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October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and if you own a small business that utilizes a digital marketing strategy, the safety and security of your website, files, and information should be a top priority. Unfortunately, many small business owners assume that because they’re not a massive corporation, hackers won’t find them interesting. In truth, hackers often prefer small business targets because they’re easier to attack. This is due to lower cyber security awareness and less resources used to track down hackers. Here’s what we want you to know about small businesses, website safety, and cyber security this month and every month.
Cyber threats are constantly changing as technology evolves, which means that no matter how up-to-date you try to be, you’re unlikely to remain ahead of the curve. Website security should always be a top concern, as it’s often the easiest door for hackers to open in order to exploit you. Some of the most common cyber security threats you may be aware of, while others are likely to be surprising. Here are the three biggest cyber security threats that small businesses are likely to face.
Small businesses must work hard to succeed. In fact, it’s estimated that only about half of all small businesses make it five years. This means everything you do needs to be well planned and thought through. Cyber security threats even have the ability to take out large corporations when scandal is associated with them. For a small business, this means a small leak could be enough to end your company.
Just because you aren’t focusing on website safety, however, doesn’t mean hackers will attack your business. It just means that the chances are much higher. Even if they don’t attack your website, your bottom line will most likely suffer if your website security isn’t top-notch, especially since 2017.
Why 2017? That’s when Google and its Chrome browser began flagging websites that lack certain security features—namely, SSL. Standing for Secure Sockets Layer, this widespread technology is designed to protect data as it travels between web browsers—Chrome, Firefox, Edge—and web servers—the machines that “host” the internet.
If your website lacks this basic security feature, customers are warned not to visit your website and are told it isn’t safe. According to HubSpot research, over 80 percent of customers surveyed said they would leave a site if told it wasn’t secure. In other words, if your website is lacking SSL, 8 out of every 10 potential customers may be leaving your website instead of browsing it, due to a security flag.
Google’s search engine algorithm and SSL will also affect your SEO and search results. Google automatically ranks websites lower if they don’t have SSL, much lower than those who do have it—which means that website security should also be part of your digital marketing strategy.
If you aren’t the most technologically savvy person, you may be uncertain about your website’s security. Many small business owners design their own websites using free design programs and affordable hosts, most of which don’t secure these low-cost websites. While security isn’t the only problem with DIY website creation, it is a major reason to turn to professionals for assistance.
Before you contact a designer or sign up with a marketing consultant to handle that for you, you should know if your website is secure or not. Investigating this is a pretty simple task.
If you’ve discovered that your website is not, in fact, secure, Cyber Security Awareness Month is the perfect time to change that. Your website security can be revamped quickly by a professional as a stand-alone project or as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Here are a few of the benefits you can expect once you make the change:
Other things to consider:
If you’re ready to seek website or digital marketing assistance, be sure to contact us at Strategic Growth Advisors. We offer comprehensive solutions for all your digital marketing needs, including search engine optimization and website security. Solutions for your online needs and optimal growth are what we do best.
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