The online world has made it possible for businesses to reach a much wider customer base. Today, businesses can use e-commerce platforms to increase the convenience that customers enjoy when buying and paying for their products. However, online threats continue to present a huge challenge to such businesses. With these threats, it has become increasingly important for businesses to ensure that customer information is secured and protected from unauthorized access. The first step in keeping customers safe from online threats is to protect your network and systems.
1. Keep a clean machine
Protecting your customers from online threats starts with you thus you should ensure that all your machines are clean. This means installing the latest operating system, web browser, and security software. You will also have to make sure that the software is updated regularly in order to prevent vulnerabilities and provide the last line of defense against malware, spyware, viruses and a host of other online threats. By regularly patching the systems, you will be in a better position to detect threats to your network that could compromise customer data.
2. Data classification
With the important role that data plays in the business world, businesses handle a lot of sensitive data. In order to be sure that your customers are protected, you should adopt formal data classification policies. Through such a policy, data will be categorized as confidential, sensitive data, data that is to be used within the company and that which is to be released to the public. By classifying data in this manner and educating employees on the classification system, they will handle the data that they access in a way that ensures customers are safe.
3. Secure payment methods
If you have an eCommerce website, one of the responsibilities you will have towards your customers is to ensure secure payment methods. In a world where hackers do not sleep and keep coming up with new ways of gaining unauthorized access to data, customer information should be secured. A secure payment method should protect personal information such as credit card information, addresses, and personal identification information. Failure to protect such data may result in identity theft and credit card fraud.
4. Require strong passwords
Depending on the nature of your business, protecting your customers from online threats will involve requiring them to create complex and unique passwords. In addition to strong passwords, you should also enable two-factor authentication. This will provide an additional layer of security that will keep customer information safe online. Such measures will make it difficult for hackers and unauthorized persons to access customer information without permission.
5. Secure mobile applications
Today, an increasingly high number of people are using their handheld devices to access the internet and shop online. As much as the devices offer great convenience to customers, there is no doubt that threats will always follow. Any business that is keen on protecting customers from online threats should build and secure all mobile applications. Regardless of the applications your customers use, you should ensure that potential vulnerabilities are detected and prevented to avoid compromise or loss of customer information.
6. Protect from insider threats
Even as you use tools to protect your customers from online threats, it is important to remember that employees will also present a significant threat when it comes to data security. Since some of your employees will have access to sensitive data, you should consider using data loss prevention software. Apart from relying on the software to prevent malicious data breaches, you should also train employees on how to minimize the risks of accidental exposure of data.
In addition to taking these steps, proper IT staffing will also help to protect your customers from a host of online threats. By hiring qualified and experienced IT experts, you will reduce the chances of data breaches, a factor that will go a long way in helping to avoid related lawsuits and earning the trust of customers.
GUEST AUTHOR : Sia Hasan