We’re definitely in the online era at the minute. Whether we’re talking about business or not, it’s fair to say that the internet is dominating most people’s lives. Whether it’s the social media accounts that we long into every morning as soon as we wake up, or the online shopping sites that we love to waste our money on. The fact that the internet is now everywhere is worrying to some. It’s not just this simple online platform that’s safe to use. The internet brings so many dangers, again, whether we’re talking about business or not. The more time we spend on the internet as a business, the more we’re learning about the dangers it can pose to us. But at the same time, we’re learning about the benefits it can bring to a business. We don’t just want this to be a purely negative article, because we wouldn’t be where we are today without the help of the internet. So, let’s explore the online era and how our businesses are coping with it.
How Safe Is It?
As a whole, the internet really is a safe place to be for individuals. Yes, there are hackers working away to try and steal vital information from people, but that doesn’t meant that they always succeed. But, the internet and individual websites are doing all they can to keep their customers safe whilst browsing. So, as a rule, your customers will be safe on most parts of the internet, but how safe is it for your business?
Well, this is where things start to get a little complicated. Your business is going to hold hundreds, if not thousands, of customers data. Whether that be their bank details, emails and passwords, or address and full name. Any one of these is all a hacker needs to be able to clone a copy of your customers identity. If they have their usernames and passwords, it’s possible that they hold the key to many different opportunities as well. So, for a company, it’s generally not safe to be on the internet, but we’re living through a time where customers look to the internet for absolutely everything, so there’s no escaping the need to be on there.
That’s not to say that companies such as Google and Bing are doing all that they can to make the browsing experience as safe as possible for all people on the internet. So are internet providers as well. But, hackers will hack, and when they do, it can cause big trouble. They mainly target the bigger businesses, and it can take years before the eventually get in. But they know that their persistence is going to pay off some day, so you best believe that they’re working away at the minute, trying to get the information that they want.
How Can A Business Make It Safer?
There are many ways that a business can make their website and company safer on the internet. The first is to make sure that the server you’re using has a good reputation. The mistake that a lot of companies make is hosting their server elsewhere, and going through a company that’s not the most reliable. Not only is this going to cause potential issues with downtime, it’s also going to cause issues with the security of information. It’s so easy for hackers to get into servers that aren’t well managed, so we would always recommend using companies such as Amazon. You can pretty much guarantee that they’re using the best technology, and have the best teams working behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly.
The second thing you need to think about using, if you’re not already doing so, is a VPN. This is a virtual private network that offers the most secure browsing for you, your employees, and your customers. If you’re on an unsecured network, which a lot of offices are due to the internet that’s included in their office rental package, then the information you’re sharing is not going to be secure. Although it might not happen often, this is such an easy target for hackers to get the information that they need. Most businesses do secure their own Wi-Fi, and most major companies do use a VPN to protect their customers. If you don’t do it at the minute, do a little bit of research into the benefits that it could have for your company.
How Is It Benefiting Businesses?
The internet is benefiting businesses more than you could probably imagine. The power it has to influence customers is just amazing, and it’s one of the main reasons why online shopping has spiked in recent years, and actually going into a shop is rare. People prefer to sit in the comfort of their own home, or be able to shop on the move, and that’s exactly what the internet is giving them. If you’re not getting the most sales through your website, then you’re probably not doing it right. You need to make sure that you’re marketing your website to get as much attention as possible, otherwise your website is going to be nothing but a speck amongst higher ranking businesses. It’s also benefiting businesses in such a way that it’s making things a lot easier to control.
If everything is done on the internet, it’s much easier to keep in touch with customers that might just have been coming and going. For example, if your order process requires them to sign in, you have access to their email, which will allow you to send a follow up email a few months down the line if they haven’t placed another order since. It’s a tactic a lot of companies use to stay at the front of their customers minds, and it’s a tactic that does have a high success rate. Most marketing techniques are also done through the use of the web now, meaning it is far more likely that you’re going to catch the attention of your customers. Techniques such as SEO, which is highly effective, would not be possible without the use of the internet.
Why Are So Many People Going Online?
If we want to put it bluntly, we think that so many people are now going online simply because they’re lazy. We’re all lazy in our own unique way, but taking to the internet to do absolutely everything is the peak of it all. If you think about companies such as Amazon, you can get pretty much anything you want from there. All you need to do is set up an account, and pay! The more time you spend on the internet, the more you discover. So why would people want to get off the sofa, or out of bed, jump into the car, and head to the shops, when it could all be done with the click of a finger.
However, the increase in traffic on the internet is pushing companies to do more with their websites. As soon as the most minor of faults occurs with a website, the wider public are on it like a rash. Which is one of the reasons why it’s so easy for a business to have so much criticism. The internet surge is causing big companies to struggle around the world. Pretty Little Thing received a ton of backlash last week after they have to suspend all delivery options bar the standard one. This was due to such an influx of orders, that the warehouse simply couldn’t get the items out on time, meaning many customers were left furious that they had to pay extra, but didn’t get it. It’s important that your business is always ready for an influx of orders.