Selling your art on Etsy? Making some more connections on LinkedIn? Or are you just looking for some tables and chairs no one can pronounce on IKEA? However your business uses broadband, it’s important to ensure that you are securing your business online.
New customers need to trust whom they’re buying from. Major brands will often have tight security over internet traffic, storage of information and most importantly, payment. You only have to look at the huge disaster Sony suffered in 2011 when PlayStation Network, the online service used to play games online, talk to friends and purchase games, was attacked. According to Eurogamer, the infamous hacking group Anonymous leaked the personal details of 77 million users. This included people’s names, addresses, email addresses, birthdates, usernames, passwords, logins, security questions, credit card information and more. Sony stated that they estimated they would lose £102.5 million. Yikes! That’s the same as buying two islands in the Bahamas, 10 F1 cars or slightly going over the weight limit on your suitcase.
So rather than worry if your business account has a spare £100 million to give away, here are a few ways to be more aware of whether you’re securing your business online.
1. Ensure your website has a lock at the top left of the web address
This is perhaps the simplest yet most overlooked aspect of internet security. If you have a customer who views your website and sees that your website is not secured, you will likely lose 65% of potential customers.
2. Check the URL.
If your website starts with HTTPS, then it is secure. HTTPS or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure means that whatever data you transfer is safe and encrypted. This could be your credit card information, address, phone number, bank details or online shopping. Websites with a secure line use a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) but also has a more secure and advanced version called Transport Layer Security (TLS) to protect the users’ data. A lot of acronyms, perhaps TMI. Essentially, invest in an SSL/TLS and you will be securing your business online.
3. Know the red flags when they appear.
For example, if someone clicks on your website and is being hounded by pop-up ads with incredibly small ‘X’ buttons, claiming the love of your life is just around the corner or that you’re the winner of a brand-new iPhone, 99.9% of the time they’re a scam and a major red flag with regards to the security of a website. In most instances, they’re looking to access your private information with compliance from you.
4. How up to date does the website look?
Some themes on a website may be dated and just like a car from the 1950s, it may have worked once but had become outdated and can be dangerous. Websites with themes will consist of code that was created at a certain time and can stagnate behind security. The more modern and more streamlined your service is, the more likely your website is to be trusted.
So, you may wonder what is the most effective way to secure your business online?
1. Keep your passwords locked down!
Whilst this may seem straightforward, a simple search on social media and a hacker could find out your mother’s name, your favourite animal or where you went to school. Try to make it incredibly personal and confusing for anyone to guess. Use alternate symbols and phrases that would take forever to guess.
2. Invest in a virtual private network (VPN).
A VPN is a system that encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through an extra server. Its main function is to limit how much information you expose about yourself while online. If a hacker has access to the network you’re using — for example, if you’ve connected to unsecured public Wi-Fi — they’ll be able to intercept your data. With a VPN on your device, you’ll have extra protection, and that intercepted data will only be visible as unintelligibly scrambled code. Any cyberattacks in which the hacker has to know your IP address (a string of numbers that identifies what device is using the internet over a network) will also be much less likely since the only IP they’ll be able to view is the one associated with the VPN server. This will help protect your business online by making it more secure and can keep hackers at bay.
3. Purchase an SSL/TLS.
As previously mentioned, when checking the security of a website, most websites will have HTTPS in their URL. Your website can also gain the same security by purchasing an SSL/TLS certificate.
Once you’ve secured your website, it’s just as important that customers can access it in a fast and timely manner. Nearly 70% of consumers say page speed impacts their willingness to buy. What’s more, a slow loading time also lessens the chances they will return in the future.
So if you’re not too sure what your internet speed is, why not try out our recent guide on How to Run a Speed Test! Want to improve your connection? Check out the FACTCO Business Package! Get up to 1000 Mbps of full-fibre internet speed direct to your home or business today!