How to Protect Your Online Business and Customers

ONLINEOnline Security becomes even more important when you run an online business. Whether you are running a service business like carpet cleaning or offering tangible products, it is imperative to take the essential steps to protect your online business. Failing to protect your online business would let hackers steal vital customer information which would destroy your business reputation, or malware could bring down your business, imagine the loss! It is wise to put safeguards in place, below are some recommended steps to do so.

1.      Changing default passwords

Always remember to change default passwords when you install newly purchased systems. It should be the first thing before you start using the piece of hardware or software. Failing to reconfigure your systems after installation leaves them highly vulnerable to attacks, malicious people can easily retrieve the default passwords freely shared on websites of your system vendors.

2.  Do not store more customer data than you probably need

Storing customer information like credit card numbers and other sensitive information on files just to have it is really unnecessary. Make it a rule to clear customer information from record once the transaction is complete to keep customer’s sensitive data from risk. No hacker will breach your systems if you have nothing to steal.

3.      Put the right secure technologies in place

TECHNOLOGYFirst of all, ensure you have a firewall protecting your network. Use strong passwords always – using two-factor authentication is highly recommended, to access sensitive information. Install cyber-protection software that hunts for malware and viruses on your websites and always keep the software updated with the latest security patches.

4.      Employee training

Many security breaches are as a result of employees unknowingly handing over sensitive business information to malicious people. There is a term referred to as Social Engineering. A hacker presents himself to a business employee, especially employees concerned with protecting customer data. The hacker comes in form of a reputable person offering a superb deal that would benefit the business; an employee unintentionally and unknowingly hands over sensitive data to the hacker.

Another form is through hackers sending malicious links to employee email addresses. Clicking on such links ends up installing malware on business computers, in case the employee was accessing the internet from the office. The malware then copies and uploads sensitive business information to hackers’ servers.

It is imperative that you train your employees to be on the lookout for such incidences.

5.      Use encryption software

Your servers should have encryption software to protect the financial information of customers from theft during transactions. With online shopping, customers use Visa and MasterCard to make purchases. It is required that any business offering online purchases of products encrypts the data between the device of the client and the company servers to protect the customers who use credit cards.

 If complying with encryption standards is expensive for your business, you can outsource payment processing to companies like PayPal.

Encryption also ensures a company’s internal information is protected; this includes financial accounts, personal files, production information and other data. Just in case a hacker gains access to the company’s system, they may not be able to decipher the information.