Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs
The security of your website is crucial to keeping an online business booming. There are many ways you can secure your site, but these are some of the most important steps to take.
The fact that your site is open for literally the entire world to access, means you can not completely guarantee your website's security. That is simply the nature of the Internet. But there some basic measures you can put in place to help prevent Internet thieves from getting their hands on sensitive information.
- Use a reliable firewall to prevent hackers from getting into your site. Get advice from professionals who know about firewalls to make sure you use a good product and to constantly update the protection offered.
- Passwords are key: You'd be surprised how easy it is for hackers to guess people's passwords. Use clever passwords containing numbers and information only you would know. Also, change your password every now and again, just in case.
- Who has access to your server? There should only be a limited number of people with access to your server, and only one or two with complete access.
- Keep a complete back-up of your website: Many small business owners learn this lesson too late. Keep a back-up (that is updated all the time) of your site on another computer.
- Monitor your systems for suspicious activity: Invest in programmes from reputable companies that monitor the activity on your site and alert you of anything dodgy.
- Keep your software up to date. Software manufactures often issue updates of their products, with enhanced security features. Hackers are always finding new ways to penetrate a website, so don't get complacent.
- A professional hosting service will know how to maintain and secure your server and network. This is a cost that may end up saving your company, so don't try to avoid it.
The nature of your business means that you are handling sensitive information. Be aware of what the potential risks are and how you can protect yourself, and your customers, from criminal activity. It's important to get professional advice or enlist the services of companies who will deal with all these issues for you.
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