Cybersecurity Tips for Safeguarding User Information Online


While statistics show that cybercrime poses a real and serious threat to businesses – both big and small – not many owners take steps to safeguard their operations. PurpleSec reports that cybercrime rose by over 600 percent during the pandemic. Despite this, Cyber Readiness Institute confirms that only 6 in every 10 businesses have a cybersecurity policy. It is important for business operators to ensure online security because consumers entrust them with their private data.

Failing to protect this information can damage a brand, cost it money, and even lead to lead action. So how can you protect user information entrusted to your platform by customers? Here are some key cybersecurity tips to help you.

Train Your Staff


The first step to protecting user data from being stolen is by educating all the people who handle it on how to practice online safety. Unknowledgeable employees can leave your systems vulnerable to cyberattacks. To avoid these threats, arrange regular cybersecurity training for your staff. Employ experts to teach them how to set strong passwords, identify phishing sites, and use secure networks. Additionally, establish a clear policy on how employees should handle user data.

Use Secure Networks

Speaking of networks, you can protect your devices from malicious attacks by only connecting to secure networks. This means, among other things, avoiding free WiFi connections of questionable origin. Work with a trusted provider to set up a company WiFi network whose password only you have control over.

You should also be careful about connecting to unencrypted sites. Encrypted sites often have a https domain instead of http. They may also have an encryption certificate or a padlock icon in the URL bar, which tells you they will always encrypt your data when transferring it.

Encryption has helped many industries protect its consumers, including the multi-billion online gaming sector. A quick scan of the best online gambling sites will reveal that the best-rated online gambling providers encrypt their sites for maximum user protection.

Encrypt Important Files

In line with this, you should also encrypt sensitive data entrusted to you by your customers. This is especially true if you regularly receive financial data like credit card numbers from your users. Install an encryption program into your systems to help change sensitive data into unreadable code. This step will help ensure that, even if your systems are breached, the data will be undecipherable to hackers.

Get a Virtual Private Network (VPN)


You can set up secure networks at the office but you have little control over what networks your employees use when traveling or working remotely. A VPN can change this. Also called a Virtual Private Network, a VPN allows your employees to go through a secure connection and access your company network securely. It creates an extra layer of protection between your network and the site to which the employee is connecting. Essentially, a VPN funnels your IP address and data through a secure third-party connection to keep you safe when the primary connection is public. This comes in handy when connecting to the internet at an airport, coffee shop, or hotel.

Employ a Firewall

Firewalls protect your software and hardware from viruses. Consider a firewall if you own physical servers and would like to protect your network from malicious attacks. In the simplest terms, a firewall protects your inbound and outbound network traffic and prevents unauthorized users from accessing your network. It works by blocking sites with suspicious content and can also be programmed to restrict the transfer of sensitive and confidential data from your network.

Use Antivirus Software

In the event a malicious attack makes it past your firewall, an antivirus will come in handy. Antiviruses attack phishing scams, ransomware, spyware, and viruses that have entered your network. They also clean and reset your devices as necessary to return them to a pre-infected state. Because of this, you should also back up your important files regularly so you never lose important data.

Use Strong Passwords


Passwords are the backbone of cybersecurity. All the security measures will do you little good if your password is easy to guess. Ideally, encrypt all your devices with a password at least 15 characters’ long containing a combination of symbols, numbers, and upper and lower case letters. You should also change your passwords at least quarterly and enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all your platforms. This system requires that a user input two forms of authentication to access your site.

Protect Mobile Devices and Third Party Devices

Finally, it is crucial to protect not just your computers but all mobile devices that access your company network. Overlooking them can leave a door open for hackers. For mobile devices, ask all your employees to install encryption and security apps and use strong passwords. You also want to ensure that all third parties – vendors, suppliers, and partners – who access your systems use the same measures.

Wrapping Up

Cyberattacks do more than diminish your brand’s reputation with consumers; it can also be expensive. IBM estimates that the average data breach in 2021 cost about $4.24 million in loss and damages. This is without taking into account the havoc that cybercrimes like identity theft can have on users. To prevent this, it is important to take these and other steps to protect your user data. These strategies can also be customized to individual users who wish to remain safe when browsing, shopping, or playing online.