Online Security Tips For Small Businesses
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Online Security Tips For Small Businesses

16/09/2016

Security for Small Businesses Online

Most of us know that our computers can be vulnerable or susceptible to viruses and malware, but same applies to your business website. Hackers target smaller businesses because it is more likely that their security is less stringent and easier to infiltrate. The consequences could potentially impact on not only your financial position and private information, but also that of your customers’ confidentiality, having devastating consequences for your business’ reputation. However, there are multi-layers of protection available, including antivirus, firewalls, network intrusion detection systems.

Website Security

A solid antivirus suite or a website security service is essential to protect your site from cyber criminals. Internet security software will provide protection features such as a firewall, phishing detection, and Trojan detectors. Alternatively, web hosting providers can supply tactics that can scan periodically your website and remove any potential threats as they occur. Your site potentially contains critical information about your organisation and details of your customers, so it is vital that this information is shielded.

SSL Certificate

An SSL Certificate is a Secure Socket Layer protocol which, if intercepted, scrambles sensitive information, keeping it safe and encrypting the link between a server and a browser. Any exchange of data between the two places will remain private and integral. This could include information relating to credit cards, user names and passwords, and other personal information. By displaying an SSL Certificate, you will give your customers the confidence that you are taking security seriously and have credible measures in place to protect both yours and their information.

Website Hardening

This is a process which reduces a computer or servers surface of vulnerability. This reduces risk of attack by regular changes of default passwords, the removal of surplus software, and disabling unnecessary services. Plugins or open source software can be enhancing to a site, but can create vulnerability to your system functions. This service is usually performed annually, or if you have done any software updates on your site, will up-grade your open source software and stablise it with the most recent versions, keeping in line with IT security best practice.

Domain Protection

Domain protection can be put in place to achieve an extra layer of protection to your domain name registration. Cyber or domain squatting is when an internet domain name is purchased and used in bad faith to capitalise on your business name or trademark. Your business reputation could be irreparably affected by these operators, resulting in a loss of credibility and trust from your customers.

A domain protection service will monitor and track your domain name registrations by matching potentially threatening, similarly named domains. An alert will be produced by way of live email and you will be notified the moment a duplicate is detected.

Domain Privacy

Once a .com or .net domain is registered, it appears on a public database called WHOIS. This will contain personal information such as your telephone number, business, and postal address. This information is then available to the public, including telemarketers, spammers, and - potentially catastrophically – identify thieves. When you commission a domain privacy service, your information will be shielded and only the information of the provider will be available.

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