The threat of online fraud is constantly evolving with cyber criminals and hackers continually changing and adapting their tactics. As a result, online security has never been as important.
If you are unsure how to go about securing your business the five simple steps outlined below will help get you started.
1. Change the Defaults
If you have set up your new computer system out of the box then be sure to read carefully the instructions on how to change default settings. For example, keeping your router username as ‘admin’ and the password as ‘password’ isn’t a smart move; it is the first thing any hacker will try. Most hackers will be very familiar with your hardware and will often know every default setting off by heart. This step is the single most important because it is your first line of defence against hackers.
2. Use a Secure Online Payments System
For small businesses that want to accept online payments having a secure e-commerce payments system on your site is a must. It provides a double benefit: firstly it removes the aspect of the time and money required for setting up this kind of complex system yourself, as well as guaranteeing the security of your customer’s details and allowing them the peace of mind of having a trusted site handle their information. All in all it will probably cost half as much for a secure e-commerce payments module to place on your site (for which you pay a small premium) than it would to set up the same system yourself. Most of the e-commerce payment systems available today use an encryption technique called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to secure data. This gives your site the trusted https:// and padlock markers of security.
3. Keep Systems Updated
Updating your system to the latest security patches and software helps to keep the hackers playing catch-up. Hackers are often on the lookout for systems which have not been updated in a while, simply because they are much easier to crack. To help you ensure you are up to date turn on automatic updates so you are routinely prompted.
4. Change Passwords
Change usernames and passwords regularly. It is amazing how many employees write down their details and then lose them somewhere, giving anyone who finds the paperwork access to your system. It is a good idea to require users to change passwords every few months for maximum security.
5. Clean up Files
Keyloggers are pieces of software designed to record keystrokes and periodically email them to an outsider. If the opportunity arises fraudsters will install this software as keystrokes will often contain very sensitive information such as passwords and bank details. In order to prevent keyloggers being installed on your computer systems make sure you restrict what type of files employees can install and be sure to clean up your file systems frequently, every 6 months to a year for maximum security.
It is important to understand that the above steps are just for starters, and even with these measures in place no computer system is completely safe. With enough time it is possible to crack any security feature, but with these measures in place hackers will be more likely to pass you by for easier targets. With these steps completed you are on your way towards offering secure payments for your customers.
[author ] This article was written by Mike from First Data Merchant Solutions who assist a range of businesses with online credit card payment processing needs.[/author]