Combat These Common Threats to Your Online Business

Protect DataEntrepreneurs are finding it easier than ever to start up an online business. With so many resources available to create a great looking website, as well as the ever-growing popularity of online shopping, you may think that the entire process is simple and straightforward. The truth is, though, that there are threats to your success as an online business owner, and you should be aware of these threats in order to prevent them from affecting your bottom line.

Being Unable to Protect Customer’s Private Data

As an online business, you’ll need to collect some personal information on the customers that you work with. But it’s your responsibility to keep this data private and to only retain it and use it for as long as necessary and not any longer. There are guidelines you must follow under the Data Protection Act, and these ensure that customers’ privacy concerns are addressed. To understand what your responsibilities are, the government has provided an online guide to the Data Protection Act.

Not Using a Secure Payment System

To receive payments from customers, always set up a very secure payment processing system, such as one from Sage, PayPal, or Worldpay. These systems incorporate tools to protect you against fraud. This will ensure that fraudulent buyers don’t take advantage of your site. Keep in mind that fraudulent buyers will often look for sites with unsecure payment methods, and they’ll often make purchases really late at night or they’ll place orders that contain high quantities of products that are sent to multiple addresses.

Allowing Hackers Access

When you’re planning your online business, keep in mind that hackers will try to get into the systems of the newest start-ups because they’re often the ones with the least amount of security. Investing in a hosting provider that’s very secure is a great first step in preventing hackers from entering your system and stealing vital data. You especially need to keep your customers’ information private. Names, addresses, and payment information should be encrypted and backed up.

Not Moderating Comments

If you’re going to allow comments to be posted to any pages on your website, you absolutely should moderate them before they’re posted. Hackers, for example, often use websites without comment moderation to spam businesses with advertisements and other unwanted comments.

But online “trolls,” who are users looking for any opportunity to cause problems online, are also a threat. If a troll does post a comment to your page, it’s usually best to not engage him or her at all. Prevent the comment from being posted in the first place and no one will be the wiser. Just be sure you’re able to distinguish between an offensive troll and a legitimate customer with real complaints about your business.

Dealing with Negative Reviews Poorly

If you deal with negative reviews poorly by getting into online arguments in an open forum with dissatisfied customers, you’ll be doing more harm than good to your business. If a customer writes a negative review of your company, respond calmly and politely and ask how you can resolve the issue.

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