Overcoming Cybersecurity Challenges in Digital Marketing

Any successful digital marketing campaign requires a lot of planning and strategizing. You need to do extensive research, choose the channels that bring you profit, and keep track of a wide range of KPIs to keep your strategy on the right track. For example, if you are a company that specializes in selling digital products, you want to convey to your potential customer pool that your business will be handling it safely and securely. In this day and age of cybersecurity at an all-time high (more mentioned below), they do not want to put trust in a new product without knowing they are safe on their end too. So, utilizing companies such as FastSpring to help sell your product using their software platform, can provide that needed security and the right tools for the job.

Still, preoccupied with all these aspects of your digital marketing campaign, we usually fail to pay attention to one element that may make or break our online presence and that’s cybersecurity. Check out this checklist to make sure your IT security is up to date!

The practice of cybersecurity is something that all businesses and individuals need to take seriously. Without taking the necessary precautions to prevent it, or utilizing the services from somewhere like Fortinet (https://www.fortinet.com/consulting), you are leaving your devices and networks vulnerable to a cyberattack, thus increasing the risk of any information getting into the wrong hands. So knowing what to do to keep all of your technologies safe and secure is definitely in your best interest, especially if you want to grow your online presence.

With the evolution of sophisticated cybersecurity technologies, online hacks have also changed. They’ve become highly targeted, intelligent, and stubborn. As such, they’re also more difficult to identify and predict.

The worst thing about them is the fact that they can hurt your online efforts in multiple ways. Apart from colossal expenses you will have to cover, your SEO efforts will suffer and you may even get penalized by Google. Not to mention the loss of your customers’ trust you will hardly manage to regain ever again.

This is exactly why 60% of small businesses never manage to recover after being hacked.

So, protecting your site on time should be your priority.

And, here are a few areas you should pay special attention to.

Content Marketing

Businesses usually use a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress or Squarespace to back their content marketing strategy. These systems give you the opportunity to upload, edit, and feature your new posts easily.

However, as the popularity of these platforms grows, hackers have studied them carefully and they’re now familiar with their major security holes.

So, if they hack your site, they can easily compromise your users’ data, which can severely hurt your reputation.

Precisely because of this, if you’re using WordPress or any other similar CMS platform, always make sure you safeguard it.

Install security plugins and keep them up to date to mitigate the risks and make your site less vulnerable.

To make sure that your network is secure, do web penetration testing regularly. This way, you will be able to detect the major vulnerabilities and prevent any security issues on time before they hurt your business.

Also, brainstorm a strong password for logging into your WordPress.

Most importantly, never, ever use your site from an unsafe, public wi-fi. Your data is not encrypted, meaning that even a rookie hacker can intercept and steal your sensitive information and compromise your site.

Email Marketing

When it comes to hacking emails, the story goes this way- they hack one of your email accounts and use it to send mountains of spam emails, including fraudulent and malicious ones.

In short, they use your account to do their dirty work, while protecting themselves. Consequently, your account will get blacklisted or even blocked by almost all ISPs. Not to mention to what extent your reputation will be hurt. No one likes spam mail. Your customers will massively leave your email list and may decide not to buy from you ever again.

This is why you need to look for the powerful software that will encrypt your data and provide you with the utmost protection. You can even set up outbound filters that block the emails that contain particular phrases and hidden malware.

Above all, inform your employees about online scams and email phishing and teach them what type of emails they should never open or share with others.

Customer Relationship Management

Today, building and nurturing strong relationships with your customers is the foundation of your business. And, to do so, you first need to give them a reason to trust you.

Start by installing Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocols on your site. By moving your site from HTTP to HTTPS, you’re ensuring that the connection between your visitors’ browsers and your site is encrypted and out of hackers’ touch.

This way, even the most sophisticated hackers won’t be able to read your customers’ data, even if they manage to intercept them.

Once you start using HTTPS, Google will label your site as ‘secure’ and mark it with a green URL and a green padlock to show to your customers that their sensitive data is safe with you.

Social Media Marketing

The majority of data breaches there happen because of your employees’ mistakes and hackers are well familiar with that. Shared copies, poor passwords, unsafe downloads are all potential threats.

And, there is one channel that is especially dangerous. Of course, I’m talking about social networks.

These networks are usually easy to hack and, as such, they may serve as an open invitation for cybercriminals.

So, establish a strong security policy for your social media activity, including strong passwords, preventing spam, and blocking phishing scams.

Most importantly, don’t share your business’ accounts and passwords with all employees. Instead, hire a small, reliable team of social media specialists that have control of your content curation platforms and accounts.

And, as for other employees, ask them to minimize the use of their personal accounts during the working hours and constantly organize in-house courses to encourage them to use these channels in a more secure way.

Over to You

With the rise of internet scams and malware, implementing a comprehensive security plan in your digital marketing strategy is not an option anymore. It’s a necessity. So, choose the right antivirus software, do scans regularly, invest in an SSL certificate, and make sure you backup your site to recover your data in case of a hack.

Most importantly, remember that hackers don’t target machines only. On the contrary, your employees are your weakest link. This is why you should constantly work on educating them and raising their awareness of these growing issues.

Colin Shaw
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Written by Colin Shaw

Colin has been in the finance market for over 20 years and specialises in best business practice to make an organisation profitable. The only man for the job when it comes to numbers and accounts with a keen talent for simplifying finance for the wider market.