Holiday shopping is in full swing right now. Most consumers do their purchases online as they find it more convenient and easy to shop in this manner. The benefits of online shopping far outweigh conventional shopping methods. However, there are very real security threats associated with online shopping.

Damian Michael, Managing Director at Innovo Networks said “businesses and consumers must pay attention to security alerts, with regards to cyber security. Cyber security is the frame of technologies, designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorised access”.

As more businesses and consumers use the internet to purchase goods, cyber criminals are finding new ways to break into businesses, by bypassing their firewalls. These include easy phishing attacks, where cyber thieves will blast realistic-looking spam emails to business employees pretending to be banks or other legal institutions.

According to Damian, businesses are often poorly prepared to defend themselves against a cyber-attack. “the best ways to approach your summer holidays is with a clear mind – entering the upcoming holiday season with the peace of mind, knowing that your business and business data is safe and secure and can be found (by only you) where you left it when arriving back in the New Year’’, says Damian.

Both businesses and consumers need to know how to protect their organisations from cyber threats in the digital age by doing the following:

1. Protect Your Network And Back Up Your Data

Make sure that your Internet connection is secured with a firewall, router, and password. If you have clients or guests that may want to use your wireless connection create a second password for those users. You do not want anyone who is not authorised to have the same access as you and your employees.

2. Prepare Your Employees

Creating strong policies and best practices for employees are going to be one of the most important lines of defense for your network’s security. Provide education and support for your employees on ongoing threats so they can help protect your business against potential risks.

3.Test Your Security

Arranging for a professional assessment of your security can be a very simple way to identify the areas where you need to improve. Such an assessment will involve an expert firm performing various forms of tests to confirm your level of exposure, and may include automated probing of your online connections, simulated social engineering attacks, and other strategies.

4.Encrypt Your Data

The information stored on your systems, including local or cloud storage, can be encrypted so that only authorised parties can read it. This approach does not in itself prevent the information being intercepted, but the information will be ‘scrambled’ and unreadable without the required decryption keys, similar to a password.

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