By Kelly Meeneghan Peters
Manager, 1&1 Internet, Inc.
Conducting business online has provided a level of convenience and accessibility to new levels for both business owners and consumers. However, while the popularity of eBusiness continues to grow, so do consumer concerns regarding security. In fact, a study commissioned by 1&1 Internet (www.1and1.com) of more than 400 US consumers showed 29 percent have walked away from using or buying from a website due to fears of the level of security.
As a business owner, it is important to understand these consumer concerns in order to best alleviate their hesitations and provide a safe online environment for your website visitors. Web hosts are great partners to help create a safe and reliable online atmosphere for successful business.
1) Security Scans
In today’s technically savvy world, online threats have become a true worry for consumers. In fact, the same study from 1&1 found that 70 percent of Americans recognize that threats such as malware and viruses change by the hour. A simple mistake in the code of a website, such as a spelling error or forgetting to close a parenthesis, can leave an online presence vulnerable to malicious activity. This can cause your internal information to be exposed and, possibly more damaging, your business’ reputation being negatively impacted. This risk can potentially occur at any time and often without your knowledge.
As a small business owner, you may not have the resources or technical understanding to dedicate to checking the well-being of your online platform on an hourly basis. However, security tools such as Sitelock give piece of mind to the busy SMB owner. Sitelock monitors for suspicious activity by administering website application scans, SQL injection scans and cross site scripting (XSS) scans across multiple website pages. It then identifies any signs of an outside intrusion or potential data breeches, identifies recommended upgrades to third party applications, and provides any necessary steps for users to regain maximum website security immediately. The added level of security allows business owners to rest easy knowing that their sites are constantly watched to offer a safe and secure platform for their website visitors.
2) Geo- Redundant Web hosting
Geo-redundant Web hosting is an ideal solution for business owners wanting to ensure ideal uptime for their website visitors. It can be detrimental to a business’s success and reputation if their website is not accessible at times. Web hosting that is geo-redundant helps to eliminate this risk by simultaneously storing website data on two identical servers, housed in two geographically different locations.
Therefore, if one location experiences a disturbance, the data is immediately transferred to its “sister server,” resulting in zero downtown for your website visitors. Whether something as simple as a necessary maintenance or as severe as a natural disaster, you are less likely to experience a disruption in your website. This added level of security delivers a positive user experience every time.
3) Secure Data Transports
Half of US consumers (54 percent) worry about the risk of their personal details being compromised each time they input them into a business website. Although convenient, online tractions have proven to be a point of concern for consumers. To answer this worry, businesses have the option to obtain a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. This protocol upgrades the protection of a website by encrypting the data to ensure secure transactions, data transfers and login information. Also, by displaying a lock icon in the browser as well as displaying a “Smart Seal” business owners can communicate to all website visitors that their site is safe and secure.
Online security has proven to be a key factor for consumers when deciding where to conduct their business. Professionals can work with Web hosts to help employ the most up-to-date and advanced security measures for their website and visitors, keeping their information safe and secure.
About the Author
As a manager for 1&1 Internet, Inc., Kelly Meeneghan Peters is an industry specialist providing expert advice on how SMBs can grow their business online through websites and online marketing methods. For more information visit www.1and1.com or blog.1and1.com