Blog

Categories
search

8 Security Tips for Online Businesses

Myrah Abrar
,
Contributor
Last Updated
December 30, 2020

The security threat for online businesses is increasing every day, and these potential cybersecurity threats are making your business vulnerable to data hacks. Let's have a look at a few stats to understand cyber-attacks on online businesses:

  • More than 60% of companies have experienced web-based attacks.
  • 62% of online businesses have experienced phishing and attacks on social engineering.
  • Since the COVID-19 outbreak, a 300% increase in reported cyber crimes has been reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Given these threats, it is important for online businesses to have a well-thought-out strategy of not only how to market their business online, but also how to protect it from cyber attackers. Below are my security tips to keep your business protected from cyber attackers.

How To Protect Your Online Business

1. Choose a Secure Web Hosting Service Provider

Affordable hosting service is a necessity of every online business, but that doesn't mean that you compromise the security of your website by choosing an unreliable host. You must get a reliable web hosting service for your e-commerce solutions. If you choose the wrong hosting company, you are putting your website's security at risk.

Here are a few things to look for when choosing a hosting service:

  • Choose a service that provides you a dedicated server. Server sharing is cost-effective, but it increases the risk of data breaches.
  • Choose a host that offers technical assistance during cyberattacks and provides a data backup option.

2. Follow Best Practices for Email Security

Multiple emails are sent and received daily, and cyber attackers take advantage of this by inserting malicious content in emails and marking the content as important. The emails received could be potential security threats.

These emails include links and attachments that could contain a virus or lead you to malicious websites that could be harmful to your data and personal computers. It is important to establish guidelines about email security best practices:

  • Do not subscribe to unreliable mailing lists.
  • Stay wary when opening or sending links in emails, especially those to social media accounts/pages or unfamiliar websites.
  • Never open links without verifying their authenticity. Email services such as Gmail have their own scanners; they may notify you if an email seems fishy. You may also use a third-party software, such as hunter.io or routee.net, to verify email addresses.

3. Set Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are hard to crack for cyber attackers, which is why it is advised that you follow the suggested guidelines of creating a strong password that is not easily guessed. So don’t use your full name or “password”.

Use an alpha-numeric password with lowercase and uppercase letters/numbers along with special characters.

Consider the following examples of weak and strong passwords:

Weak Password: Whiskers123

Strong Password: PnCtkap74**!

You should also enable two-way authentication for better security too. This means security questions and verification code to your email or phone. Yes, it’s a pain, but worth it. Also, if possible change your password every 30-90 days for the ultimate protection.

4. Protect Your Computer Network

Protection of computer networks is essential, which is why you must invest in good antivirus and threat protection services. Antivirus software helps in website penetration testing and malware cleanup, indicating which websites are suspicious and harmful to your systems.

Some best practices to protect your computer network are:

  • Update your software frequently, as obsolete software protocols increase the risk of cyber crimes.
  • Clear up your email regularly and use antivirus software. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and Norton Antivirus are among the best and highly recommended.
  • Password-protect your network and don't give unknown users access to your network.

5. Maintain Wi-Fi Network Security

Wi-Fi networks are used everywhere, but not every Wi-Fi connection is safe. Make sure that your Wi-Fi network is encrypted to avoid any potential threat. Avoid using public wifi connections, for example, coffee shops and hotels.

If you have to use public Wi-Fi, using a VPN can help you stay protected from potential threats. At times, businesses integrate multiple third-party software to manage their workflow. Refrain from adding unreliable add-ins. Only integrate trusted and encrypted software by trusted vendors.

6. Backup Frequently

Having backups can help you secure your data in case of theft or any cyber-attack. Regularly backing up your data is essential, and you must keep the files stored safely so you can recover your data in case it is lost or attacked. Apart from keeping data stored in the cloud, you should also keep them downloaded and secured in your system or hard drive for security purposes.

7. Be Smart About Smartphones

The reckless use of smartphones and tablets is also quite harmful and dangerous from a security perspective. The separation of work and personal phones and devices is extremely important. Malware can also enter through people's personal devices, which are less protected compared to professional ones.

To avoid security risks that piggy bank on your personal devices, do the following:

  • Do not link your personal smart devices to your work system. Maintain a separate smartphone for work and personal use. Similarly, maintain a separate laptop.
  • Use two-way authentication on all smart devices.
  • Protect your devices and systems through passwords, encrypting whole-disks, and locking-and wiping apps remotely. These steps are essential for devices that are being used at work.

8. Get a Virtual Mailbox

If you’re worried about your important business information being unprotected, use a virtual mailbox to protect your mail and online data.

VirtualPostMail (VPM) is a registered Commercial Mail Receiving Agent (CMRA) authorized by the United States Postal Service to process and handle mail on your behalf. The following are some of the security benefits of choosing to make your snail mail digital:

  • VPM encrypts your data through SSL encryption, which means that no unauthorized personnel can access your data.
  • VPM protects your financial information. All online transactions are password-protected and encrypted to ensure maximum security.

Takeaway - Cybersecurity Must Be a Priority

In conclusion, online businesses cannot afford to ignore cybersecurity. You must take the correct measures to keep your business safe and secure from malicious hackers.

Hackers are ruthless and petty criminals. They will hack everything you have and ransom your sensitive information any chance they get. Therefore, it's up to you to be the hero and protect your valuable information by following the practices mentioned above to mitigate potential risks.

You can fight off hackers by choosing a secure web hosting provider, strong passwords, and using antivirus software and firewalls. Also, be sure to not open suspicious emails and be reckless with smart devices. Always, back up your data frequently and use a VPN for un-secure Wi-Fi networks and get a virtual mailbox to protect your mail.

More Ways You Can Protect Yourself

Did you know that if you use your home address for your online business you’re risking your privacy? Learn how a home address is a risk to your online business and what you can do to protect it.

https://www.dynamologic.com/
She is a computer science graduate with a passion for web development and digital marketing. She writes blog articles for Dynamologic Solutions.
Scroll to top