You’ve built your business from the ground up. You’ve put in the long hours, made the sacrifices, and overcome the obstacles. Now, your business is thriving. Congratulations! But there’s one important thing you need to remember as your business grows: protecting your data should be a top priority.
In today’s digital world, data is everything. It helps you track your inventory, keep tabs on your finances, and understand your customers’ needs and wants. And as your business grows, so does the amount and variety of data you need to collect and store. That’s why it’s more important than ever to ensure that your data are secure—from internet-based attacks and cybercrime, as well as natural disasters like fires and floods.
Here are a few tips to help you protect your online business data:
Back Up Your Data Regularly
If something happens to your computer or server, you’ll have a copy of all your important data stored safely elsewhere. A cloud storage solution is perfect for data backup, as most are reasonably priced at $50 or less per month. Remember that these services aren’t foolproof, and it’s still wise to have a local backup plan.
Use Strong Passwords and Keep Them Safe
Using strong passwords is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your data. Make sure to use a different password for each account, and avoid using easily guessed words or personal information like your birthdate. It’s also important to keep your passwords safe—write them down in a secure place or use a password manager to help you keep track of them.
A password manager will generate and store strong passwords for you and help you log in to your accounts quickly and easily. The primary advantage of using this application is that you don’t need an excellent memory. This means that everybody can follow the latest suggestions for creating secure passwords. These include utilizing long phrases, symbols, punctuation, and capitalization.
Encrypt Your Data
If your data are intercepted or stolen, they’ll be unreadable without the right key. Many online businesses use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption for data transmission, the same technology used by banks and other financial institutions. You can also encrypt data at rest, which is data that’s stored on your computer or server. This is especially important for businesses that deal with sensitive customer data, like credit card numbers or personal information.
Invest in a Good Firewall
A firewall is a piece of hardware or software that helps to protect your data by blocking unauthorized access to your computer or network. It’s the first line of defense against hackers and cybercrime and is an essential part of any data protection plan. A good firewall will not only block unauthorized access, but it will also alert you to any suspicious activity. This way, you can take steps to protect your data before it’s too late.
Train Your Employees in Data Security
Your employees are likely handling sensitive data daily, so they must know how to protect that data. Ensure they understand the importance of keeping passwords secure, not sharing confidential information with unauthorized people, and not opening email attachments from unknown senders.
You should also have policies for what to do if a breach occurs. The use of data privacy management software can also help to automate some of these processes and make data protection easier for everyone.
Be Aware of Phishing Scams
Phishing is an online scam where criminals try to trick you into giving them personal information or login credentials by posing as a trusted source. They may do this by sending an email that looks like it’s from a legitimate company or setting up a fake website that resembles a real one. Be wary of any emails or websites that ask for personal information or login credentials, and only give out this information if you’re sure the source is legitimate.
Keep Your Software Up to Date
Outdated software can leave your computer vulnerable to attack, so it’s important to keep all your software—including your operating system, web browser, and any apps you have installed—up to date with the latest security patches. You should also install security software such as antivirus and firewalls on all your devices to further protect yourself from attacks.
In a Nutshell
Data security should be a top priority for any business owner—especially if you’re running an online business. By following the tips above, you can help ensure that your data are protected against internet-based attacks, natural disasters, and more. Don’t wait until it’s too late—start protecting your data today!