Building an online business costs money and consumes a lot of time and effort; but as your business grows the security and privacy risks grow too. Are you well protected from cybercriminals, hackers, viruses, lawsuits, penalties, and everything else out there? There are multiple factors that can negatively affect your business and ruin your reputation. You need to always be ten steps ahead and ensure your business and privacy is protected.
This is your guide to all the procedures you need to take for your business to ensure you don’t fall a victim to cyber theft, ransomware, or other malicious problems.
How do you protect your business privacy while growing?
- Register your business:
Before registering your business legally, you need to ensure your domain name is available. If you don’t already have the name verified at this point, you should. You should even look into purchasing other formats of your business name (like business.org or business.net) to ensure that no other company tries to copy your name.
A popular web host, Bluehost, always you to verify your website name, buy your domain, and it offers cloud storage (if needed) and a certified SSL. After buying your domain name, it’s time to officially register your business. The US Small Business Administration states that there are four ways to register your business, by entity name, DBA, Trademark, and domain name. We’ve already got the domain name but the entity name and trademark protect your business name at a state and federal level. In order to get this done, check out the Choose Your Business Name section on the SBA website.
- Protect your goods & services (Intellectual Property):
Protecting your ideas, products, website, content, logo, etc. is vital to avoid lawsuits or any trouble in the future with other companies. Trademark will protect your business at a national level and is always recommended with business growth.
Go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to view the official trademark database and get started on your trademark.
- Virtual mail handling:
If your business postal mail falls into the wrong hands, this can lead to endless problems like identity theft and fraud. Your business mail is sensitive because it contains bank statements, credit card statements, important documents, contracts, etc. It needs to be handled with care and secrecy.
With a virtual mailbox, you and your employees can handle all your postal mail online, through a computer or smartphone. Each individual would be able to log into their mailbox and handle their mail separately. With unlimited cloud storage, you’ll have an online database without needing to deal with the inefficiency of paper mail.
- Prevent negative feedback, lawsuits, or penalties:
Besides avoiding trouble with other companies, you also need to ensure you don’t run into any problems with the law or your customers. First off, the terms and conditions on your website should be authentic and updated according to your state’s laws and federal regulations. Do not copy this section from other websites because this can lead to legal problems and you will be fined.
- Protect against viruses, hackers, and malware:
This is by far one of the biggest issues many online businesses face that can lead to catastrophic results. For example, ransomware, a spreading malware that holds a business’s data hostage in exchange for money is predicted to have cost businesses $6 trillion by the end of 2021.
When sensitive data, especially customers’ personal and payment info is jeopardized, this will ruin your business’s reputation and can even put an end to your business at an early stage. Here are a few tips to protect yourself against these threats and strengthen your business:
- Make sure your website is HTTPS (for example, Bluehost’s SSL certification). This ensures all web transactions between the website and server are secure against hackers.
- Use encrypted software to protect customers’ financial and personal info
- Use an innovative and strong security software system (that works as an anti-virus, malware protection, and offers to test too)
- Constantly change the username and passwords to all your business accounts
- Avoid phishing spam by training employees to never open wary emails with attachments and scan all attachments. Employees need to be really careful when using their business email.
Don’t wait for trouble to affect your business, start taking the right procedures today to protect your business’s privacy and rights. By following these 5 tips you’ll ensure that as your business grows so will your brand and reputation, without needing to worry about protection.