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BW Businessworld

This Safer Internet Day, Let’s Be More Aware: Easy Tips To Safeguard Your Online Presence

With the new normal, our dependence on the internet has increased, Businesses are increasingly going digital, and today on the occasion of Safer Internet Day we bring you some easy tips on safeguarding your online presence.

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Last year we witnessed businesses increasingly shifting online due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many small businesses and startups now have permanently pivoted to online businesses, to save on costs and enjoy the comfort, safety, and flexibility of remote working. As a result, there is a huge amount of data being exchanged every minute, which has made it is necessary for business owners to secure their websites from external vulnerabilities, with the biggest one being hackers.

Hackers end up targeting small business websites more, as their defenses are often weak due to a lack of awareness and knowledge about cyber threats. According to data from the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, 99.4% of Indian companies categorized as MSMEs are not aware of cyber risks and their potential to upend business. Some of the most common threats that small businesses in India face are -:

  • Malware: Malware is a term used to describe malicious software that hackers use to get network access in order to steal or destroy data. Malware breaches a network through vulnerability, usually when one clicks or downloads something in spam emails, connects an infected external device like a pen drive, downloads something from an unknown or spamming site. One should always be very careful before clicking on any suspicious mail or website.
  • Ransomware: This is one of the most popular cyberattacks. Ransomware encrypts data, thereby locking business owners out of their own websites and business systems and then ask for a ransom to unlock that data. One needs endpoint protection to keep hackers away from entering a system. Hence, it is always suggested to keep backups of your website at two to three different places.
  • Phishing attacks: Phishing is a cyber-threat of sending fraudulent communications that appear to come from a reputable source, usually wherein a hacker tries to get sensitive data like login credentials, card details and so forth.  Many social media accounts have been hacked with phishing. That’s why you should ensure the genuineness of the sender of the message, image, or link before clicking or downloading.

Lack of a proper web security solution can cost small businesses not just money but time and reputation too. Every entrepreneur understands that customer trust is absolutely critical to running an effective business. In order to continue providing a safer online experience, here is a short guide for entrepreneurs and business owners to protect their website and keep away from any security risk -:

1. Choose a reliable hosting provider: To help build a safer and reliable online presence for your business, it is essential that you choose a hosting partner that is as invested in your success as you are. Sometimes your website can be secure but if the host is targeted and their security is low it can end up comprising your website. Many leading hosting providers offer an array of online tools and solutions designed to create and run a business website affordably, with a variety of security protection tools. Some dedicated platforms do ensure 24/7 monitoring and quick response time for optimal functioning of platforms to help you along your online journey.

2. Invest in security solutions: A security shield is the first step of defense that a cyber-criminal tries to break. It is important to deploy a good cybersecurity solution, like using a continuous automatic monitoring website security service, to provide comprehensive digital protection for your online business. One must ensure that the security solution includes anti-virus, anti-spam, and firewall protection for optimum safety. Some platforms like GoDaddy do provide you with a complete suite of tools and solutions to protect your website and help you keep your customer data safe. Offering a bundled security solution that provides comprehensive protection through Website Security, SSL, backup & Restore, Firewall, and CDN among others.

3. Ensure safer password protection: Everybody knows how crucial it is to use strong passwords. It’s equally important to use a variety of passwords, instead of the same one for every account. While using the same password everywhere is a common practice, this can land you and your business in serious trouble. Hackers can easily gain access to all the confidential information from all the accounts by using that single password. There are many tools available online now to measure the strength of your password while creating. Ensuring that you have a ‘very strong’ password with a variety of letter sizes and special characters within it, and changing it regularly is the best and easiest way to protect your website.

4. Create an Archived Back-up: The last thing a business owner would want is to lose their data to a cyber-attack. Regularly backing up your data is another crucial measure that must be considered.  You can make it a habit of manually backing your website up daily or weekly by setting calendar reminders. You can also consider using a website protection service for automatic backups and cloud storage for your data backups.

5. Install an SSL Certificate for your website: For all kinds of businesses performing online transactions, an SSL Certificate for your website is a must. In fact, Google has also started using website protections as a ranking signal by putting sites with SSL higher up in the search results, to ensure that people who use the search engine will be directed to authentic and safer websites.. The encryption used in SSL Certificates helps to protect the transmission of data to and from your website. To get this protection for your website, you can install an SSL Certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA). A website with SSL protection shows a padlock and the word ‘Secure’ in the URL address bar. These prominent security indicators show customers that the website and your business are legitimate and help build greater customer trust. 

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