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How to Conduct Online Business Safely

MotoCMS Editorial 5 August, 2022

As the world increasingly moves online, so too do our businesses. Whether we like it or not, the internet is now an inescapable part of running a successful operation. For many of us, this transition has been a difficult one. We’re used to doing business in person, face-to-face, shaking hands and looking people in the eye, and the old-fashioned personal connection that comes with doing business. The internet can be a cold, impersonal place. It’s easy to feel like you’re losing something in the transition from Offline to Online. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to conduct business online without sacrificing personal connection. Here are 15 tips for conducting online business safely.

Use a Secure VPN for Your Online Business

When your employees are working remotely, you should require them to use a secure VPN connection. This will encrypt their internet traffic and help protect your company’s data from being intercepted by hackers.

There are many different VPN providers to choose from, so be sure to do your research and select a reputable one. A good VPN will have strong security features and be easy to use. Another option to consider is to create your own VPN.

Educate Your Workforce about Online Threats

As your business increasingly conducts more of its affairs online, it becomes more susceptible to security breaches. Educating your employees about the dangers of clicking on links from unknown sources, opening attachments from unfamiliar senders, and other risks associated with internet use is essential.

Social engineering is a significant problem, and employees frequently fall victim to it for lack of knowledge. You can protect your business by ensuring that your staff is well-informed about online threats and how to avoid them. Some of the most common social engineering scams that all online businesses should be on the lookout for include:

  1. Social media scams – Scammers often contact employees through social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, posing as prospective clients or business partners. They may try to get employee information such as login credentials or financial data by promising a big payoff.
  2. Email scams – Employees may receive emails from scammers pretending to be from their company or a trusted partner. These emails may contain malware that can infect the company network or try to trick employees into giving up sensitive information.
  3. Phishing scams – Scammers will often send emails or create websites that look like they are from a legitimate company in order to get victims to enter login credentials or financial information.
  4. Telephone scams – Scammers may call employees pretending to be from IT or a trusted partner and try to get them to install malware on their computers or hand over sensitive information.
  5. USB scams – Scammers will leave USB drives in parking lots or other public places in the hopes that someone will find it and plug it into their computer. This USB drive may contain malware that can infect the company network.

Educating your employees about these and other online threats can help protect your business from a costly security breach.

Use Strong Passwords and Multi-factor Authentication

One of the best ways to protect your online accounts is to use strong passwords that are difficult to guess. You should also enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to enter a code from a text message or email in addition to their password when logging into an account.

Multi-factor authentication can be a hassle, but it’s worth the effort to protect your business from hackers. You can also use a password manager to help keep track of complex passwords.

Keep Your Software Up-to-date

One of the most important things you can do to keep your business safe online is to ensure all your software is up to date. This is one of the cornerstones of good site security, which also include your operating system, web browser, email client, and any plugins or extensions you use.

Outdated software is one of the most common ways hackers gain systems access. By keeping your software up to date, you can patch any known security vulnerabilities and make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your system.

Provide Your Employees with Company Hardware

BYOD is becoming increasingly common, but it’s not always the best option for businesses. If possible, you should provide your employees with company-owned hardware that they can use for work. This way, you can have more control over what software is installed and how the devices are used. Company-owned hardware is also easier to manage from a security standpoint. You can install security software and updates on all devices and be sure that they are being used properly.

Educate Your Employees about Cyber Security

One of the best ways to protect your business from cyber-attacks is to educate your employees about cyber security. They should know how to spot common scams, what to do if they receive a suspicious email, and how to keep their passwords safe.

You can provide training on cyber security or offer resources that your employees can use to learn more on their own. By making sure your employees are aware of the risks, you can help reduce the chances of your business being targeted by hackers. It’s important to understand that a business’s employees constitute its biggest cybersecurity threat.

Install Security Software

Security software can protect your business from a wide range of online threats, including viruses, malware, and phishing attacks. You should install security software on all your company devices and keep it up to date. There are many different security software solutions to choose from, so be sure to select one that meets your specific needs. Some security suites also include features like firewalls and intrusion detection, which can provide an extra layer of protection.

Use Secure Email

Email is one of the most common ways hackers gain systems access. You should use secure email protocols like S/MIME or PGP to protect your business. These protocols encrypt your email messages and attachments, making it more difficult for hackers to intercept them. You can also use a service like Hushmail, which offers encrypted email and storage. Hushmail is easy to use and provides high security for your email communications.

A Good Onboarding Policy that Emphasizes Cybersecurity Best Practices

When you bring a new employee onboard, review your company’s cybersecurity policies with them. They should know how to spot common scams, what to do if they receive a suspicious email, and how to keep their passwords safe. You can provide training on cyber security or offer resources that your employees can use to learn more on their own. By making sure your employees are aware of the risks, you can help reduce the chances of your business being targeted by hackers.

Consider Cyber Insurance for Your Online Business

Cyber insurance can help protect your business from the financial damages that can result from a cyber attack. This type of insurance can cover expenses like credit monitoring, data recovery, and legal fees. Before you purchase a policy, be sure to read the fine print and understand what is and is not covered. Cyber insurance is not a replacement for good cyber security practices, but it can provide a safety net if hackers ever target your business.

Have an Incident Response Plan

In the event of a cyber-attack, you should have a plan in place for how to respond. This plan should include steps for containing the breach, notifying affected parties, and restoring systems. You should practice your incident response plan regularly to ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of an attack. A plan can help minimize the damage caused by a cyber attack.

Regularly Back up Your Data

One of the best ways to protect your data is to regularly back it up. This way, if your systems are ever compromised, you will have a copy of your data that you can restore.

Many ways to back up your data include local, cloud, and offline backups. Be sure to use a mix of these methods to ensure that your data is always safe. Data backup can be one of those things that end up saving you a lot of time, money, and headache down the road.

How to Conduct Online Business – Conclusion

Following these tips can help keep your business safe from cyber-attacks. Remember that cyber security is an ongoing process, so be sure to review your policies and procedures regularly. By staying vigilant, you can help protect your business from the ever-growing threat of cybercrime. What other tips do you have for conducting business safely online? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Tags: business business tools online business starting a business
Author: MotoCMS Editorial
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