Did you know that there have been more than 215k online scam reports made by consumers in the USA this year alone? The reports concerned different complaints, ranging from investments scams to phishing and identity theft. There is no denying the fact that technology has developed immensely in the past decade and the digital keeps growing at a fast pace, with new updates and features popping up each day. Unfortunately, that means that the number of people who abuse technology and the Internet is also growing at a rapid speed. It’s a widely known fact that not many people are tech-savvy and many use the Internet just for their basic needs, unaware of the risks attached to it. Unless you protect your personal data, you’re in danger of having it stolen and abused by a scammer. The same goes for online businesses.
No matter what kind of online business you are running, whether it be an ecommerce store or simply a blog, you need to safeguard all the sensitive information, especially if you require your users to submit some of their personal details when signing up. Therefore, it’s necessary to educate yourself on the measures you need to have in place to protect your business from cyber threats and attacks. It may take a bit of time but in the longer run, you’ll be glad to have a solid security system. To find out how to keep your online business safe, stay with us in the next lines as we share some of the basic tips and tricks you can take advantage of.
- SSL Certificate
Running your online business on HTTP may have been enough a decade or two ago, but today, it’s like leaving an open door to hackers and scammers and giving them free access to all your sensitive details and data. If you think that having a HTTP protocol is a good enough security measure, you’re completely in the wrong.
The first step to improving your cybersecurity is actually pretty simple and it all starts with installing an SSL certificate. What does that mean exactly? In plain language, it means you’ll upgrade your unsecure HTTP protocol with a strong HTTPS protocol that’ll guarantee a safe and encrypted connection.
- Use Multi-factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication or MFA is an authentication method that requires users to provide at least two verification details before accessing a website or an app, for instance. Instead of just asking users to type in their username and password, you should add additional verification factors that’ll mean your users’ identity is safe and private.
Some of the most common MFA methods include sending a code to the user’s phone or calling them. Passwords are especially appealing to hackers, so you’ll want to make sure your users’ log in details are far from the eyes of third parties.
- Backup data regularly
This is a mistake a lot of us make as we take the process of backing up for granted. We often forget to backup our files, believing that no harm will come, and then your laptop malfunctions and suddenly, you’re left without your documents and images. To avoid these stressful situations, you need to have a backup plan in mind. The best practice is to have several backup methods in place in order to make sure you’ll be able to access your data no matter what. We recommend daily as well as quarterly and yearly server backups.
You can choose to either backup the data on an external drive and store it in a safe place so that you’ll still be able to access your information if your website gets stolen or hacked. Additionally, you can use cloud storage as a backup method as well. The most important thing is to have a backup process that you adhere to.
- Make sure your employees are educated
As a business owner, you should invest the necessary time and money in educating your employees on the proper security policies. If your employees aren’t familiar with the existing measures and protocols, then all your efforts to secure your business are in vain.
It’s always a good idea to organize a group training where your employees will have the opportunity to learn about different security measures as well as find out more about the potential threats they should keep an eye on. They should also be informed on which steps to take after a cyber attack. Should they, for instance, notice that someone is misusing their credentials online, they need to immediately check whether someone has hacked their phone and they need to sign up for identity theft protection. As most of us are also using mobile phones for online work-related activities, these are also a potential source of threats and attacks.
- Monitor where and how the equipment is being used
This security tip relates directly to the previous one. After you’ve informed your fellow-colleagues and team members on the best online practices to keep the business’ information safe, you should also have a chat with them on how to handle access to data in the offline world.
When running an online business, chances are, most of your colleagues will be working remotely, either in their nearby cafe or from the comfort of their homes. Nonetheless, you should advise them never to leave their laptops and computers unsupervised, especially when working in a public place. Also, they should regularly update their systems to ensure the latest version of firewall and antivirus programs are installed.
- Be informed at all times
Unfortunately, online hackers and scammers are becoming more creative and are coming up with new sneaky ways to get hold of private information they’ll later use to their own advantage. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that you make a habit of checking Google for the latest updates on cyber threats and attacks. As long as you know which threats are currently happening in the online world, you’ll be able to put the right measures in place to prevent the same thing from happening to you.
The key takeaways
Safeguarding your online business doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an ongoing process that you’ll have to come back to each time a new cyber threat poses a risk to your business. Luckily, if you apply some of the recommendations we’ve listed above, you’ll be one step closer to fending attacks from hackers and others who pose a danger to your business’ wellbeing.