Recently, there has been some major security changes on the Internet.
With Cyber crime at an all time high, the need for encryption and tough security has become a requirement if you have a website, especially if you collect personal information. Chances are you or someone you know has been a victim of a cyber crime.
So what is encryption? Put simply, encryption is the process of making information unreadable. It is coded in such a way that the information doesn’t make any sense. In many cases the encrypted data is paired with an encryption key, which is a collection of unique algorithms designed to scramble the data and only the person that holds the key can open it. Then the data is passed on to the people or person who requires it.
So let’s review some of the major chances made this year. First there was the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is one of Europe’s strongest data protection rules to protect the personal information of individuals. This came into force on May 25, 2018. You’ve probably noticed all of the emails from sites that you are associated with, as well as pop-ups regarding this. With this change, you need to have procedures in place in the event a breach occurs. The person whose information you are holding should be able to review your data protection policies and procedure, as well as see what information you are holding on them, know what their information is being used for and request to have it removed. Failure to comply can result in millions of dollars in fines.
Starting in July, Google Chrome will be enforcing secure websites, especially if you collect personal information on your website. Any site that’s not protected with encryption will show as “not secure.” Which will look like this:
As a small business owner, not only do you need to work in your business, now you have to be really concerned about your website being a secure place for people to visit. So what does this mean for you?
1. You could lose your ranking on the Internet. Instead of your website showing up on the first page, your website may be moved to the bottom of the search or even worse, your website may not show up at all.
2. Visitors to your site may not visit once they see the message “not secure”
3. If your site allows logons, then your user will see this and may not logon and request that their information be removed.
So What Can You Do?
The first thing you want to do is get SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) which is a security protocol that utilizes both a public and private key that work together to establish an encrypted connection. An SSL Certificate will tell your visitors that when they visit your website or create an account on your website there information is encrypted and you are concerned about their security while visiting. An SSL Cerificate can be purchased from your website hosting company such as GoDaddy. They run around a little over $100.00 per year. It is definitely worth the investment.
There is so much going on these days on the Internet, as an IT professional, I can barely keep up. I realize as a user, you may not know all the in’s and outs regarding cyber security and technology may be something that you use and when it goes bad, you call someone else to fix it. As a technology professional, I have made it my quest to keep you technically educated in a language that you can understand. If you have questions or in need of technology training and/or support, please do not hesitate to reach out. You can visit my website and leave a message and I will get back to you.
Talk to you soon. Happy Computing!