If you’re a small business owner, you may not have the resources and expertise required in order to keep your business safe online. With cyber-attacks on the rise, your personal information and data could be at risk, so it’s crucial that you alleviate some of the dangers by implementing precautionary measures to add an extra layer of protection to your operation.
Regardless of size, any business infrastructure can be hacked, so here are 8 of the best cybersecurity strategies to use.
Conduct Regular Backups
One of the best tactics you can apply to protect your business website and data is by performing regular backups. As a business owner, it’s likely that you will have numerous important files that need to be stored safely and securely, so it’s recommended that you store your copies off-site. Should your servers become compromised, keeping your copies off-site will ensure your data is kept confidential. Rather than using the cloud to store your files, it’s advised that you use external hard drives or CDs instead.
Backing up is essential for a number of reasons, such as giving you quick access to files, providing protection against a power failure, as well as recovering your files should an operating system fail.
Use Strong Passwords
Whether it’s for your business or personal accounts, one of the best ways to protect your online business is by using robust passwords. The stronger your password is, the harder it will be for cybercriminals to gain access to your sensitive data. To create a strong password, it’s advisable to use a variety of lower and upper case numbers, alongside special symbols. If you want to add an extra layer of protection, make sure that you regularly change your passwords, and consider applying a two-factor authentication.
When creating a password, make sure not to use your house number, phone number, or any digits that can be easily linked to you. Cybercriminals are always coming up with new ways to gain access to data, so the harder your password is to break, the better.
Set Up a Firewall
The primary purpose of a firewall is to provide business owners with maximum protection from cyber attackers. Firewalls shield your business network or computer from unnecessary or malicious traffic. Setting up a firewall will allow you to track incoming and outgoing traffic, and ensure your internal networks are protected from cyber threats. Make sure that you install firewalls on every server and any devices you use for business purposes, such as a computer, laptop, and smartphone. Firewalls also reduce the risk of keylogging tracking your every movement.
Install Anti-Malware & Antivirus Software
Investing in trustworthy anti-malware and antivirus software will definitely pay off for your online business. Doing so will help you locate malware that may have wormed its way onto your online business systems. The sole intent of malware is to cause damage to computer networks, computers, and servers, so it’s vital that you use up to date software and technology to keep your online business safe.
Anti-malware and anti-virus software provides real-time protection for online businesses and scanning options that you can conduct to ensure your data hasn’t been compromised. You also have the option to scan individual files, which can bring peace of mind knowing your operation hasn’t been tampered with. Using the latest software will also protect you from identity theft and spam.
Use a VPN
While you may operate your business online, if you need to go and meet clients or work in public settings, the last thing you want is for your data and information to be in jeopardy. When using an insecure network or public Wi-Fi, using a VPN (virtual private network) will keep your details safe and secure. To find the best VPN service, you can check out anonymania.com who rate and review VPN providers. Their express VPN guide can give you more knowledge of its speed, security, customer support and pricing to help make your mind up. Using a virtual private network will amp up your security and allow you to be anonymous on the internet.
To help you find the best VPN service, you need to examine the qualities of each provider, check whether your devices are compatible, pick a service that has a user-friendly interface, as well as establish which payment plan you prefer.
Understand Social Media
Whether you’re an avid social media user or not, platforms like Facebook and Instagram are core components for successful online businesses. Creating business pages for social media allows you to reach out to your audience and gain exposure. While there are many positives of social media, unless you are smart and savvy with your account, you could be putting your online business in danger. Cybercriminals use cunning tools and techniques to hack business social media accounts (many of which holding sensitive information), so it’s important that you establish who has access to the accounts and provide guidelines for employees on how to conduct themselves on social media.
When conversing on social media, employees can never be too certain about who they are speaking to. Cybercriminals have been known to act as customers to find out more information about a company in order to gain access, so make sure that your team knows what they can publish publicly and what should be kept strictly confidential.
Find a Secure Hosting Provider
If you’re about to launch an online business, it’s vital that you pick a secure hosting provider to house your website. While having a great interface and professional design may help in drawing consumers in, unless you pick the right hosting company, you could be putting your operation in danger. When picking a hosting service, it’s important that they are PCI compliant, helping to instill confidence that your webpage’s payment and checkout methods are safe and secure from hackers. Some business owners may be drawn to the idea of using free hosting. However, you will be putting yourself at an increased risk of a cyber threat. There are several types of hosting that you need to be aware of, such as cloud hosting, dedicated server hosting and shared hosting that can keep your business protected.
Just like you would when operating a land-based business, there are many rules and regulations that you should enforce to keep your team safe online. You may find that some of your employees aren’t up to date with the latest security risks, which could put your operation at risk. Any pop-ups, spam emails or unexpected links can seriously harm your online company, so it’s vital that you educate your team about the latest programs and measures they can use on their devices to keep them clean and safe.
For your small online business to thrive, it’s crucial that you do everything in your power to ensure your personal information and data is stored safely and securely. Anyone can be at risk of a cyber-attack, so staying up to date with the latest practices and software will help you stay one step ahead of hackers.