As with most things in life, when it comes to the world of online business, there is no such thing as a smooth sailing every day, especially when it comes to storing and protecting both you and your customer’s privileged information. Clever hackers and cybercriminals are quickly discovering how to infiltrate even the most secure of networks. This, combined with the threat of natural disasters and spilled cups of coffee, leaves your computer and everything stored inside vulnerable to any number of potential pitfalls and unavoidable perils. If you’re a small business owner who just wants to keep his customer’s private information safe, and your website up and running, here are a few tips to help prevent any number of potential online disasters.
Invest in Wireless Storage
When it comes to any type of data, professional or otherwise, there is a single phrase that every online business owner should adopt as their personal mantra: “back it up.” Never rely on your computer’s memory to keep everything secure, and instead back up any privileged data on a wireless storage device. In the event of a disaster or computer crash, your data will be safe, secure and accessible by an alternate computer or smartphone.
Now that everything is safely stored on your wireless storage device, it’s important to either keep the unit in a separate location or at least purchase an additional device. You can then keep one unit onsite and another at a separate location. This might seem pricy, but the added expense is justified, when you’re able to keep your business running after an event such as a fire or natural disaster.
Upgrade Your Antivirus and Watch for System Updates
As an online business owner, things can become hectic, and in the interest of saving both time and money, you might have glossed over that antivirus renewal recommendation or the endless stream of operating system updates. Both of these are a huge mistake, because as a result, you have unwittingly left your laptop or PC open to the threat of cybercriminals. Before you assume that wily hackers are uninterested in your small client base and revenues, just consider a recent survey that found around 72 percent of all world-wide data breaches occurred to businesses with 100 employees or less. When it comes time to update your antivirus and operating system, put everything aside, in order to accomplish this task.
Optimize the Power of Social Media
Believe it or not, Facebook, Twitter and the plethora of other social media sites are far more than just platforms to advertise your business or post pictures of your child’s second birthday party. Here’s a scenario that you could face: a natural disaster has ravaged your town and left your small online venture in ruins. You have several customers expecting their orders and they cannot understand why it’s impossible to access your website. This is where that well-established Twitter or Facebook page comes into play. Use social media to let everyone know what happened, and that although you suffered a slight disruption, your business is still up, running and ready to serve their needs. Facebook won’t be able to recover your lost files, but it does give you a way to reconnect with your customers in the event of catastrophe.
Look Into “The Cloud”
You’ve probably heard the term “the cloud” thrown around, but aren’t sure how this technology will benefit your small business or if you’re even able to afford this service. In general, the cloud is basically a way to virtually store and manage your data, and depending on the service, can actually be quite reasonable. There are many players in the cloud computing universe, some that even cater specifically to the small business owner. Do your homework and ask about any special rates for your modest business before determining if the added expense of cloud storage is worth it, or if your wireless storage device or a second computer is enough.
Keeping both you and your client’s most sensitive information secure doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. Investigate your options and see the opportunities that are more than plentiful in today’s technological landscape.