Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly clever and harder to thwart. What is disconcerting about some of these security breaches is not just the sensitive information at risk of being stolen, but that hackers are doing it for fun. If you look at some of the headlines on cyber-attacks, while there are those that have political motivations behind it, there are some that does not have one. They are doing it because they can.
If you have an online business, information technology security should be at the forefront of your concerns. Client details and credit card information are being shared on your website daily. If your security system is not updated, or worse, if you do not have one, then you risk losing clientele because you cannot keep confidential information safe.
To avoid suffering significant financial loss, there are industry best practices you can follow to make sure that your online page is kept safe from hackers and doxxers.
Use the WHOIS privacy option
When you register a domain name, an organisation called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) asks registrants to disclose information like full name and contact details. These are then published on a public database called the WHOIS lookup. One of its main purposes is to allow webmasters to contact each other and negotiate when it comes to purchasing domain names.
As business website owner, this database might make you anxious because there is a whole lot of your contact information available for public viewing. But all you need to do is get the WHOIS privacy so that you can avoid getting your name dragged into spam mails, identity thefts, and other devious activities.
Purchase an SSL certificate
There is a certain amount of trust involved when customers willingly make transactions on your website. To make sure they keep trusting you, you need to secure your website by purchasing an SSL certificate.
SSL stands for “secure sockets layer,” and it is used to create a safe pathway between the user and your website. It does this by encrypting the date being sent to and from your website. The way to understand how this works is to imagine a translators speaking on behalf of two people. The discussions between them is not flowing through one path, it goes: from Person A to Translator A, Translator A to Translator B, then Translator B to Person B. Information from your user’s browser to your server works that way, it does not follow one single path, and it passes through many stops before ending up on its actual destination.
But what the SSL does is mix in random characters in the information being sent to and from your website to make it unreadable to those that do not have the correct encryption key. So if the information is stolen somehow, it will be incomprehensible.
Secure your hardware
Not only cyber-attacks online. Some happen because computers, laptops, or hard drives are stolen from office or store premises. If you are storing sensitive information in any hardware, physically secure them after every update that you make. If this is not possible, at least set up a two-factor authentication key to make sure only you and a few people you trust have access.
The most important thing you need to know is you should not be the only one making an effort to keep your website safe. If you are working with other people or if you have employees under you, they should also be aware of cyber-attacks and how they can help avoid it. You all need to understand how each of you can put your online business at risk and how they can keep watch for potential threats.