The internet is a ubiquitous tool for many businesses today. It is used as a means of communication, commerce, research and storage (cloud services) among many other uses, which are increasingly becoming necessary to run a business successfully. However, internet security is still a major issue that needs to be addressed in this day and age. For a business, internet security mechanisms employed have to be balanced against cost, availability and ease of deployment. A fairly easy way to protect your company’s data when employees communicate through the internet is to use a VPN.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. You can visualize it as a private network contained inside the larger public internet network. People using the private network can communicate with any other device connected to the internet normally. However, devices on the internet cannot access the communications data in the private network. The company’s information therefore remains secure on the internet. This security is vital in protecting your data and your clients’ information from hackers and malware.
VPNs also allow employees to be able to connect to the company’s network from remote locations over the internet making telecommuting a painless process. There are several options for a business VPN, but from my research, Express VPN and IPVanish would be great providers.
Getting Your Business Online:
You can also leverage the power of the internet to make your business more competitive. For any business today, a website is a major way for the business to attract customers and market itself. Not only does a website go a long way in increasing the visibility of a business, it can also end up as the major way in which the company actually does business transactions. For this reason, it is important to make sure that your business has an attractive website that is easy to use and accessible 24/7.
Advantages of Having an Online Presence:
A well designed website can give many perks to the owner. For one, it is a form of cheap advertising. The internet has a global reach, and anyone on the internet can easily access your website and find out about your business without you spending a dime! A website also makes your business more accessible. Think about it, because your website can be accessed at any time of the day or night, you can do business even when you are asleep! A good website also gives your business credibility among customers. Websites are also flexible and can easily be changed at any time to be more in line with the business’s changing goals.
What You Should Consider When Investing in a Website:
There are many things that go into setting up and deploying a website. An important consideration is the domain name. This is the address which users will use to access the website, for example www.google.com. These names are usually leased per year. Acquire a name that is similar to your business name. For example, if I operate Alton Bakeries, I could go for www.altonbakeries.com. Most internet service providers offer web hosting plans that include the offer to purchase a domain name along with the package. Apart from that, you can choose to have them design the website for you or you can design it yourself. A major consideration when purchasing a hosting plan is the bandwidth. If your website is likely to have very many visitors, you need to purchase more bandwidth, which usually costs more.
Self-hosting and Mobile Apps:
On the other hand, if you are running a small local business, you can choose to buy just one dedicated server and host the website yourself. There is a wealth of information on the internet on how to go about both options of hosting your website. The end choice is usually dependent on your budget and business needs. Another way to use the internet to enhance your business is to invest in a mobile app for your business. Research shows that most people spend a lot of time on their smartphones. A well-made app can be an extension of your website that will make your business more accessible to potential and existing customers. Exploring these avenues together can increase the exposure of your business to the world in away that traditional marketing methods cannot rival. What other ways do you leverage the power of the internet? Share in the comments below!
Posted by: Jen Martinson
About the Author: Jen Martinson is a technology blogger who specializes in internet security and data privacy. She enjoys sharing tips with readers on how to protect themselves from cyber-threats and data mining.