your seller account on a different tab and make the necessary changes. Make it a habit not to click on any links in an email.

Unsubscribing from spam email senders is another mistake that you could make. Spammers send millions of emails, and when you click on the unsubscribe button, they’ll know you have a valid and working address.

Then, they will double down on their efforts to brute force your password or send you more phishing attacks.

Whenever you get a phishing attack in your inbox, make sure to report it to ‘stop-spoofing@amazon.com‘. That way, other people won’t fall for the scams and lose their livelihoods.

When an email sounds too good to be true, it’s a scam. You’ll get loads of offers in your inbox masked as freebies, discounts, and deals if you do a short task that will take less than a minute and usually involves signing into your seller account.

Amazon explicitly states never to log in to your accounts through a link in an email.

Finally, use Seller Central instead of email to track everything. Getting notifications on your email is good, but checking the official website is better.

Don’t trust emails too much, and instead, focus on using better analytics and information from the Manage Orders tab.

What To Do If Your Account Gets Hacked

If you think your account has been hacked, there are a few steps to follow.

First, log in to Seller Central and change your password. If you can’t log in, then contact support immediately.

After you’ve logged in, check whether your information is intact. Review your email address, user permissions, payment information, listing and condition notes, and Amazon storefront details.

If things have gone wrong, replace the primary email address with a new one, but make sure to use a different password, adhering to the best practices for creating one.

Report your account to Seller Support if it has been hacked or compromised, and follow the steps they advise you to take.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Legal issues are a hassle, and they make running an ecommerce business a corporate nightmare.

E-commerce is no exception, especially with first and third-party liability. No one is safe from a cybersecurity threat or attack. Not even cybersecurity experts.

Cyber liability insurance is a must because the average cost of data breaches has climbed to millions of dollars. But that falls under first-party liability.

Third-party liability is worse because most people don’t even think about it. Everyone thinks that it’s the big players like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google that suffer from it.

Well, that’s not the case. You can pay fines, damages, and penalties if the tools you use get breached and your network’s data leaks on the dark web. You’re automatically violating data privacy laws in that scenario.

Let’s say that your CRM gets hacked. They will name everyone they’ve worked with, no matter how big or small you are.

Luckily, there are loads of advancements in the sector that make cyber insurance easily accessible.

Education

A cybersecurity policy is not an option. It’s a must-have!

Training against cybersecurity threats starts with yourself and then transitions to your employees.

Employee behavior is most often the cause of cyberattacks, whether they intentionally do it or not.

Create consistent documentation that’s up to date with the newest trends.

If you have an IT or service department, host a few training sessions and do random phishing checks to see how your company performs, and strive to improve each time.

Learn How to Build Your Own 7-Figure Amazon FBA Business

Part of the Junglescout suite of excellent FBA tools, the learning academy is a comprehensive video training library containing hours of content, including training videos, webinars, and interviews with successful Amazon sellers.

Whether you’re just starting your business, or growing your brand, get expert training from Amazon sellers without the hefty price tag.

Navigating Cybersecurity Threats – A Few Final Words

Amazon is aware of all of the pesky cybercriminals trying to ride on their backs. That’s why they’re vigilant about protecting vendors, sellers, and customers.

But sometimes, their organizational infrastructure can’t protect you. That’s in the case of phishing attacks and malware.

The good thing in this situation is that you can avoid becoming a target by following a few best practices.

Use secure passwords and change them often; enable two-factor authentication; install an antivirus and a VPN; and never click on links in your email.

Good luck!

Navigating Cybersecurity Threats – FAQ

What are the top 5 major threats to cybersecurity?

The top five major threats to cybersecurity are cyberattacks, data breaches, malware, phishing, and ransomware. These threats can compromise network security, corporate data, and customer information.

What is considered a cybersecurity threat?

A cybersecurity threat refers to any potential danger to computer systems, networks, and data. These threats encompass a wide range of risks, including cyberattacks, cyber espionage, and advanced persistent threats, which can lead to security breaches.

What is a cyber threat example?

An example of a cyber threat is a phishing attack, where cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick recipients into revealing sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, or personal data. Such attacks are common cybersecurity threats.

What are 3 types of threats?

Three types of cybersecurity threats include data breaches, which involve unauthorized access to sensitive information; malware, which can infect systems and disrupt operations; and social engineering attacks like phishing, where individuals are manipulated into divulging confidential data.

About the author

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links, from which, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and services I’ve used or would use myself. If you choose to purchase from any of my links, thanks so much for your support! 😊

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