You may have heard of the common phrase, “It’s what is inside that counts.” This adage can be applied to website security as well. In fact, your website’s “quality control” may determine whether or not you lose business to online scams. Let’s take a look at how.
The Importance Of A Secure Website
It is well established that the global online marketplace has grown significantly in recent years, becoming a multibillion-dollar business. But along with this growth, so has the threat of cybercrime.
In 2018 alone, cybercriminals earned an estimated $14.7 billion from online scams. This is a 400% increase compared to the $4.9 billion they made in 2017. Cybercrime is even more concerning in Asia. According to a 2019 study by the World Bank, over one-quarter of the world’s internet users reside in China. Yet, the country has the highest number of cyberattacks. More than 40 million Chinese are now using fake IDs to access online shopping, bank accounts, and social media platforms. This amounts to over 80% of the country’s total online user base. The sheer volume of attacks alone is astounding. Between 2016 and 2018, the number of attacks in China nearly doubled: from 22.2 million to 39.6 million. If this trend continues, it could threaten the very foundation of the country’s economic growth: its internet infrastructure. The consequences of a weakened cyberspace in China can be felt far beyond its borders.
Why Are Online Scammers Targeting Small and Medium Sized Businesses?
Although there is no exact figure available, it is estimated that over 80% of the world’s cybercriminals operate in small and medium sized businesses. They target these organizations because they believe that the owners are less likely to be cybersecurity-savvy and, therefore, more susceptible to becoming victims of fraud. In other words, the bad guys think that small and medium sized businesses are “low-hanging fruit.”
This misconception may be causing some damage. According to the SANS Institute, between October 24 and November 7, 2019, the cybersecurity sector suffered its worst one-week loss in history. On average, 45.4 million records were leaked daily during that period. The total cost of this data breach to businesses globally is estimated to be $16.9 billion. This amount does not include the cost of fixed equipment or the time required to restore data accuracy.
Tips To Help Your Small Business Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Fraud
Since many cybercriminals target SMBs, it is essential to take some defensive measures. The following are some tried and tested tips that can help protect your business. If you’re not sure where to start, this list may be a good place to start:
- Always verify the source of any free offers or discounts!
- Never, ever, enter your credit card information on a fraudulent website!
- Use a strong, unique password for every online account. Change it often, and make sure you never share it with anyone!
- Turn off your phone’s WiFi when you’re not using it. It’s easy for others to access your personal data when you’re connecting to unknown networks!
It’s also essential to work with a reputable cybersecurity firm that can provide you with adequate protection. The cost of a botched cybersecurity event can be incredibly high. This is why it is so important to partner with an experienced firm that can help protect your business and its data. This way, you can rest assured that your organization’s cybersecurity posture is sound.
The Evolution Of Website Scams
Websites are a multibillion-dollar business, and that means there is plenty of incentive for scammers to target these organizations. Even from the very beginning, website scams have been around, often involving some type of free offer that is only available to certain browsers. But today, the nature of these scams has changed. Instead of just tricking people into thinking that they’re visiting a legitimate website, hackers are now targeting businesses that they know will have trouble recovering from a data breach. The longer that a scammer can operate undetected within your organization, the more money they can make. This is why it is so important to tighten up security immediately upon discovery of a breach.
Protecting Your Business And Your Consumers
The costs associated with website scams are substantial. Not only do organizations have to deal with the financial fallout, but they also have to waste valuable time remedying the damage. In many cases, data breaches are extremely costly to businesses and even more so if they don’t have adequate insurance coverage. Time is money, and when you’re trying to run a business, you don’t have unlimited funds to throw at cybersecurity issues.
If your business earns revenue from online marketing, you’re probably familiar with the importance of SEO and content marketing. These are all tactics that can be used to attract potential customers to your website. But did you know that SEO can be used to your advantage to protect your business from online scammers?
If you’re concerned about becoming a victim of fraud, you may want to consider integrating some stealthy SEO strategies into your content marketing. For instance, you could use the various platforms like Google My Business, Bing Ads, and YouTube Live to promote your business, expose potential scams, and track the results of your efforts. This is a very effective way to learn what is and isn’t working when it comes to attracting and retaining customers.
When it comes to digital marketing, content is the name of the game. Customers expect to see relevant, valuable content when they visit your site. If a business does not have valuable content, then it may as well not exist in the eyes of the consumer. Scammers know this, which is why they’re constantly trying to infiltrate your organization to exploit your content. By integrating a few stealthy SEO techniques into your content strategy, you may be able to keep the bad guys at bay and continue to grow your business.