One of the less-fun things you have to think about when you’re a founder is business security. Can someone easily hack your Instagram account? What happens if you lost important company files? What do you do if an order of inventory arrives damaged? Ok - don’t panic. We’ve got you covered with 4 foundational ways you can secure your ecommerce store.
Securing your passwords
Are you reusing the same old password for all your online accounts? What about all of your employees?
Most people tend to rotate between a couple of the same passwords for years. But this habit puts your personal information and your business at a huge risk.
Reusing the same password means that if someone gets your password from one account, the same credentials could be used to access your other online accounts, like your email, social media, or ecommerce platform.
The good news is that you can protect yourself and your business from hackers by taking two simple steps to secure your passwords:
- Implement a password manager across your entire team
- Setup two-factor authentication (2FA) when possible
The even better news is that this will actually make it easier for your team to securely share login credentials for all of the apps and tools you are using.
What is a password manager?
A password manager provides a secure, virtual vault in which all of your login credentials are saved for when you need to access them.
The beauty of it is that it does all of the work for you – instantly creating and storing passwords so complicated and idiosyncratic that even you won’t be able to remember. All of this information is locked by a PBKDF2-guarded “master password” – and as such, is the only password you need to remember.
At Rewind, our favorite password manager and the one our entire team uses is 1Password. We recommend having a Team account for yourself and all your employees, as well as an Individual or Family account for personal use.
What is two-factor authentication?
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), also known as two-step authentication, provides an extra layer of security on top of your password by requiring a second step of verification when you sign in to your accounts. It makes it practically impossible to hack your accounts even if someone somehow managed to get your password.
After enabling 2FA in your accounts, such as your Shopify store, you’ll be asked to provide a unique, one-time code after signing in with your username and password. The code can be generated by an authenticator app or through SMS. It’s best to use the authenticator app option since it’s much more secure.
You can use 1Password as an authenticator or download the Google Authenticator app for free in the Apple App Store or Google Play App Store.
Working remotely, whether from your local coffee shop or from a beach-front property in a tropical destination, is practically synonymous with being an entrepreneur. The security concern here is that you are connecting to public WiFis, which are particularly vulnerable to hackers.
Luckily, there is a very simple solution to protecting your online privacy when you’re working on the go: using your own virtual private network (VPN).
You can set up your own VPN in a matter of minutes using TunnelBear. Their VPN “shields your personal information from prying third-parties and hackers on public WiFi, ISPs and other local networks.” It also allows you to use the internet abroad as you would back home. Say you are traveling to Europe and want to bypass local restrictions in order to access your favorite US news sites. You would simply turn on your TunnelBear connection and choose US as the location you want to appear in.
As a bonus, TunnelBear’s app interface and customer emails are full of ...well… bears (and bear puns, bear images, bear references) which really just add to the enjoyment of using this tool.
Insuring your business
With so much risk involved in starting and running your own business, it just makes sense to get insurance against as much of that risk as possible. If you’re a fan of makeup and spend anytime on YouTube, then you already know Jeffree Star Cosmetics, a cult-favourite makeup brand. In very recent news, Jeffree Star became a perfect case study for why inventory insurance is so crucial.
Makeup is one of the fastest-growing ecommerce verticals, consequently there’s also a growing black market for counterfeit and stolen makeup goods. In April, Jeffree Star, the founder behind the brand, published a video on YouTube to let his audience know that $2M of product was stolen from their warehouse.
Being the victim of organized crime - and not having insurance to recover you - could very well be the end of your brand altogether.
FounderShield, a digital insurance broker, describes the 11 types of ecommerce insurance you may need, depending on the growth and size of your brand. These include:
- General liability
- Product liability
- Cyber insurance
- Ocean cargo and inland marine
- Property insurance
- Crime insurance
Backing up your data
For the business assets that you can’t insure, there’s backups. If you’re not currently backing up your digital assets (or you’re not sure what’s being backed up and what isn’t), it’s worth blocking off a couple of hours to get it done. Using tools like Mac’s Time Machine makes most computer backups a “set it and forget it” process.
Besides backing up your computer files (photos, documents, videos, etc.), there’s also the data that lives within the apps and tools you use: Shopify, Mailchimp, Klayviyo, QuickBooks Online, etc. As you can imagine, losing your entire newsletter list in Mailchimp or a product catalogue in Shopify would be a painful (and sometimes impossible) recovery process.
It’s much harder to backup and recover data that lives in one of these platforms because you don’t have the same access to that data as you do with your computer files. Some of the data can be exported and stored elsewhere, but other important information can only be accessed through the API. In this case, the “set it and forget it” option is to use a backup app like Rewind.
With Rewind, you can setup daily automatic backups of the following platforms:
If any of these platforms are important to the success of your ecommerce store and the overall health of your business, it’s worth having a backup.
Security is built in layers
The most robust security systems rely on multiple layers of defense. Using secure passwords, VPNs, business insurance, and backups, are foundational layers that anyone can do themselves to protect their business.