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Top 5 Holiday Season Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

Small business owners plan for the holiday season months in advance. From securing inventory to outlining sales strategies for their e-commerce site, preparing for the holiday season can be stressful … especially when it comes to keeping your customers’ information safe and private from cyberattacks. Everyone is susceptible to cyberattacks, and the holiday season makes small businesses particularly vulnerable. Since small businesses have limited staff, small information technology (IT) departments, and often little money set aside for remediation, they’re often prey to cyber threats.

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Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your small business, keep your customers’ information safe, and improve cybersecurity for your small business.

5 Ways to Improve Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

So what are some ways you can protect your online shoppers and your small business this holiday season? Believe it or not, there are ways you can improve cybersecurity for your small business without going over budget. Below are a few suggestions to help you secure your e-commerce site and redirect your focus back to holiday sales. 

1. Outline a Cybersecurity Policy

Every business, no matter the size, should have security protocols in place to prevent cyberattacks. By working with a managed service provider (MSP), a cybersecurity consultant, or a security system provider, you can learn more about the risks associated with your specific industry and develop a comprehensive plan to prevent attacks.

Once you’ve outlined a cybersecurity policy for your small business, be sure to educate your employees on updated policies and risk prevention strategies.

2. Learn About Popular Scam Tactics

From phishing emails to ransomware attacks, hackers will try various tactics to get your company’s money and private information. Educate yourself on common cyberattacks and look out for red flags like suspicious emails, links or websites. Never give out company or customer information over the phone, or online, unless it’s a trusted source.

A couple scams that small businesses are particularly susceptible to are overpayment scams and bank account scams. Overpayment scams work by the purchaser paying by check or credit card for an amount that exceeds the price of goods. They will then contact the small business, ask for the overpayment back, and then their original payment will bounce leaving the small business with a major loss. Bank account scams work by fraudsters sending fake emails that deliver malicious software. The software is used to obtain login IDs and passwords for online bank accounts or sensitive customer information. 

3. Secure Your Wi-Fi Connections

Small businesses, especially e-commerce businesses, rely on the internet to run their business. Keeping your network safe is imperative to preventing cyberattacks and in giving your customers peace of mind while they engage in online shopping. Protect your network and always require a password for access. Change your administrative password regularly and set up a private network for all employees to use.

4. Install Antivirus Software

One of the easiest ways to protect your business is with antivirus, antispyware, and antimalware software. You can purchase this software online and can usually choose a plan that will best suit your needs and budget. Update your software regularly to ensure you have the best directive for protecting your business.

5. Install a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) is specifically designed to enable a non-network device to connect to secure networks to send and receive data. Using a laptop, smartphone or tablet or other non-network device can leave you at risk. By setting up a secure VPN, you can safely access secure information on these devices without the risk of cyberattacks. Setting up a VPN is a simple and hugely beneficial task.
Cybersecurity for small businesses is constantly changing. It’s your responsibility to continually adapt to new attack methods to protect your business and your online shoppers. At First National Bank and Trust, we understand the threat of cyberattacks is real. That’s why we offer robust fraud management solutions to help you protect your online presence and get back to what’s most important: running your business. Learn more about fraud management from First National Bank and Trust and find a location nearest you. We have 16 convenient branches in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Still have questions? Contact our Business Banking Team.