Over the past few years, there has been a sharp rise in online businesses worldwide. Thanks to several applications, social media, and websites, it is easy to start and run an online business. All you need these days is a good idea and an excellent strategy to help you find success. However, as your online business expands, so does the number of cybersecurity threats. More than 60% of small businesses that have been hacked or have experienced a cyber-attack tend to close down within 6 months. Unfortunately, several online businesses, new or existing, still do not know how to protect themselves from these threats. Fortunately, here are some super simple tips to help you protect your online business, money, data, and reputation.
- Adopt the best email security practices
Like any other business, you likely send and receive emails almost every day. However, studies show that only half of the email content is safe and legitimate. That means that some of the emails you might receive could be potential threats. And with emails being common medium cybercriminals use to launch attacks, it is important to use them cautiously. So, the question then becomes how to secure your email? Whether you work alone or have a small team helping you, ensure that you discourage them from using business emails for non-work activities, including subscribing to sketchy mailing lists. It would be best if you also educated yourself and your team on how to be more cautious when dealing with links sent via email. Unless you expect a particular link, ensure that you scan all links before interacting with them. You must also clean your email frequently and use anti-spam software to reduce the number of junk emails in your inbox.
- Use a secure hosting service
Having a successful online business goes hand-in-hand with having a professional website. However, when it comes to your business’s security, having nice design features and aesthetics will do you no good if you don’t have a secure hosting service. Therefore, always ensure that a reliable service provider hosts the website or platform of your online business.
Using a secure hosting service ensures that all processes like checkout and payments are protected from hackers who look for loopholes to exploit. Several sites offer free hosting services. However, most cybersecurity experts recommend paying for hosting services, as free hosting has a higher risk of cyberattacks. If possible, you can choose a service that will give your website an SSL certificate, a code that ensures all online communication is safe and encrypted.
- Change usernames and passwords regularly
It would be best to change any default usernames and passwords quickly and frequently as possible. Most cybercriminals know tons of default usernames and passwords, and failing to do so will make your online business more vulnerable to attacks. However, it shouldn’t end there. It would be best if you also changed your passwords and usernames regularly. When a password remains the same for a long time, it has a higher chance of being hacked. The most recommended time is after every three months. But there’s no set limit or duration regarding how frequently you can change them. Fortunately, some providers can encourage and educate you on the importance of changing your credentials regularly for added safety.
Additionally, you should pay a lot of attention to your password. Stronger passwords that are tough to crack usually contain special symbols, numbers, and upper and lower-case letters. You should also consider two-factor authentication for more security.
- Use firewall and antivirus software
A firewall is a shield that protects your network from any malicious software or traffic. There are various firewalls, but they are usually put into two major types: software and hardware. Some firewalls have virus-scanning features, which can be extremely useful. You must install firewalls on all your servers and all devices that you use for your business, such as your computers and smartphones.
You can support your devices’ firewall by installing antivirus software to identify and remove any malicious attacks that have trespassed your firewall. Antivirus software can also alert you of any data breaches once detected.
Having practical and technological knowledge on protecting your business from any potential cyber threats and attacks is vital to your business’s success. You must invest wisely in online security to avoid losing time and money. Hopefully, these few steps have provided you with the right information to protect your online business and ensure you have a safe and secure network.