A brief guide to securing your online business

At any given moment, any business is fragile. No matter how much work you put into developing it, nurturing it as it grows and securing it by all means you can think of, some days it feels like it’s not enough. And we’re not just talking here about hackers and cyber-attacks. Anything from lack of consistent backups, to poorly written scripts or a large variety of external factors, such as natural disasters, can either seriously harm or completely destroy your business.

Therefore, whether you have a small or large, successful online business, protecting all data associated with it should be a priority. The good news is that you can minimize security-related disasters in a variety of ways. By implement different tactics that don’t take much time, you can make a real difference.

Private business phone number

For starters,  you should consider getting a private business phone number. Why? Well, usually if you’re an online business, you will have to provide and list your phone number publicly, for ease of contact and increased credibility. A few of the situations in which you are forced to do this are: corporation registration, shipping customs forms, vendors applications and so on.

Exposing your personal phone number so publicly might not be a good idea for a number of reasons, so it’s better to opt for a private business phone number, that only visitors interested in your business can use for contacting you. What’s more, due to the advance of technology, nowadays you don’t even have to own a separate phone or SIM card for a new phone number. Instead, there are apps, such as Hushed or Burner, that can help with that.

Private business email address

Much like with phone numbers, you should also consider creating a separate business email address, so that your personal email won’t get flooded with messages from your business clients or even individuals that have no interest in your business but use the opportunity to pursue their own professional interests, such as marketing campaigns.

VPN for public wifi

If you happen to do a lot of your business work from your laptop, chances are sometimes you will do so not just at home, but also in public places such as cafes, airports and so on. Naturally, you will be inclined to use the local wifi. That’s a common mistake, because  public WiFi is a major security risk to your business.

Your emails and login credentials can be easily accessed by anyone with a bit of IT knowledge and some free software. In such cases, consider using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which will encrypt your internet connection, protecting you and your business from prying eyes.

Encryption across all devices

Finally, take the time to encrypt all devices that can access your business data. For Mac, you can do that by enabling FileVault in your Settings panel. For PC, you can use BitLocker if your computer is compatible. In the case of iPhones, encryption is enabled by default with your passcode. On Android devices, you can select the “Encrypt phone” option under Security in your settings menu.

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