Small Business Website Security: What You Need to Know

By Scott Conlon

      Feb 14, 2018     Solutions    

Most businesses know that website security is essential for protecting company information, keeping the website running, and avoiding FTC fines.

However, these are all business-centric reasons for security. Above that, there is a whole other layer of customer-centric reasons for protecting your website.  

When customers know that your website is secure, they can feel confident visiting your page, accessing information, and making purchases. Without that security, people are less likely to visit your pages and interact with your brand. This can be devastating for an eCommerce brand or blog that relies on traffic, but it can also affect brick-and-mortar locations that are trying to increase customer loyalty and trust.  

Website security can make or break your bottom line. Here are a few things every owner should know to help them improve their small business website security.

Immediately Updating Software Can Keep Your Website Safe

Online security doesn’t have to be a complex process, especially if you run a small business that uses third-party hosting and existing tools to manage your content. While hosting sites like GoDaddy or platforms like WordPress install updates and changes on their own, you might have to manually update any plugins, widgets or software tools that you use. These can range from your CMS to eCommerce options that help customers check out.  

Most tools are quick to let customers know when they have a software update, and it’s up to your company to respond immediately to install it. If not, you could leave open security gaps and bugs in your website operations that the developer has already fixed with the new update.  

This task is relatively small and easy but can add significant layers of small business website security to your web presence.   

You Can Prevent Data Loss With Site Backups

In theory, data backups shouldn’t take up too much time or effort. Site backups store the bulk of your information in a remote, third-party server in the event that you can’t reach it due to a virus or attack.  

For example, Ransomware is an increasingly popular tool used by hackers. They lock down your information (including everything ranging from employee addresses to customer data and website access) and demand a large sum of money to access it. Most companies are forced to pay up or risk losing their content forever.  

By investing in site backups, you can still have access to your data if even someone holds it hostage. While they may take all the information, you at least can keep everything running because you can pull a backup from a third-party location.  

Investing In Fraud Alert Tools Saves Your Company Money

If you manage an eCommerce website or handle any sort of credit card information, then you need to invest in fraud alert technology. These tools flag suspicious orders where the credit card number doesn’t match the name, where the orders are excessively large, or where the fraudster makes dozens of small orders all for the same amount.  

These fraud tools put any suspicious orders on pause until you review them. If they are valid, you fill the order, but if they are suspicious, you can stop them. In this way, you don’t have to worry about sending products that weren’t correctly paid for. As a whole, this minimizes loss to your company and keeps your production process secure.

Let Customers Know About Your Website Security Accomplishments

Small business website security is essential for competing with major websites like Amazon or even with traditional communication channels like phone calls or in-person visits. When customers make a purchase on your small business website, they want to know that they will receive the correct products and that their credit card information is safe. For lead generation websites, customers want to know that the contact form they filled out will be read by someone and a response will arrive quickly.  

One way you can earn the trust of your customers is by displaying your business acknowledgments and security awards. This might include standard badges like your Better Business Bureau ranking, or it could include virus protection software you have or eCommerce security steps you take.  

If customers can see that you take steps to make your website more secure and value their safety and happiness, then they are more likely to trust your website and make a purchase, even if they have never bought from your brand before.

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL Certificate) Protects & Can Improve Your Search Rankings

A secure sockets layer, commonly known as an SSL, protects the information shared between the web server and the browser. When customers submit or request information (for example, if they send credit card information on an eCommerce page or access patient records for a doctor’s office), there’s a high possibility that it will get intercepted and read along the way.

An SSL essentially protects information from prying eyes.  

Visually, customers can see if a website uses an SSL by checking the URL. Websites that have https:// in their URL instead of the traditional http:// can feel confident in the security of their actions. They can trust the website with their information and know that it’s secure.  

Google factors in SSLs into its search algorithm and has reported that websites that use this tool have higher rankings than those without one. This is good news for your SEO strategy. The search engine wants people to feel comfortable using websites it recommends, and it achieves this by promoting secure content. Not only can implementing an SSL improve your overall small business website security, it can also increase your website’s value and traffic as well.     

Work With a Partner That Specializes in Small Business Website Security

Most small business owners manage multiple levels of their business, from the accounting to the marketing. The digital era has also turned many entrepreneurs into webmasters as well. You don’t have to be a security expert to have a website for your small business.

Instead, work with a team that stays up to date on the latest trends and knows how to keep your content safe.  

If you want to add extra security layers to your website, contact MyArea Network today. We can set up a free consultation to review your needs and come up with solutions that match your timeline, budget, and overall goals.

Or, if you want to perform a security and optimization review of your website on your own, check out our "Checklist of 35+ Ways to Improve, Secure, and Optimize Your Online Presence."