The internet revolutionized the world at the moment when you could send money over it. Immediately, the digital landscape changed since you could get real products for money spent online. That led to the rise of e-commerce, and humanity will never go back to it again. Now, if you want to open a store, the first thing that pops to mind is creating a website and a social media presence instead of getting a place, paying for rent, and filling the shelves with products.
The potential is limitless when you’ve got no obstacles in your way, and the entire world can be your customer. The ultimate breakthrough happens when you’re not limited by the people in your close vicinity, meaning you don’t have to spend money on interior design and warehousing costs.
However, that doesn’t mean that it’s all sunshine and rainbows. E-commerce is filled with a lot of competition that doesn’t want to share a piece of their pie with you. Not only that but there are numerous security issues that you might not be ready for. In many ways, digital security is easier to control compared to the physical type, but the main danger is that you never know what to expect.
What are the dangers of owning an e-commerce business?
If you have an actual store, then your main security issue is a bunch of criminals with crowbars and hammers breaking your windows and stealing your cashier and inventory. That’s a justified fear because if you don’t have security cameras, it will take time until the insurance company pays for the repairs.
However, in the digital world, crime is much more discreet, and you don’t have the necessary knowledge to know what happened. A broken window is easy to spot, but a data breach can’t be seen unless you’re a cybersecurity expert.
A lot of savvy business owners tend to overlook digital security because they don’t have the resources. Others do it because of ignorance. In reality, cybersecurity is simple. Install an antivirus and a VPN, and don’t fall for a phishing scam. Of course, this sounds way easier than it is. It’s like all of the world leaders sitting in a room saying that world peace will be achieved tomorrow. There’s always a hidden side to the story.
What’s a VPN?
A VPN is a service that hides your online presence. That’s it. Again, this is a simple explanation, but it’s necessary before we go deeper. A few things happen when you use your browser to open a website. Your device, the computer, or phone you’re using sends a signal to your Wi-Fi router that they want to talk to a server.
The server and your device connect through the magical power of the internet, and you start exchanging information. You can watch a video, look at a text, or insert your credit card numbers to make a payment. Apart from the information you’re entering on the website, the server and your internet service provider can look at your IP address. Basically, IP addresses serve as currencies online. If someone discovers what’s your address, they can harm you or your business.
If you’ve got an e-commerce store and you reveal your IP, it’s easy for one of your competitors to launch a DDoS attack and forcibly shut down your site or make it impossible for people to have a good user experience. Revealing this information is the same as putting your store key in the lock before you leave and then wondering why everything is stolen tomorrow. With your IP unprotected, all it takes is one extra leak of information for a hacker to destroy your business altogether.
What does a VPN do?
VPNs encrypt your IP address, making it impossible for hackers to know the real one. That would be like creating a fake key for your store lock. Even if someone were to find it, they wouldn’t be able to use it for anything.
When you’re using a VPN, you can make it look like you’re located anywhere in the world. One day you could be in Mexico, and another day you could be in Thailand. Bypassing geographical boundaries is easy online, as long as the company has servers in the country you want to pretend to be in. Learning how to use a VPN only takes a few minutes, and then you’re completely safe from all online danger.
What are its benefits?
First and foremost, there’s security. Hackers won’t be able to target you since your data will pass through five or six servers before going to the correct location. The more servers a provider offers, the better security you get. Your data will be protected, files will be shared securely, and you won’t have to worry about any financial information leaking online.
Content testing is a major benefit if you want to scale your e-commerce business worldwide. You can switch the country to another continent like Asia or Africa and check whether the prices are updated to the local currency. Doing this will help you measure website loading speed and any issues potential users might have around the globe.
Research is another vital part of having a business. When you type something into Google or open a website, you leave a trace of crumbs behind you. That’s why each website asks you to accept cookies. The digital footprint you’re leaving could become a problem because the websites you visit sell that information to some of your competitors. When you’re doing market research, it’s crucial to make it anonymous, which VPNs guarantee.
Finally, there are cost savings. It doesn’t cost much to install a virtual private network, and there’s no maintenance for it. Once in a while, you’ll have to update it, but you’ll also get cool new features. Services now offer ad blocking, scanning files for malware, and checking websites to see whether they’re safe or not.
Most businesses tend to overlook cybersecurity, and then it becomes too late. No one can predict when an attack will happen, and no one can turn back time. That’s why it’s vital to prevent breaches by using the necessary software. Using a VPN every day keeps hackers away.