A lot of businesses now operate online to varying degrees, with some having all their operations fully online. Online platforms offer a great deal of convenience for businesses due the easy & far-reaching consumer reach, plus a significant lowering of overhead costs. No wonder why the number of businesses operating online shall continue to grow at an ever-increasing rate. However, this world of online presence comes with much more sophisticated challenges pertaining to security.

The cyberworld is a vast space that is so intricate and laden with a lot of security threats that mostly elude people because of lack technical knowledge. Therefore as an online business player it is of utmost necessity that you go to great lengths to protect your business’ online identity or platform. Herein I shall go over some important information with regards to how you can secure yourself online.

Physical Security

Before even delving into the online spectra, you have to ensure physical security is in order. This is relation to devices that you use to operate online; it could be desktop or mobile devices. It becomes significantly easier for someone to gain access to your online platforms once they have physically gained access to the devices. So don’t take this lightly, as this can markedly decimate any possible chances of illegal access to your online platforms.

Secure Networks

So businesses connect to the internet by various means wireless, fibre-optic or coaxial. Some can use a combination of these but fibre-optic and wireless tend to be most prevalent. Wireless has increasingly gained ascendancy though and is very vulnerable to illegal access. Two things here, you are liable to get your network hacked or if you use an unsecured network you become open to attack. Thus, it’s advisable to use reputable service providers for internet connectivity and inquire from them how best to secure your network.

Assign User Priviledges

Illegal access for ulterior purposes isn’t only likely to come from external sources; people from within the business team can do that. That’s why it’s important to assign user priviledges by means of separate computer user accounts with different extents of access. This is also achievable by assigning different user access levels on databases or applications. This also helps in auditing trails and accountability issues since who has access to what will be known.

Use Authentic Software

Due to the pursuit of limiting costs many people use bootlegged software. This is very risky because such software will be vulnerable to infiltration by hackers due to its not being covered by security measures available for authentic software. Try as much as possible to purchase official and authentic software and ensure it’s regularly updated. Authentic software is backed up 24/7 online support so that helps you stay secured.

Look Out For Phishing

Phishing entails the stealing of personal data e.g. email login details, passwords, bank account details etc through the use of viral links. Online this mainly comes in the form of ad links, prize offer links, spam etc; once you click the link a program propagates itself into your system and steals certain data. Combat this by using spam & ad blocker software or having a culture of not clicking any suspicious links. Details stolen can even be used for identity theft so be very wary of this.

Keep Your Logging Behaving Behaviour In Check

Many people have a tendency to leave their PCs or mobile devices logged in on online platforms. Some use the feature of saving a password on initial login so that for subsequent logins they don’t need to re-enter their passwords. These habits make you vulnerable for hackers; always logout after you are done, always key in passwords & regularly change them.

Use Secure Passwords

Passwords are a powerful tool for securing files, databases, applications etc but not just any password works effectively. Generally most people use passwords inspired by their personal lives e.g. nicknames, family names, date of births, favourite things etc. This is usually premised on the need by people to easily remember their passwords however; those kinds of passwords are very weak. They can be easily guessed or figured out by someone analysing your personal life even on social media. Here is the principle, use strong secure passwords – formulate them by combining alphanumeric characters e.g. 5t4rtUpB!z is a very difficult password to guess (but easy for you to remember).

Secure Browsing Activities

Whenever you are browsing on the internet you become a likely target for all sorts of shady people online. The first thing to do is to ensure you secure your online URL runs by prefixing every URL address by https as opposed to http; the extra s standing for secure secures your browser activity. There are also options to browse anonymously or privately; there are in-browser features you can use to achieve this. Alternatively, you can use browsers that offer anonymity & block ads such Tor (for desktop) & Brave (for mobile). Don’t forget to always ignore suspicious ad or link pop-ups.

Data Encryption & Inoculation

Incorporate this when communicating online or when securing files online or in your devices. There are lots of software applications that can help you secure your data & online communications. You have to also inoculate yourself from viruses by use of anti-virus software; viruses come in many forms and some of them steal your data. Again endeavour to purchase authentic full version anti-viruses as opposed to free versions which are limited in effectiveness.

The field of focus for this article is very vast, diversified & very technical. Therefore, the information I just discussed herein isn’t exhaustive in detailing the issues of online identity or platform protection. It provides a theoretical framework for you to know what areas need attention and how you can work towards securing your businesses online. I would implore you to read around or study more on the areas I have highlighted so as to gain more insight.