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5 ways to protect your site and improve your digital security with automation

By Ana Gotter · April 16, 2021
An icon of a lock in a white square on a light orange background.

It's a common misconception that small businesses aren't at risk for digital security issues.

The opposite is actually true. One study found that 64% of companies have experienced some sort of web-based attack and that 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses.

Digital security helps you protect valuable business, employee, and customer information. And taking proactive steps can improve your digital security's effectiveness against all threats, intentional and otherwise.

Here are five ways you can use automation to help.

Always talk to your security team or expert to keep your company, employee, and customer data safe.

1. Back up your site and important information 

A few years ago, I had a small website that somehow crashed. All the blog posts that I had spent a year uploading were lost permanently. 

While we often think of cyberattacks as those that are trying to extract information, some will try to alter, add, or delete data. Having an always-up-to-date version of your site backed up is crucial. 

Zapier has integrations that allow you to automatically back up documents shared between different cloud services, or to store backups of all the blog posts you create in WordPress. You can rest easy that the parts of your site that take the most time to create are protected from intentional attacks or unexplained crashes.

Save new WordPress posts to Airtable

Save new WordPress posts to Airtable
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WordPress + Airtable

Back up everything to protect your files, information, and devices.

2. Create & store complex passwords securely 

Despite knowing that it's a terrible idea, so many people use the same or variations of the same password for almost every login they have. For business owners and employees, this may mean that they use the same password for their Target account as their entire employee database. 

This poses a massive security issue, as a single member of your organization could put your entire digital system and database at risk.  Here's an example of why this could be so disastrous. I'm a freelance writer with direct access to a large number of my clients' sites. If I try to keep things simple by using "password 123" for every site, I'm putting their entire site and brand at risk even if I only have access to the blog content. While I care enough to make sure that my passwords are unique and secure, many external and internal workers may not prioritize this on their own. 

Password managers like LastPass or 1Password can help prevent this. This tool will automatically develop complex passwords for each user and each site and then store them securely. The beauty of LastPass is that not only does it keep you secure, but it's accessible; people can use the tool across multiple devices. 

Evaluating password managers? Read our take on LastPass vs 1Password.

And even better, LastPass integrates with Zapier, which allows you to automatically turn every new WordPress users on your site into LastPass team members. If you're worried about security standards for freelancers or contracted site developers, this is a great solution.  

3. Scan for security weaknesses proactively 

Having a strong password is a great start, but it's not all you need to keep your site safe. It's important to take full stock of your site to see if every element is fully secure.

There are tools that can help with this. Intruder, for example, proactively looks for site weaknesses that you may be missing. This can save you enormous effort by flagging issues by running scans automatically. You'll receive a notification if something is wrong, and with an integration with Zapier, you can even receive Slack notifications right away when new issues are identified. 

4. Continually monitor for fraud 

Unfortunately, people do place false orders that could hurt your business. Fraudulent credit card transactions can be devastating for small businesses, so detecting threats early can save you an exorbitant amount of time and money.

IPQualityScore monitors for fraud on every purchase, protecting your business in the process. They can take steps like verifying new customers across multiple eCommerce platforms to check for known signs of fraud before you ever fulfill an order. 

Verify new Mailchimp subscriber emails, and unsubscribe invalid contacts, using IPQualityScore

Verify new Mailchimp subscriber emails, and unsubscribe invalid contacts, using IPQualityScore
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  • Mailchimp logo
Mailchimp + Filter by Zapier + IPQualityScore

5. Use secure encryption 

Encryption protects you and your customers, ensuring that only those who are supposed to see certain information will have access to it. There are tools that can encrypt your site, messages being sent, customer order and payment information, and more. 

AnonyFlow is an outstanding tool for this, and integrations with Zapier makes it easy to encrypt everything from new Zoom registrant forms to your Trello Boards. 

Security shouldn't be an afterthought 

Your website and digital presence are essential to your brand, and it's likely the web is where customers interact with you most. Just as you would make sure you had high-quality locks on your doors and a surveillance system around your brick-and-mortar store, it's crucial to take steps to continually protect your site, too. 

When it comes to digital security, solutions that are proactive and automated are often best. They'll work in the background without you even realizing it, keeping you safe and flagging anything that you need to review quickly. You've got enough worries day-to-day, and security shouldn't have to be one with the right infrastructure in place.

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