By : Caroline
Setting up a small business has never been easier. To make sure you stay on top of deadlines, budgets, and other business-related matters, you can always consult the internet and use the applications on your computer and other devices. Unfortunately, many inexperienced technical people often fail to realize the security pitfalls that can come along with building a website, securing customer data, and other activities related to getting their small business off the ground. Here are some common security mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Not using secure passwords. This one may seem basic, but a common mistake that people make is not creating a password that is strong enough to stand up against an attack. Avoid using the same password for your business-related activities that you do for your email, social networking, or other personal activities. You don’t want your whole business sabotaged because one of your login combinations got leaked. Make sure that you have taken the time to protect your account.
- Using malicious plug-ins and extensions. WordPress and other popular content management systems offer an array of plug-ins you can add to tailor your site to fit your needs. Unfortunately, some of these plug-ins and extensions can harbor malwares that either attack visitors to your site or steal information about your customers. Make sure that you are using legitimate, trusted sources for all parts of your website.
- Failing to properly protect your site against malware. Just like you need to protect your computer against viruses, you need to protect your website against malware. Not only is it frustrating to your users if your site infects their devices; but if user information is compromised, you’re in for a big loss in business. There are plug-ins meant to protect your website—use them.
- Having your domain hacked. Even if you have bought your domain name, it can still be hacked, and taking legal action can be difficult. A hacked site could mean that someone sets the domain name to redirect to somewhere else; or it could mean that they use the site to set up a phishing attack and steal your customers’ information. Either way, it’s bad for business. Again, make sure that you have installed the tools meant to keep your website safe, and check back regularly. If you see anything suspicious, don’t hesitate to contact your domain registrar.
- Compromising customer details on your end. Even beyond the dangers that can come with your website, some businesses don’t do enough to protect customer details when creating reports, mailings, and other later stages of the process. Furthermore, many people don’t realize just how vulnerable their device is to cyber-attack, especially when using public WiFi. (Hackers love to target business owners!) Make sure that you are using a strong VPN to ensure that any information you’ve collected is not being shared or accidentally leaked.
- Sharing too much information in emails. If you are corresponding with customers or other employees via email, it is important to know that there are plenty of prying eyes who can see your information other than you and the intended recipient. Using email encryption software will ensure that only you and the recipient are able to read the emails that you send. This is important if you need to share customer information or other secure data.
People prefer to do business with companies that they trust, so secure practices are crucial in ensuring that your business remains with you in the long run. Although it is usually cheaper to do all your IT work on your own rather than hiring a separate employee, having few slight oversights mentioned above could compromise the security of your business. If you are aware of the risks though and take the steps to prevent them, your company should be on track in no time.
This was contributed by Caroline, a technology enthusiast whose main area of interest is internet security. Caroline recommends Secure Thoughts as one of the best possible online sources for information regarding internet security.