Keeping Your Data Safe: Tips For Business Owners

A lot of business owners own their websites and domains without really understanding how it works, where their data is stored and how safe it is. You don’t have to be an IT genius to understand these concepts and unless you have someone on your staff to handle this (and even if you do), it’s highly recommended that you have a basic understanding of where your and your clients’ information is stored.

You may mistakenly believe, as many people do, that the place you buy your domain from is the same place where it is hosted. Although this may be the case for some people, it is often not. Your registrar is where the website is hosted, and your Host is where the information/data of your website is physically stored, on a server. And how well secure this database is, is by extension, how well secure your data is.

For example, Shared Hosting is a kind of hosting where you would be sharing a particular IP address with other websites. You do not have control over which other websites will be on the same IP that you are essentially sharing a neighborhood with. So you can see why this can be relatively less safe than Dedicated Hosting. Of course, Dedicated hosting will also be more expensive for this very reason. Since you are not sharing the IP with other websites, you will have full control over the website.

Having a dedicated and safe server is all the more important if you have a business where clients pay directly through your website. This is because the transactions ask for their personal information like credit cards and this information is transferred through the same servers, which if not safe, can fall into the wrong hands. A dedicated server prevents this from happening. Your clients will want to know that their information will be kept completely private. It will also improve your conversion rate if you own an e-commerce business, because people tend to exercise their caution when buying online and if they see that your transaction process is not secure, they are likely to not proceed with it. On the other hand, a business that has a website mainly for the purposes of awareness and only for their potential clients to find them and then give them a call, transactions do not take place online and thus, less intensive measures of security can be taken. Recently a local fitness instructor website based in East Melbourne went through a similar experience where it was down for more than 2 weeks because of server issues. Because of this, during this downtime, Astute Fitness had to rely on local business listings for their clients to find them online.

With that said, it’s important to note that transactions are not the only reason that you should think about getting a secure server. It’s also the information about your company, your employees and your private emails that are at risk as a result of bad server security. This is especially important to stop your competitors from snooping around your company’s website servers and looking for inside information. Although this is rare, there have been several court cases where businesses have hired hackers to attempt and hack into their competitors’ website servers to extract information.

In summary, being mindful of your servers and where your data is stored, is not the ultimate solution to all your security issues but it certainly gives you a greater degree of control over your website and your information. It is kind of an insurance that you pay a little bit extra for, knowing that all your company’s and clients’ valuable information is private and stored separately.

Website Security Tips 101

As some of our previous articles have indicated, it is very important to protect your online and digital assets these days. With the growing number of cyber attacks, it is not uncommon to hear of cases where people have lost thousands of dollars because of poor online security. But then the question is, how does one go about doing this? Most local Melbourne based business owners hardly know anything about Information Technology or cyber crime.

One of the most essential and basic type of security is that of your own website. It is surprising how many websites get hacked every day because of simple reasons such as having standard login details such as “admin” or “administrator”. Stay away from having any logins or passwords that are easy to hack. For businesses based in Melbourne, consult a Hawthorn web design company to implement additional protective plugins to your website. These plugins can help to block people from launching “brute force attacks” to get into the back end of your website.

Small business owners often underrate the value of their own website and tend to not do much to protect it. It is important to understand that a website gains authority and trust as it gains age. You certainly do not want to abandon a website after a few years even if you change your business name or move to a different location. Many people do not understand this. They think that simply making a new website will get them in the same position in the search engines as they were in before. A website also gets stronger and more trustworthy as it gets older. In the event of a hacking attempt or an attack, if something were to happen and you had to approach the authorities, they will tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the website that has been active for longer.

picture of stop sign

If you are the admin or the manager of your own website, then you probably get a  lot of junk email in your inbox every day. From people offering you millions of dollars to marketing scams. Almost anyone who owns a business is used to deleting so many every day that you hardly even remember. Well, there’s something you can do to stop these emails from coming through at all. These emails are usually sent in large volume by automated bots. These bots scrape many websites and use the Contact Form to send this message through. Since a lot of the contact forms look exactly the same, the bots are able to do this efficiently. However, if you were to add a Captcha or a ReCaptcha element to your contact form, then the bot gets caught in that and is not able to submit the message. You’d be surprised by how much less spam you get in the email by adding this one simple element to your website. Of course, you can add this yourself if you are well versed with setting up websites, or you can get the experts at hawthorn SEO to do this for you.

Now that you know that basics of protecting your website from the most common forms of cyber attacks, you should be able to prevent the kind of damage that most people are prone to. However, take note that these tips are only the basics and protection for larger websites against much more sophisticated attacks are a whole different story and require expert professionals to work on. For most small business owners or for people with personal blog websites or eCommerce websites, this level of security is not required.

