There can hardly be a handful of hermits in the entire US who might have missed the news about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Only living in complete isolation could have allowed one to avoid the torrent of articles about this situation. It has been picked up by every major news network, with literally every second BBC post dedicated to it.
However, while Mark Zuckerberg and his company stew in the boiling pit of scandal, a clever business owner should use the news to their benefit. There’s no time like now to boost one’s website security and advertise this fact to the world. After all, people will likely be much more appreciative of their guaranteed privacy when they’ve seen their trust betrayed by the mother of all social media.
Facebook Failure: What to Learn
The most important lesson any business owner should learn from the situation between Facebook and Cambridge Analytica is:
Never lie to customers about the privacy of their data.
It’s hard to predict what this latest scandal will result into. Whether the two billion of Facebook users will take some advice to heart and truly move on from the network (more from BBC) or will the entire thing blow over shall be seen in a few months. Meanwhile, business owners shouldn’t miss the opportunity to boost their customer loyalty and attract more attention. Publicizing one’s rock-solid guarantee of never-ever selling customers’ data to third-party companies and adding enhanced protections to their website should bring good results for any business that wants to seize the moment.
How Can One Protect Their Website Best Today
1. Move to a better hosting
No amount of digital security measures will matter if the website is hosted on a non-protected server. As the majority of small businesses use shared servers, they are unable to ensure complete security. Therefore, they have to find a truly good shared host.
When choosing this service provider one should check the company’s reputation as well as all security certificates they provide. It’s also best to pick a host that uses SSD servers as those are safer and more efficient from the hardware point of view.
2. Secure the website with HTTPS
Google has a robust guide on all the benefits of HTTPS and methods of integrating this security measure into a website. What it doesn’t mention is that Google’s ranking bots prioritize secured websites by default. Therefore, not having this layer of protection reduces the page’s SEO by default.
Implementing HTTPS is a big thing for a small business. One that’s definitely deserving a press release of its own. At the moment, that PR might go along the lines of ‘not only does this website not give away any customers’ private data, but it also has the most effective security measures that will prevent anyone from stealing it.’
3. Protect from SQL injection
SQL injection is when an attacker adds bits of rogue code to the website that can crash it steal data, etc. This problem can be prevented by hiring an experienced professional to administer and keep the website secure.
If this isn’t an option and the business owner manages the website by hand, this guide with helpful coding examples will help. One also needs to remember that monitoring the website closely and running a thorough check after every software update are mandatory security measures.
4. Protect from XSS attacks
Businesses that use web applications and similar content should be on alert for this kind of attacks and implement additional security measures as they are most vulnerable.