The online world is a challenging place, especially when it comes to running an online business. The online world is full of technical challenges that require expertise in coding, SEO (search engine optimization), and design. Challenges also exist in terms of creating and managing content across different online platforms. Finally, advertising online is vastly different from traditional advertising. Add to these complexities the plethora of data a business must analyze to optimize its market performance, and you have more work than a single founder can manage.
In addition to these challenges involved in operating your online business, you must handle the many threats out there from unscrupulous folks who would interfere with your business operations (through denial of service (DOS), for instance), steal valuable information from your business, and its customers, and damage your reputation by posting insincere reviews or negative comments–we often call these trolls for their nefarious attempts to damage your business.
If you are not prepared to handle these threats to your very livelihood, your business is the one that suffers, which is why we wrote this article.
Down below, we’re going to be looking at some ways you can determine whether you’re prepared for the onslaught of hackers and trolls and to ensure you’re prepared if you aren’t already.
Keep reading to find out more about protecting yourself in the online world.
Threats in the online world
Businesses face a number of challenges when they move their business online, as mentioned above. Among these challenges are:
- Online security to protect your information and that belonging to your customers
- System reliability, including ensuring your site is online at all times — ie more than 99% of the time
- Privacy issues
- Impostors, for instance, people buying websites related to your business. An example is whitehouse.com, which is a porn site taking advantage of the legitimate site, which is whitehouse.gov
- and, the list goes on as villains find new ways to attack your online business
Surviving in an online world
You must employ effective tactics to handle these threats to your online business if you wish to succeed. Here are a few tips to get you started, but there are many more tactics to protect your online business.
You must consider all the safety precautions you should take to protect yourself online. Encryptions, firewalls, antivirus software, antimalware software, and even more complex aspects of security are needed to protect yourself and your customers.
You can never be too safe when it comes to keeping your business protected from hackers and other people seeking to steal data from your business. Trust us when we say you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a data breach lawsuit, or find your brand damaged beyond repair by invasions by hackers.
At a minimum, you need encryption for secure information, such as customer credit card numbers and other personal information. Protect yourself and your customers by installing an SSL (secure socket layer) through your domain provider or hosting company — this is required by most credit card companies prior to allowing acceptance of their cards. Add tight security through a VPN (a virtual private network) when working remotely, and impose stringent password controls.
Control access to your website and protect it from spam by updating your CMS (content management system) whenever they release a new version and installing a plugin to catch spam comments. Alternatively, you can use CAPTA or require commenters to log in prior to posting a comment. On social media, set up pages to moderate comments before posting.
Expanding on that, carefully choose a hosting company not only based on price but other features that impact your business success such as their online percentage and speed.
Buy all the domains related to your primary domain to ensure they aren’t available for folks who want to steal your traffic by attracting careless users. At a minimum, I suggest clients purchase the .com, .org, and .net related to their content. To further extend your protection, you might buy domains related to your primary domain for countries where you have a large number of prospective customers, for instance, .au (Australia).
Trolls live to damage your brand and its reputation. Some do it for kicks, others because they want to give a competing brand the edge. There’s not much you can do to protect yourself from trolls, except to drown them out with positive reviews and comments.
Never engage with a troll or try to defend yourself against their negative comments. This only encourages them to respond and draws attention to their negative feelings. Ignore them and, if the comment occurs on a 3rd party platform, such as Amazon, you might request the review’s removal, although that’s a long process with uncertain results.
How to protect your business in an online world
We already discussed factors you must consider to protect yourself and your customers in your online business. Now, let’s discuss how you accomplish that protection.
Acquiring Knowledge Yourself
Now, if you want to ensure you’re protected in the online world, you may consider acquiring the knowledge yourself. But, this task involves a lot of learning and practice you might not have, especially seeing as you are busy running the company.
But, IT is so important for all companies right now, and likely to become even more important as hackers learn more ways to interfere with your online business.
If you’re the nervous type or lack the funds necessary to hire a firm to protect your online business, you may choose to protect your online business yourself.
Ensure you take a whole range of courses, learning as much as you can about the various aspects necessary to protect your online business discussed in this post and by other knowledgeable bloggers. Don’t brush past things, because you never know when you’re going to need a certain piece of knowledge that you thought useless at the time.
Hire An Expert
If you don’t feel you have the time or necessary ability to learn how to protect your online business, hire an expert. As we mentioned, there are people who can take over the IT side of your business, and hiring an expert is one way to ensure you and your business are protected now and prepared for future threats as they arise.
Hiring an outside firm or dedicated employee charged with your online business operation frees you up to concentrate on other aspects of running the business as a whole. There are plenty of experts out there who know all about things like restructuring VDR, managing your network, repairing your online brand, and a whole host of other things necessary for online protection. It’s important that you have someone with the knowledge, so be sure to test them before you hire them.
The online world is a challenging place, especially when it comes to business. There are so many threats out there that it’s important to know exactly how to handle everything to protect your business. If you are not prepared, then your business is unlikely to succeed.
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