If you’re looking to start an online business, or are currently running one, it’s imperative that you consider the safety of your online venture. Hackers are becoming a huge problem for online entities; perhaps because they know these businesses are soft targets. Most people unfortunately aren’t aware that they’re at risk of cyber/online crime, and most don’t know that there are ways of keeping their data safe. While you could invest in tech and cyber legal advice – which is probably the best way to approach this situation; in the interim it may be smart to improve your current security by making a few small changes to your day to day operations.
Cybersecurity extends across the entire business – it is not the responsibility of just one individual, but rather the responsibility of each individual. If everyone understands the importance of keeping their data secure and does what they can to avoid cyber threats and invasions, it will not only alleviate the stress, but it will ensure that you and your business is kept safe from harm.
Here are a few simple ways that you can keep your online business safe from hackers, and safe from the possibility of losing important data:
- Ensure software and operating systems are up-to-date
Security updates are vital. You, nor your staff should wait to download or install it. Operating systems and software companies are always looking for ways to improve cyber security and improve defense, and these advancements are accessible through your security updates. Through these updates you’ll enhance the security and protection of your data. So, it’s in your best interest to update without delay.
- Secure your network
One great way of securing your network is by changing your logins, usernames and passwords frequently. If you fail to change them often, you may be at risk of cyber-attacks.
If you are operating through an open, wireless network you should also ensure that you’ve chosen strong passwords – and again, you should change them at least every 2 months.
- Invest in firewalls and antivirus security
Firewalls are a great deterrent to suspicious activity or cyber criminals as they protect your internal network. Hackers often cannot get passed firewalls – however, it’s important to note that it’s still not a fool-proof way of protecting your online business, but a good enough solution until you have fully optimized your online security. There are many types of firewalls, and they can be installed on servers, office or personal computers, laptops and mobile devices. Antivirus or anti-spyware software is also a great way of protecting your network and your data, as the software identifies possible danger (in the form of viruses) before any damage can be caused. Antivirus software is especially important if one accesses various sites on the web.
- Keep your hardware safe
Firstly, keep your devices safe from being lost or stolen. This is as simple as keeping them behind locked doors, and out of reach from unauthorized individuals. If your device is lost or stolen, it increases your chance of being hacked, or for someone to access your data illegally. (Hopefully you have followed number two and have strong passwords!) To further increase your security, you may want to encrypt portable devices – this means that a special code is used to access the device or make use of tracking software for devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets.
- Use Two-Factor Authentication where possible
Two factor authentication is usually used for email access, although it can be used on various other portals where login is necessary. Two factor authentication works a little like a password, except the password changes every few seconds, and is sent to your personal mobile number. This password is used to access your data, but because it is never the same it offers one incredible security against cyber criminals. We highly recommend that you use TFA for email login, as most hackers find this to be a weak spot for most individuals.
- Educate your employees on cyber safety
It’s incredibly important that employees are aware of the importance of cyber security. If your businesses data is hacked, it could spell huge trouble for the business as it could put your employees and your clients at great risk. Private information could be leaked, making it possible for you and your business to be held legally responsible.
One way of avoiding viruses and possible hacks is by educating your employees about online scams, pop-ups and unsecured sites. They should not engage in such data, and they should be taught how to identify suspicious invitations.