How to Protect Your Online Business

When you decide to start a business, you get the chance to decide whether this business is going to be an offline option or an online business. Some companies choose to be both, running a physical business and keeping an online store or website to keep up with the growing demand for digital business. In the past couple of decades, online businesses have exploded. You can’t have a good business idea without a website behind it. People tend to trust a brand more if they have a website to work from. 

You can reach many with your epic business idea if you’re online, but the problem is that many small businesses just don’t consider the need for good security in their business. You can – of course – take cyber security courses that will help you to understand what you need the most to make your online business safe, but you need to make sure that you are protected against a range of risks that can badly affect your business. Once you know how to protect your online business, you can be more aware of things like phishing, advanced malware, ransomware attacks and more. If you know that you can keep your business safe, you can do everything possible to avoid attacks and viruses. The good news? There are plenty of ways that you can do this. Below, we’ve got some of the best ways that you can protect your online business from crumbling under the weight of a hacker whose only purpose is to ruin things for you.

1. Make sure that you have chosen excellent hosting. The very first thing that your online business needs is good hosting. You can’t have a successful online business without a professional and well-supported website. It’s more than having a great design and great features. It’s more than this as you need to ensure that you have the right hosting company in the first place. If you ensure that your online platform is hosted correctly, you’re going to be over the first hurdle. They should be PCI-compliant and they should have smooth payroll and checkout processes, too. Hackers are consistently looking for loopholes to get into your online business – but the right hosting will help you with that. Ideally, you want to choose a hosting company that offers your website an SSL certification, as this will mean that your business is HTTPS marked.

2. Keep up with your emails – and understand how hackers get through this window. There are millions of emails sent every single day and you need to know how to look for the ones that fall into the spam category. This means that you can be aware of the phishing hackers and the spam that could come your way. This requires you to have good training in your business. If your employees all know what to look for, you will be better served. This way, everyone maintains an awareness of what to look for if there are any dangerous emails coming through. 

3.Keep it professional. Your employees should know that they should only ever use their business email address for business correspondence. If they want to sign up to mailing lists and other things, they should be using a personal email address. Everyone should also be cautious about unreliable mailing lists and emails that come with unrecognised links. These can link to dangerous and virus-laden websites that infect your software and hardware. You need to ensure that your employees know what’s professional and what isn’t in the workplace. 

4. Maintain secure passwords. You and your employees should be changing your passwords regularly, and these should be case sensitive. Strong passwords are a must in your business as you want them to be harder to crack. The more symbols, numbers and letters your passwords have, the harder it is for hackers to bust through them and get into your business. While you’re talking passwords with your team, make sure to share that they should never pass them to anyone else. Passwords are classed as sensitive data and they should be kept private.

5. Maintain your software. Whether you have an on-site IT team or an outsourced agency, it’s vital that you keep your software up to date. It’s vital that you do this so that you can prevent any security risks from cropping up. Outdated software will increase your chances of being targeted by criminals online. Regular updates to both your security software program and readily installed programs on your computers are a must if you want to keep hackers on their toes. If you set up your software to automatically install updates, you’re going to make it far harder for any hackers to jump into your network.

6. Invest in a good security package. Anti-virus and anti-malware products need to be chosen to maintain the security of your website. You can then locate any issues with malware that has made its way onto your system. It’s a great place to start when you want to secure your computer software, and you should make sure that you budget well for this one. It doesn’t matter what size your business is, you need to ensure that you have the best possible start point for your software to remain protected.

7. Always backup your business information. Your software and your loaded documentation needs to be updated regularly if you want to keep your business safe. However, you should also be backing it all up. Your data needs to be kept safe, so if a hacker does swipe your online data, you have the rest of it secured and backed up. Any compromise of your systems can then be well maintained and instead of storing files to the cloud, downloading them will keep them safe.

8. Add security to your wi-fi networks. Wi-fi connections aren’t always safe. You want to avoid any potential security threats, and the best way to do it is to ensure that your wi-fi is completely encrypted. Regularly ensuring that you are securing your network with new passwords and using a VPN from time to time is a great way to protect your online business. You will have fewer interruptions from hackers and viruses when you do this, as they will find it harder to get into your business from the outside.

9. Protect mobile users. There are plenty of business meetings that will take place out of the office, which means that many of your employees will be working on a mobile network and hardware. Mobile employees still need to be protected, which means that you need to ensure that you have a VPN and the right security settings on phones and laptops for your staff to log in safely wherever they want.

10. Education is key. The best thing that you can do to protect your online business is to ensure that you train and educate your staff about cybersecurity and how to be safe online. If they are using your business software and hardware, then you need to make sure that they are trained on what to look for to keep things moving safely forward. Implement training whenever you make any changes to your security so that people are updated on what to do and how to act online. 

If you can protect your online business from security threats, you can maintain your success without losing any time or money. All of the tips above will help your business to be a complete success. All you need to do is implement them!

Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

Contributed posts are written by third parties and contain affiliate links. Woman Around Town may receive payment from sales through the links.

About Debra Toppeta (5 Articles)
Debra Toppeta is the Publisher of Woman Around Town. After graduating from Cornell University, Debra began her career in financial services where she ultimately became the lead technical and motivational speechwriter for the members of the Executive Suite, including the CEO and several board members. Debra left financial services to attend Law School and immediately joined a large white-shoe law firm in Manhattan where she spent eight long years working in mergers and acquisitions. Committed to public service, Debra has served on the board of a special education institution in Manhattan and, with her husband, has created several foundations and scholarships to help underprivileged teens afford college. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Classical Orchestra, a period instrument orchestra in NYC that makes its home in Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, and is 1st Vice President and member of the Board of Governors of the New York Press Club. While she enjoys writing, Debra is happy to leave that to the experts and prefers to work behind the scenes of Woman Around Town getting the word out about the website, supporting all of the talented writers and keeping things legal.