While advancements in technology has made doing business easier, it has also made the internet a much scarier place to transact on. Yes, the benefits that came with the boom of the digital era far outweigh these consequences. As a small business, we have the same opportunities as big companies in getting people’s attention and turning that into sales. We can start laying out digital marketing plans that will not cost us as much as a radio or billboard ad. That said, relying on online methods means we have to actively be on the lookout for cyber-attacks.
Hackers, doxxers, and phishers are becoming increasingly clever when it comes to their attacks. Much of the really dangerous security breaches are political in nature. But there are those who do not need any kind of motivations behind their cyber-attacks; they do it because they can.
As a small business, how can you protect your data from these kinds of attacks? Here are some of the ways you can thwart them.
Purchase an SSL certificate
Making transactions on your website means customers will share sensitive data like credit card numbers and personal information with you. Their willingness to do that means they trust that you can keep their info safe. Make sure that you are able to uphold that level of trust by purchasing an SSL certificate.
SSL stands for secure sockets layer, and it is used to create a safe route between you and your customers. What it does is encrypt the data being sent to and from your website with random characters so that it is unreadable to those who don’t have the right encryption key. In the event that you do get hacked or information is stolen as it is being sent to and from your website, it will remain incomprehensible to them.
Maximise the use of the WHOIS privacy
A WHOIS lookup is a public list of all domains purchased, together with website owner information. Upon registering a domain name, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will collate these information and publish them on the database. One of its main functions is to help webmasters contact each other so that they can discuss and negotiate the purchase of domain names, especially is your preferred domain name is owned by another webmaster.
If you are worried that the information you have disclosed might open you to cyber-attacks, or worse, someone might use your name to attack others; all you need to do is get a WHOIS privacy. It can protect your information from public viewing, and then you can just check at a WHOIS service whether your registration is already private or not.
Keep your hardware safe
Some of the security breaches also happen in your shop. Stolen hard drives and laptops happen almost as often as hacking. If you have sensitive information saved somewhere in your hardware, make sure that only you and/or a select few have access to it. If you can, password protect everything, refrain from saving them on a cloud storage, and setup a two-key authentication.
Make sure your staff understands how security breaches work
Lastly, the most effective way to avoid hacking is if everyone in your business is actively on the lookout for it. Your goal to keep your business safe and successful should be shared by everyone working with and for you. Understand that it isn’t just customer information that is being stolen, their information as employees and as colleagues are going to be compromised as well. This doesn’t just include personal data, but also pertinent bank information.
Attend seminars with them if you have to, invite someone who can teach everyone how to be on the lookout for cyber-attacks. Protect your business and everyone involved in it so that you can continue to gain trust both from customers and from people you’re working with.