Methods To Tackle Crime On the Internet

With cyber crime on the rise, there is a need to make sure that methods are in place to stop their attacks. Research has shown most of the criminals in the cyber world have a loose network where they help each other and work together. Rather than outdoing each other, they help one another in improving their skills and finding new ways to terrorize the internet. This is the reason why when fighting cyber crime, people will need to up their game in order to defeat these criminals. Most of the technologies that are used by these people keep on camouflaging every time which means that when one is left behind a bit, then they might not be able to stop these people. Most experts who are good in social media marketing and other internet related skills will need to research a lot and come up with new methods of protecting websites from hacking.
These security measures are important not only for your personal digital accounts but also for the most important business and financial accounts. Small business owners, for example, are often not up to date with the latest technology that can help them protect their security and financial assets. If their business relies on any sort of software technology, then it is possibly at risk of hacking. To tackle this, business owners should make it a point to attend networking events to meet other business owners and discuss their security strategies and tactics.

professionals at local meetup event

Some of the basic methods that can be used include:

Keeping your computer updated with current patches
This is one of the simplest methods that one can use in order to keep hackers at bay. When these updates and patches become available, then one will need to make sure that they have installed them on their computers. Many of the hackers usually take advantage of the little flaws in a computer such lacking the recent updates in order to hack into the software and do all the damage they can conceive. Many of the computers using the recent Microsoft windows have the auto update feature which means one will not need to keep a reminder of the updates. Although you can make it a point to be in top of this by yourself, it always helps to stay in touch with other people who might be in the same position as you, so you can update each other with any latest information you find out. This is why local Melbourne events are a great way to meet other people and build your professional and business network.

Configuring the computers securely
This is another way of ensuring that a computer does not fall prey to cyber crime. When hiring  experts in Melbourne, Australia to create websites for your business, one can ask them to perform some of these tasks and also make sure that they have been done correctly. When one has bought new computers, they might need to check the security aspects so as to ensure that the computer is safe from hacking. Software applications such as web browser should be configured properly in order to make sure that they are safe from hacking and that there are no loopholes that hackers can take advantage of.

Strong passwords
Passwords are used in everything that you do on the internet. To avoid someone from hacking them, you will need to have passwords that are strong and they should also be kept safe from other non-parties. The password should not easily be guessed and it should over eight characters which are well known to you. They should also be changed regularly with some recommending an average of 90 days. When you notice an unusually activity online, the first step is to change the password.

Latest Developments In Security System Technology

picture of protective software program

There is a lot of research that continue to be done on matters of security systems that are used in various places and events. This is to ensure that safety has been increased and ensure that the response to risks is also fast and efficient. There are also systems that are focusing on linking the security systems with the mobile devices. This is a milestone in the field of security since one will be able to follow up on whatever is going on using their gadget. Complicated gadgets made by the best brains in the world also continue to spring up as solutions and research continue to be done. Many of those people and companies that make these systems of security argue that one can never be too rich or too secure. This is the reason why a lot of technology research is done on security systems so as to make them better day by day and also minimize the chances of vandalism among other forms of crimes.

Fingerprint reader
Many of the custom biometric fingerprint readers are used in many places where there is a need to control the access to facilities, safe rooms, and homes and even gun cabinets. A fingerprint of a person is only common to them alone and thus, when they are installed, only the recognized print will be accepted. These systems of security can also be modified so that a person will only be able to access a specific room, at a specific date and time as well. Anything protected by this form of a security system can be considered to be safe to a certain degree.

Virtual fence
This is a type of a fence that is used in order to detect intrusion in places like the nuclear sites. Such places will need to be kept safe from intrusion by anything and the use of a virtual fence is nothing but a beginning. They can also be used in VIP homes and also in correctional facilities. The sensor cables are buried underground and are also linked with cameras so that when the perimeter is breached, it will be detected. Research is being done in order that when such a thing happens, it will also be able to send and signal the owner of the breaching.

Thermal imager
This is a gadget that is hand held and is also a high-resolution device. They are used when one wants to locate surveillance equipment that may be concealed in places like offices and homes as well. Since the surveillance equipment emits infra-red rays, then they can easily be detected using these gadgets.

NBCE shelter
This is a souped-up shelter from a bomb which will be able to protect one against nuclear, chemical and electromagnetic pulse attacks. It’s typically built about 20 to 30 feet underground.

Effects Of Cyber Crime On Local Businesses

Cybercrime has been on the rise in the last couple of years. This can be partly due to the development in technology and the fact that so many criminals have become experts in the creation of viruses and hacking systems. There are very many people who are losing millions of dollars to hackers. This has been a major undoing to local businesses where some of them have been put out of business after a major breach has occurred. The number of cases that are reported is quite low but the ones that go unreported are are often the worst ones. For those small businesses, when customer information has been lost to cybercrime, this can paralyze all the operations in the business for quite some time leading to extensive losses. This is the reason why people should try and use systems that are sophisticated and secure in order to minimize the chances of a hacking.

Steps to take during a cyber attack.
When a local business is under cyber-attack, the first resort is to close all the electronic operations until the threat has been neutralized. The time it will take to solve the situation will depend on the nature and severity of the attack. This is because there has to be an investigation done in order to determine the place where the hacking took place and also try and correct the situation before it gets out of hand. During the lock down, there will be revenue losses to the business and the faster it takes to salvage the situation might be a determinant whether the business will be able to recover from the losses or not.

Losing business assets
When a breach occurs and bank account numbers and passwords are stolen or hacked, this could lead to a loss of funds which can prove expensive for the bank in question. This can be very dangerous since the business may end up losing their working capital which means they might end up borrowing. Other assets that could be stolen include the business strategies, customer records, product designs among many other important things. All of these have their value to the business and their loss can bring crippling losses to the business.

Damage the reputation
This is a damage which when it occurs, it is impossible to quantify the extent to which it has occurred. A reputation is very important to any surviving business right now and that’s why it will need to be protected. When cybercrime occurs and the reputation is lost, this will linger on for a long time before the company can recover fully from the damage. When a website is hacked, it will also be placed in a negative filter by the search engines which means potential customers will not be able to find it easily.