6 Tips to Keep Your Business Secure when Shopping Online
With Christmas just two weeks away, and more people shopping online than ever before, there is a heightened risk of cyber-attacks, that could potentially damage your business systems and confidential data.
Find out why businesses can’t let their guard down during the holidays – literally! And how to safeguard your company from the cyber-Grinches this year.
2020: Highest Year on Record for Online Sales in the UK
As the countdown to Christmas gets on its way, so too do the delivery drivers of 2020. Who, arguably, have been busier than the North Pole this year.
In the UK, online retail sales have gradually increased over the years, as more companies and buyers accelerate into the digital world. However, since COVID-19 hit the nation, a Statista report recorded that the country saw the highest penetration of sales in over a decade, with 87% of UK households having made online purchases this year alone, making the online retail landscape worth just under £100 billion in 2020.
It comes as no surprise that this surge in sales is set to continue over the holidays and into the new year, as a result of the pandemic. In fact, an Alvarez & Marsal report showed that 50% of UK consumers plan to avoid busy shopping areas this Christmas, and 17.2m Brits have stated they will switch to online shopping permanently.
As the nation continues to make one-click buys from the comfort of their living room, it is undeniably important that they do so safely – particularly, if they are using work equipment to do online shopping.
How Online Shopping Activity Creates Security Risks for Businesses
Due to remote working, research shows that a tenth of work computers are now being used for personal needs, such as social media, personal emails and online shopping.
Combining this with the rise of online sales, it is critical for businesses to safeguard systems and confidential data that could be breached by employees using work computers to purchase goods.
Cyber-attackers are on high alert for unprotected buyers and susceptible company websites. Some common methods of attack include phishing – scam emails that appear in your inbox posed as recognisable brands, in attempt to steal sensitive information from you – fraudulent transactions or credit card skimming.
So, as buyers rush to get boxing day bargains and special offers this Christmas, the online Grinches eagerly await to catch unsuspecting victims, creating security risks for your business, and potentially putting your critical systems in jeopardy. Make sure your team are aware of the dangers of online shopping and how to spot suspicious activity, as well as sharing the following advice to bulletproof your business.
6 Tips to Shop Online Safely
Before you kick back and have a well-deserved rest this Christmas, make sure you and your team are aware of the following tips:
1 – Look out for the padlock symbol next to the website address in your browser. This indicates that your connection has not been intercepted and that there is a secure connection between your browser and the website.
2 – Avoid making purchases while connected to public WiFi – say it louder! The security of public networks tends to be non-existent. When you connect to an unencrypted network like public WiFi, you become susceptible to eavesdropping attacks, making your private information accessible. The clue’s in the name…
3 – Log out, and close any business applications before starting your personal activity. This will not eradicate the risk, but it will put one more barrier in place and reduce the possibility of cyber criminals gaining easy entry into your business systems. Just like human viruses, computer viruses often spread by targeting and infecting the lowest path of resistance, so ensure you’re logged out of all systems before you start shopping.
Click here to download our guide on how to eliminate a computer virus.
4- Use unique passwords for every account. In 2019, a Real Wire report found that 64% of people used the same password for all of their accounts: a hacker’s dream! When a cyber-attacker gains access to one account, they immediately test the most common websites to gather as much information on you, before beginning fraudulent activity across your accounts – resetting password to lock you out, and themselves in.
5 – Use multi-factor authentication on your accounts where possible. Do this in addition to creating unique passwords. This will quickly add an extra layer of security to your accounts.
6 – Make sure your security is up to date. Your IT Provider should do this for you, but its best to be sure. Ensure your anti-virus is up-to-date and running to catch and eliminate any potential threats. Click here to find out more about our preferred security software, Eset, and how our proactive support and maintenance can help keep your business safe.
We specialise in supporting IT for growing businesses. We know that all you need is for technology to make things easier for your business and we make this happen.
At a time when your customers expect great service, speed and reliability, you need the valuable people in your business to be engaged and capable of doing what you hired them to do. Not losing time and momentum to avoidable tasks or processes. More importantly than anything else at the moment, you need them to be safe.
Please contact us on 01292 427 420 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any assistance in making your business ready to deal with remote working requirements.
We manage your IT. You run your business.