While salons have made the step into the digital arena, some owners have made the unfortunate discovery that they’ve been the target of cybercriminals.

Whether it’s hacking into your e-commerce platform and compromising your payment system, or creating blockages in your traffic, there are some pretty simple ways to keep your salon’s online dealings safe.

Set strong passwords
This one is pretty obvious. “Using your salon’s name, your own name, your birthday, suburb, the year, your birthday, they all make for really weak and predictable passwords,” says digital expert Sally Greenwood. “Ditto for your spouse’s or children’s names, pet names, or even certain celebrity names.” Sally says that anything that can be guessed about you through a simple trawl of your social media pages (such as your favourite designer, birthday, or even your favourite destination) can all be used to guess your password. “Hackers have access to software that can guess up to 350 billion passwords in a single second,” Sally says. “So use tricky ones, and make sure they’re a combination of uppercase, lowercase, symbols, numbers and characters.” And most importantly, she says, make sure you have a different password for each account. “This is critical. If a hacker cracks one password, and it’s the same password for all of your accounts, you’ve given them access to the entire digital side of your business.”

Use an SSL certificate
It’s pretty easy to tell if your site us using an SSL certificate. If the url starts with HTTP://, it doesn’t have the certificate. But it is starts with HTTPS://, it does. “The ’s’ means it’s secure, and has the SSL certificate installed,” says Sally. “What that means is that any correspondence between the site and a visitor’s browser is encrypted, so your information is protected.”

Update your site’s platform
It’s all well and good to install al the software security when you launch your site, but if you don’t keep on top of it, art can be pretty useless. “Think of it like a pair of shoes” says Sally. “If you walk around in them all day every day, they’re going to wear out and offer pretty low protection to your feet. It’s the same with security patches on your site’s components. If you don’t update them, they can expire, lose effectiveness and put your site in danger.”

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