Unfortunately, the holiday shopping season is also an ideal time for hackers to steal payment card data from retailers who are not prepared. Cybercriminals know that most small business owners will be extremely busy over the next several weeks, and because of that, they might not be paying as close attention to security as they usually do. But that makes it doubly important to take all necessary steps to protect your business and your customers.
Despite the rush and the chaos of the holiday shopping season, cybersecurity should always remain top-of-mind for small business owners. A data beach not only hurts a businesses’ bottom line, it also shakes customers’ trust in a business’s brand. Our customers trust us to keep their payment card data safe, and it’s important for us to live up to their expectations.
The good news is that some common sense security procedures can go a long way toward warding off hackers. First, use computer passwords effectively. Choose a strong password for your computer system, change it regularly and don’t give it out! Likewise, only work with third party service providers whom you trust. If any third parties have access to your data, make sure that their security practices are up to par. Of course, you should also train all of your employees on your company’s cybersecurity policies. Create a culture where security is something that everyone takes seriously and thinks about as part of their daily routine.
For a more complete overview of how to keep your customers safe during the holiday shopping season, check out some of the other resources on the Community Merchants USA website:
- 10 Tips to Help Prevent a Data Breach
- Seven Tips for Small Business Security
- The Simple but Vital Security Precaution that Many Firms Neglect
You can also use the Data Breach Risk Calculator to estimate your risk of facing a data breach, and what it could cost.
With these tips, you can help ensure that this year’s holidays stay cheerful (and profitable)!