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4 Simple Tips to Protecting Your Business From Cyber Attacks

Are you doing everything you can to keep your business safe?
4 Simple Tips to Protecting Your Business From Cyber Attacks
Image credit: Dennis Lane | Getty Images

The internet is responsible for trillions of dollars in annual retail sales, and a study by Statista reveals that in 2016, an estimated 1.61 billion people worldwide purchase goods online.

This data shows how the market has changed. Every business aspires to produce goods or render services for maximum profits. However, it is not enough to produce goods or render services -- you need a market share comprised of loyal customers and clients. Clients and customers are going digital, and conventional sales methods are phasing out.

This explains why millions of businesses are embracing e-commerce. However the issue is not with launching your online business -- it's about securing it against cyber attack, hackers and unscrupulous competitors. Here are several ways you can protect your business online.

1. Use anti-virus software.

Anti-virus software is very easy to access and use, but it can prevent computer programs designed to infiltrate and damage computers without the user's consent. Hackers use malware like viruses or trojans in most data breaches. These can be done through suspicious emails, spam messages and pop-up information requiring you to click on a dialog box.

Once the infiltration is successful, malware can capture login information and keystrokes, infect your computer and lock it, restricting your access to your own computer system.

However, these anomalies can be avoided by installing appropriate protection software to adequately protect your business from any form of attack. Remember to regularly update your anti-virus, since worms and other viruses raise their ugly heads on out-of-date anti-virus software.

Related: 22 Qualities That Make a Great Leader

2. Use a virtual private network (VPN).

A VPN creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet. The benefit of using a secure VPN is that it ensures the appropriate level of security to the connected systems when the underlying network infrastructure alone cannot provide it.

As long as you are using the internet, you should pay for privacy because you never know who is monitoring your business. Pay special attention to security -- especially when you do not fully trust the security of your local network provider. Using a VPN can help you prevent hacking, spamming and snooping from cyber attacks.

Related: Habits of the World's Wealthiest People (Infographic)

3. Educate your employees about cyber attacks.

One mistake from one employee can take down an entire organization. Hackers regularly search for loopholes where they can steal passwords, accounts and other sensitive data. Once they have this information, your business is at their mercy.

Educate your staff and train them how to handle confidential information, email safely and undertake security best practices. If employees don’t understand how criminals are working and how they can be targeted, they can’t be on the lookout for them.

Related: How to Start a Business With (Almost) No Money

4. Consult an online security firm.

In May, a global cyber attack affected universities, hospitals and businesses around the world shows that organizations should always be on guard. Union representatives for a Renault auto plant in France received text messages from the management telling workers to stay home for a day, because the company was still dealing with the fallout from a global hack that hit thousands of businesses and the factory would be shut.

If you don’t deem it necessary to consult an online security firm to secure your online business, you may lose sensitive data, pay a ransom or lose precious business time while trying to fix damages from a cyber attack. My business’s online security firm took full responsibility for our online security. This has enabled my firm to focus on our core business without having to ever worry about security issues.