How Can Businesses Stay Safe Online?

How Can Businesses Stay Safe Online?

Safety First traffic sign

By Karthik Reddy

As an online business you need to make a profit from your website traffic. Customers are more likely to buy from you if you can establish yourself as a credible and safe site.

This goes beyond have a “secure” green box in your URL and having “HTTPS” before your web address. Taking the extra steps to protect your business will not only help you but also your customers and their confidential information.

Remember in 2013, when Target had a breach and millions of people’s credit or debit card information was compromised? It wasn’t a pretty sight and it made people think twice before whipping out their cards to pay for a purchase.

In this article, I’ll outline the top five ways to protect your online business.

Also of interest: The insider threat

  1. Block Malware from Invading Your Computer

    Just like you wouldn’t leave your car door unlocked while you’re at work, you wouldn’t want to make it easy for someone to invade your computer.

    Malware is a software that is designed to damage a PC or network without you realizing it.

    In order not to become a victim of malware, take these steps:
    Install a Firewall: Depending on the size of your organization, an advanced firewall solution might be required. A well-configured firewall can eliminate nearly all incoming threats. In case you are targeted regularly by a competitor or hackers, consider purchasing a VPN so that all incoming and outgoing traffic is encrypted and filtered even before the firewall.

    Install Software Security: You can download security software onto your computer so it runs scans and removes any suspicious or bad cookies or other software programs. The advanced ones like BitDefender will protect you from identity theft, suspicious websites, and malware. Make sure that the antivirus and the firewall don’t clash.

    Mobile Users: Well designed security solutions will have location sensitive settings. The software can detect if an employee is in or out of the office. When it does this detection, it changes the level of protection depending on the location.

    Also of interest: How to stay safe in a perimeterless world 

  2. Take Charge of Your Policy

    Write your own security policies and share it with your employees so they know how to keep the business safe when you’re not there. Fraud and other internet crimes are more common among small and startup businesses since they don’t have their own tech department.

    Your policy might include:
    Strong Password Requirement: Goes without saying that using a different password for all your accounts makes it harder for cybercrime to happen to you.  Strong password rules can be enforced throughout the office working stations.

    Computer Usage: Define what is and isn’t ok to do on the company computer.

    Downloads: Explicitly explain what can and cannot be downloaded on the company computer. It gives you peace of mind knowing that no one will download suspicious apps.

    Encrypt sensitive data: Store sensitive data on designated drives and make sure they are well encrypted. Ideally, keeping off-site backups also should be done on a regular basis.

    Also of interest: A profile of Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham

  1. Create Social Media Guidelines

    Social media is a business’ most powerful tool as long as it’s used correctly. Educate your employees about the best practices.

    Here are a few tips to give your employees:
    Designate a Spokesperson: Let one or two people manage your social media accounts. This minimizes the risk of a lower level employee hacking the account and posting inappropriate material. The designated people should only post relevant and useful content related to your brand.

    Guidelines and Rules: You should tell your employees and followers on any of social media platforms what is and isn’t acceptable to post on your pages.

    “Street Smart”: Use common sense and be smart about what you post on your accounts. Remember, this content is out there forever once you hit the “post” button.

Do you have any additional tips to staying safe online? Post them in the comments or read on for even more tips and tricks!

77 facts about cyber crimes 

Copyright Lyonsdown Limited 2021

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