The holiday season is just around the corner, and business owners are planning out their marketing strategies for the coming months. We all want to think about the potential profits and rapport we will build with our customers from Black Friday until New Year’s Day. But without proper planning, those good intentions could quickly go down the drain.

One of the most overlooked aspects of preparing for the holidays is website security. According to Norton, internet fraud increased 30 percent when compared to other times of the year. Couple this alarming statistic with the fact that holiday shoppers are expected to spend 123 billion dollars, and it’s clear that businesses of every size need to start thinking about their website security this season.

We are going to take a look at four tips you should keep in mind if you want to keep your website safe and secure this year. First, check out the statistics below to see just how reliant business owners are on a successful holiday season.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Virtual private networks, or VPNs, have grown in popularity with consumers around the world. Essentially, a VPN allows your devices, including laptops and smartphones, to connect to another computer. As a result, your actions are logged in the privacy of your VPN, instead of openly accessible.

Business owners started using VPNs to protect their data long before consumers used them to bypass issues like internet censorship and to download legal torrents. Due to this shift, you don’t hear business owners talking about using virtual private networks to secure their websites.

Hackers are persistent during the holiday season because there is such a large quantity of money exchanging hands daily. If someone with malicious intent can crack the code and get into your network, sensitive customer data, business secrets, and the personal data of yourself and your employees are considered compromised.

A VPN can help keep your information encrypted if you’re on a public network or working from home. If you and your staff don’t use a virtual network to keep your data safe, there’s a chance you could damage your reputation, lose sales, and potentially go out of business.

Step Up Password Security

Globally, there are 4.3 billion internet users. A large percentage of these people are wholesome individuals looking for a quality experience online. However, there is a small percentage that uses the internet as a tool to steal from others and damage businesses.

Password security is your first line of defense when fighting back against scammers. The standard rule of one capital letter, lower case letters, and numbers simply aren’t enough to stop hackers that want your data.

There are numerous precautions you can use here to beef up your security this holiday season. For example, you may want to consider using a password generator to create long, complex password combinations that are nearly impossible to crack. A hacker is likely to guess a password like “Keyboard123,” but “aQ7@MnL9(^!” makes things a bit tricky for the perpetrators.

Additionally, you should implement multi-factor authentication on profiles for all of your employees. Multi-factor authentication improves security because a password is no longer enough to break into an account. This approach encourages users to link their smartphone or email to the account and then log in by inputting a code or clicking a link with the secondary device.

Keep Your Plugins Up to Date

Most of us use plugins to give our site additional flair or functionality. We know what you’re thinking — “Why should we update our plugins if they are working the way they were intended?” The simple answer is there is more to the substance of a plugin than functionality.

Research suggests that over 75 percent of popular plugins update at least every six months. The reasons for these updates vary, but security plays a crucial role in the process. Developers are always on the lookout for exploits that make it easier for hackers to break through their software, and potentially make it to your website.

Plugin creators know that security is an issue, so their updates are usually designed to fix bugs and exploits that scammers can use to their advantage. Additionally, security plugins tend to update more frequently because their primary goal is to keep your website secure. If you’re not regularly updating your plugins, you could put your business at risk this holiday season.


Small businesses are more subtle to cybercrime because they usually don’t have top-notch internet security, or fail to take the proper precautions when setting up their website. Don’t fall victim to hackers this year, and use these tips to keep your site secure during the busiest time of the year and beyond.