Online security matters – a bad incident can cost you time, wealth and trust.
In today's digital world, there are many hazards that you and your company members need to look out for. After all, problems can develop as quickly as someone clicking on a link in an email.
So, how can you defend against online breaches in security? What are the best ways to improve online security? Certainly, there are more downloads or services you can buy, or people you can hire. But what other approaches are worth considering?
To find out how you can better protect your business, we asked 11 entrepreneurs from YEC to weigh in on their best ways to improve online security, especially regarding payments. Here's what they advise.
Editor's note: Looking for a secure credit card processing services for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.
1. Use two-factor authentication.
"Having two-factor authentication is crucial, especially when it comes to accounts throughout your social media. If someone has access to any of your accounts, they basically have access to your financial payments attached to them as well. Having your two-factor authentication will secure every login you make. It'll notify you whether it's being accessed from another device you're unfamiliar with." – Fritz Colcol, ABN Circle
2. Use third parties for storing sensitive information.
"One of the highest-risk activities is storing credit card numbers. We frequently suggest using a third-party transaction partner that will also take responsibility for storing payment details, thus removing significant risk." – Ryan D Matzner, Fueled
3. Choose a secure e-commerce platform.
"Choosing a secure e-commerce platform like Shopify will give you added security and peace of mind. You as a business owner won't be solely responsible for detecting threats and providing security: You'll have a third party to help you out and keep you safe, too." – Blair Williams, MemberPress
4. Buy cyber liability insurance.
"As more personal information is being collected and stored through online transactions, the risk to organizations who are collecting personal information and payment information online is growing exponentially. Investing in cyber liability insurance coverage, along with proactive security measures, helps offset the financial impact of a data breach and the legal costs that arise from it." – Brian Greenberg, Life Insurance Quotes
5. Use a personal verification system.
"For high-ticket items, it may be worth taking a look at a personal verification system. For example, Airbnb uses this technology by allowing users to verify themselves with a driver's license or passport. Users that are verified are able to book rooms immediately without having to wait for confirmation." – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
6. Don't store customer payment data.
"One of the easiest ways to improve your online security when taking payments is to get rid of any payment data as soon as the transaction is complete. If you do need to store payment data, then you can protect it from intruders by using a private network to store it." – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
7. Get an SSL certificate for your site.
"A lot of small businesses may overlook security because they think they won't be a target, but small businesses are often the most targeted when it comes to credit card breaches. So make sure to get an SSL certificate for your site. It will protect your website and your customers' valuable information." – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
8. Ensure PCI compliance.
"SSL protocol is the best way of ensuring that the payments made on your website are secure. SSL certificate implies that all customer information is encrypted and reduces the risk of exposure by cyberattacks. Make sure you comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) to ensure an additional layer of security and thus establishing trust." – Rahul Varshneya, Arkenea
9. Educate users about the importance of VPNs and security.
"While there are many things a site can do to protect user data, like using SSL or storing data in the cloud, it's important to keep your customers well-informed as well. By using a VPN, security software and updated browsers, this can also help limit the possibilities for customer data to be lost or stolen. This information can be posted on your site or through a monthly newsletter." – Zac Johnson, Blogger
10. Ensure your hosting provider has safeguards in place.
"In today's digital world, you have to take extended security measures to accept online payments. First, you want to make sure your web hosting provider has safeguards in place for this scenario. Secondly, you need to make sure you have Secure Socket Layer protection to encrypt any data that gets inputted to your site. Thirdly, get a service like Cloudflare to protect from any DDOS attacks." – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.
11. Watch for patterns.
"When it comes to online purchases, you will find patterns of fraud. Most likely, your third-party payment processor has this security in a place where you can rest easy, but every now and then a fraudulent order may slip through the cracks. You'll start recognizing patterns, so write them down and train new employees of these patterns to watch out for." – Jared Atchison, WPForms