Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small Businesses

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Hand with a mouse clicking at a security lock - Cybersecurity for Small Businesses
Pembrook Nelson
Pembrook Nelson
July 10, 2020
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UPDATED:
August 7, 2020

Being a small business owner in the digital age comes with a lot of advantages. Using the internet, you can extend your reach to customers far beyond your local community. If you’re lucky, you have people from all over the world, buying what you have to offer. Allowing them to pay for their products directly from your website makes it convenient for them and ensures that you get your money as soon as possible.

Of course, there are some drawbacks to having an online store as a small business. The greatest is that you may become the target of a cyber attack. When it comes to protecting your business and your customers, there are some cybersecurity best practices for small businesses you should be employing. Read on to discover what these are.

Know What the Threats Are‍

Man hacking someone's computer

The first step in protecting your small business from cyberattacks is to know what the threats are. More often than not, hackers will try to break into your system to steal information. More often than not, they are looking for credit card numbers or other personal information about your customers. The goal is to use that to their advantage then to make purchases on other sites.

How hackers gain access to your computer to get this information continues to change and evolve. You need to be aware of the threats and how hackers are getting access to computer systems. Once you have that information, you can then find the best way to protect your small business and customers.

Educate Your Employees‍

Once you have determined what threats you need to be aware of, you need to teach your employees about the types of attacks hackers might use against your business.

Person training another employee

One of the most common ways hackers try to get into your system is through phishing emails. These can look like legitimate emails from customers, other businesses, or even from you. The only difference will be that it will ask for personal information, including credit card numbers, phone numbers, or other information.

If your employees aren’t on their toes, they may fall victim to this hacking attempt. Once the hacker has the information, they can cause a lot of damage. By educating your employees, you can reduce the chances of valuable information falling into the wrong hands.

Invest in the Right Security Technology‍

In addition to phishing emails, hackers will attempt to use other methods to get into your system. This might include malware or viruses sent via email or a hacking attempt to access the firewall at your office. Many of these can be stopped before they even make it to your computer. To achieve this goal, you need to invest in the right security technology.

Many small business owners overlook this vital aspect of security because it can be expensive. They believe that the free software they find online is sufficient to protect them from attacks. However, investing in an operating system and business cybersecurity that can take care of malicious attacks will save you money in the long run.

Cyber Security - shield coming out of a tablet

If you experience a data breach and hackers get a hold of customer credit card numbers or other personal information, you are losing more than just information. Your customers will no longer trust that you can keep their data safe. Thus, they may decide to stop buying products from you and buy from your competition.

Once you have lost customer trust, it takes a lot to get it back. This is one of the baby boomer qualities that can make or break a business. You have the option of spending some money now to keep information safe, or you risk losing a lot more in the future by not having the right security technology in place.

Keep Your Security Technology Up to Date‍

You need the right security technology, but you also need to keep it up to date. Remember, hackers are always changing their techniques and looking for new ways to break into your system. With the right technology, it should be able to stop the vast majority of these attacks before they reach your computer, but only if you keep the system up to date.

If you are working with a security provider to secure your website, they should either let you know about technology updates or run them automatically. This ensures that you have the right protection at all times, and you have to do very little to protect your customers and your business.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Passwords‍

Username and Password form

At this point, you have probably had to create numerous passwords for a variety of different sites online. Coming up with new passwords is tough, so you probably have a few that you cycle through. While this makes them easy to remember, it could also make it easy for hackers to figure out.

If this is a system you are using when it comes to passwords, you can bet that your employees are doing the same thing. One of the easiest ways to keep your small business safe from cyberattacks is to make sure everyone creates strong passwords. These include at least ten characters and lowercase and capital letters, along with numbers and symbols.

It’s also a good idea to change your password every three to six months. You might even consider adding multi-factor authentication to your system. This will make it even more challenging for hackers to get into your system and steal your invaluable information.

Getting Help with Cybersecurity for Small Businesses‍

Employing cybersecurity best practices for small businesses is crucial. With more people ordering products online, you need to keep their personal information safe. It can be challenging to know which systems are the best, but getting help can be beneficial.

At E-Marketing Associates, we can incorporate an SSL security certificate into your small business website design to protect users’ personal and payment information. We can also help with other aspects of your business, including creating business listings, helping with lead generation, and developing social media. Contact us today!

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