Posted by Patricia Jones
Online reputation is everything in web-based businesses. Hence, keeping it secured from cyber threats is utmost important for the safety of your enterprise. Primarily controlling your reputation online deals with what information that is available to your customers on the Web. Next, to that, you need to protect your business from ‘zero-day’ exploits, so that your business establishment never has to be the company that is in the spotlight for a data breach.
You can secure your online reputation and protect your customer’s sensitive data from data theft by several means.
Some of the ways by which you can prevent this from happening are:
1. Keep a Track of Your Company’s Social Media Profiles
It is most vital that you should always take the time to review your company’s online presence and make adjustments to secure its reputation online. For this, ensure that all social media profiles, which are associated with your business, are verified accounts. Verifying your business’s social media profile shows other people; your account is original and is the official page that highlights the mission, vision and products or services of your company. This, in turn, helps to mitigate any damage that may arise out of fake profile creation in your company’s name. In addition, if any fake account on the social media platform should try to damage your company’s reputation by making false claims, you must let your stakeholders and customers know about such spurious profile-impersonation, answer to any comments made by them on behalf of your organization, and handle the damages made in a positive way.
Also periodically review all your security and publication settings on the social media sites, to ensure that no one can tag your name and publish information on your behalf, without your permission. This will stop others from accidentally publishing any information about you or related to your organization, that you do not want to be viewed online.
2. Create an Ultra-Strong Password
Using a good password is another means of securing your social media and other related websites. However, this is not a one-time procedure. So after choosing a secured password, update your password regularly, to stump hackers who are trying out millions of possibilities to crack into your account.
An ideal password should always contain:
According to a report published by Digital Guardian one should avoid using dictionary words and identifying information (e.g. anniversary, date of birth etc.) and instead use the first words of a phrase along with a number and a special character to create a password, which most often becomes the hardest thing even for the phishing aficionados to crack. For an example, take the first words of the phrase “A stitch in time saves nine” and create a password “Asits9!”, which is not only a hard password but also a secret code that is easy to remember at all times.
Also, change your password every month and never share your password using cloud networking services, digital documents or on paper, whether by accident or on purpose, for optimal security of your accounts.
3. Allow Access to Only Those Who Need
Cull everyone in your organization who does not need an access to your accounts. Extraneous access by people who do not need a direct access to your accounts, allow hackers another avenue to gain access to your data.
For an example, never give any individual other than your company employees the ability to edit or post a guest article on your blog, but instead let them send the documents to you for publication, which you can upload, to remain on top of this practice.
4. Keep All Devices and Software Updated and Secure
In most cases, we only think about updating our devices and software when something goes wrong or when we want a new and exciting feature that can cater to our need. However, this is wrong. Most updates are actually security fixes, which are released as a security patch when a program’s developer learns of a security hole in the software. Therefore, if you want to keep your device and account safe download and install the updates as soon as they are out. Else, you will be leaving yourself open to security holes that are already fixed.
However, you must remain careful about fake downloads which have always been a favorite strategy that hackers use to encourage the users to install something that is actually harmful to your business. Hence, to make sure that your updates are legitimate, only accept updates, which come from the software’s manufacturer that can be confirmed from the update information found in the software’s Help menu.
5. Use a Virtual Private Network
A VPN is a service that can greatly improve your online security, for a small fee. Technically speaking, VPN creates a secured virtual tunnel for the data to travel from the source to its destination, encrypting every individual data that passes through. Especially, companies, where multiple people or several devices are accessing the same account or information and accessing your company networks when working remotely, needs a VPN. In an article published by LifeHacker, it has been said, VPN is possible one of the best technological boons that make your device immune to most of the common hacking methods found online.
6. Move to Cloud
Cloud servers have become much more secure than ever. Nowadays many businesses are moving to cloud to protect their and their customer’s information online. Reputed cloud service providers like AWS (Amazon Web Services) which use a highly secured yet simple web service interface like S3 to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere on the web is often used by many businesses (like ConvergeHub), is an ideal way to enhance and empathize security of your data.
Apart from these, using software that provides encrypted database and is SSL certified are other means for keeping your company out of the harm’s way.
7. Train Everyone in Good Network Security Habits
Last but not the least; train your company’s workforce to identify threats such as phishing emails, spam, and potential ransomware. It is another key point to make sure that your data remains protected, and so your business reputation is not compromised.
If you find these tips on cyber security helpful, do let us know of your experience in the comment box below.