Good cybersecurity is an absolute must for any online business, and digital marketers and agencies are no exception.
When you work in marketing, you’re often privy to sensitive client data, your client’s customers’ data, and more. You’re also in the business of disseminating information and promoting websites and products, among other things. If you accidentally share a link to a malware-infected site from your trusted accounts, it can do a lot of damage.
Securing your work and your client’s interests online is key to continued good working relationships. With that in mind, here are five important cybersecurity tips for digital marketers.
1. Enable automatic updates and patches, always
Because digital marketing professionals frequently manage client websites and have sole control over changes, it’s critical that software components on those sites are kept up to date.
Hackers often exploit out of date and unpatched elements to gain access. So, if your client’s site has a WordPress backend, for example, make sure WordPress’s automatic update function is switched on. Leaving website software un-updated is akin to leaving your keys in your car door and hoping for the best.
On a similar note, make sure your own devices are secure by keeping all your personal software up to date too.
2. Use virtual private network (VPN) technology
While many digital marketers already use a VPN to skirt geo-blocked content, the technology’s uses go far beyond foreign Netflix binges!
For example, if you’re conducting keyword research and looking into Google trends for a client in another country to your own, researching without a VPN means you’re not getting the full picture as search results differ by region.
Instead of assuming trends in both countries are the same, you’re much better off changing your VPN’s server location to the country in question. Once you’ve done that, you can see results based there and serve your client to a much higher standard.
And of course, using this app secures your and your clients’ data through encryption. It’s a win-win result.
3. Protect e-commerce sites
As a digital marketer, you’ll probably do a lot of work for e-commerce sites during the course of your career. You are probably aware the e-commerce websites draw bad actors like bees to a honey pot owing to the extensive amount of customer financial data the sites may contain.
E-commerce sites are always at risk of breaches, and not all clients understand this. Firstly, make your client aware of the risk and suggest ways they can mitigate it. One way is to encrypt any files that contain transaction data. If you do this and a breach does occur, the stolen data will not be of immediate use to the hacker.
4. Passwords matter
If you’re logging into client sites with a password containing your date of birth and 123, or something equally weak, you’re setting yourself up for trouble. Strong passwords matter now more than ever. Opt for 12 characters, a mix of lower and upper case letters, numerals, and a few special characters too. Use a secure password vault to manage your multiple passwords.
5. Collaborate with security experts
Not all digital marketers are security savvy, and if you fall into that camp and are working for big clients you don’t want to lose, it’s time to consider some expert help. Collaborate with security experts to ensure your clients’ data and sites are safe and secure. You should also pick up a trick or two while you work alongside your chosen security team.
Any online business needs to keep cybersecurity at the fore, always. And digital marketers and digital marketing agencies are no different. The five steps above should get you started and make a big difference to your clients, and, as an added bonus, to your potential in the online marketing industry.