Not only is security important for protecting your business, but it also helps to build customer trust. Even just the fact of noting your top-level security systems on your website can make a customer more likely to shop with you. On the other hand, a security breach can be seriously bad PR, losing you future business as well as turning off current customers. Here’s how to prevent that and ensure only a positive reaction to your online security.
Use Secure Passwords
Make sure that you, and all members of staff, have the most secure passwords possible. They should never be written down or shared, and you should always ensure to include capitals, numbers, and even punctuation marks to make them more difficult to guess. Employees need to log out when they are finished using a system, and any new piece of software should have the admin passwords changed immediately. Always change the security settings as soon as you get a new machine or solution. Leaving it on factory settings means hackers would have a greater chance of hacking into your system.
When you sell online, customers need to know that they are safe. In order to create a safe online shopping environment, encryption software should be used to protect all financial information. If you are running a small business then it may not be feasible to set up an encryption system yourself, in which case going to a third party company is the best option. This helps because they already have the encryption of financial information in place, so you don’t have to do anything extra.
Always Install Updates
When manufacturers release updates to their products, it’s not just to make them run better or update the interface. They almost always include security patches. These are to protect you from any new vulnerabilities that hackers may have discovered, which are now exploitable. In other words, if you don’t install the update, you have a weakness just waiting to be used. Update everything, and be aware also of phishing scams or malware which might try to trick you into installing a false “update” loaded with spyware.
If your standard process for onboarding a new employee is to give them access to everything, think again. Each employee should only have access and passwords for the relevant information that they need to directly perform their job. Everything else should be off-limits. The fewer people that have access, the less likely it is that a mistake will be made with that sensitive data. Consider two-factor authentication (such as a second extra password or a personal question) to ensure that only the authorised employees get access to anything. You should also prevent employees from connecting their smartphones, tablets, and laptops to the same network that your business computers run on. This can cause data leaks, as hackers get in from the phone and onto the network.
Failing to provide the right level of protection for your business online is enough in itself to make you a target for hackers, who will seize on any vulnerability. Your customers will thank you for going the extra mile to keep their data safe.