Even before the digital renaissance of commerce ushered in by 2020, 70 percent of all businesses were already working on taking their brand to the world wide web, according to Forbes. For good or ill, the internet has now fully embraced its status as the global marketplace. This sudden surge of online business has even spawned businesses that focus solely on providing platforms for conducting business on the internet. But even with a wealth of tools before you, you still have to mind your business’ digital footprint. Without proper data protections in place, you could stand to lose much in a commercial landscape that operates primarily on the transmission of data.
Reduce Your Digital Footprint
The simplest and perhaps most effective method of all would be to simply reduce all digital usage that requires you to disclose information. Googling your company name is a great way to gauge how much information about you is out there. Reduce this to comfortable levels by using covert internet usage strategies. This includes making use of stealth browsing, using VPNs and proxies, and making “burner” email accounts to handle any throwaway account registrations you need to make.
Be Extra Conscious of Your Privacy Settings
Most of the time, you are given the choice to limit the visibility of your online interactions. This is another vital part of reducing your digital footprint. What you can’t do without, you can conceal from anyone who doesn’t need to see it. However, you should not fully trust the privacy settings of the software and sites you use for business. Keep in mind that sites like Facebook are known to have been known disingenuous about how much their privacy settings actually protect. In certain cases, even private materials can become accessible to average site users without having to perform complex workarounds.
Worse yet, the website can go the route of Myspace and simply end up destroying precious business-vital data without much warning. Digital preservation is going to be your most powerful tool against both outcomes. It keeps your data insulated against destructive events like what befell Myspace, and it gives you a place to store and access critical information without having to host it somewhere that is prone to security breaches.
Frequently Perform Digital Hygiene
This means that you should monitor which of the accounts and software utilities you have are required for current or future operations. If something is no longer serving a purpose, cut it off immediately to prevent it from becoming a liability later on. Close any unused accounts and subscriptions, delete unnecessary apps, and clear any defunct bookmarks. Even password managers could do with some trimming down as you can never be too sure what bad actors might gain access to using your old passwords.
This may be difficult to wrap your head around if it’s your first time dealing in an online business. But think of it as simply another way of keeping your business and its assets under lock and key. It’s the same principles, just applied to a different playing field.