This post was written by John Larsen. He is the Content Writer and Community Lead at Storetasker, the #1 place to outsource Shopify design, development, and marketing projects. You can read more of his writing here.

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Data breaches have started happening more frequently

In the past few years, data breaches have become a regular occurrence on the front page of newspapers and news sites around the world. The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica breach culminated in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg being asked to appear at a hearing in front of the United States Congress and answer questions related to Facebook’s commitment to data privacy and data protection. Another major data breach occurred in October 2017, when it was revealed that the sensitive personal information of 143 million American consumers had been exposed in the data breach at Equifax, one of three major credit reporting agencies in the U.S. In May 2016 a breach of 117 million LinkedIn passwords occurred.

In May 2018 a glitch caused 330 million Twitter passwords to be stored in readable text, and in December 2018 logins for around 100 million Quora users were compromised.

The world’s biggest data breaches and hacks

In case you need proof that major data breaches have been more frequent lately, here’s a list of the world’s biggest data breaches and hacks. You will notice that each year since 2009 seemed to have more noteworthy data breaches than the previous year. But what does all of this mean exactly, and why does it matter? Unfortunately, many of these companies provide platforms where people often post very private and sensitive information. In addition to the fact that our data does not appear to be safe, the fact that these breaches are happening has caused consumers to lose trust in the institutions that have access to their personal information.

Governments are implementing data privacy regulations

In the European Union, the frequency of data breaches and the effect that they have had on consumers has resulted in the implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the most important change in data privacy regulation in recent memory. The regulation will influence the way in which data is handled in every sector, and companies must comply with the regulation if they want to do business anywhere in the European Union.

In the U.S., there is still only a group of laws attached to specific sectors, rather than a set of comprehensive data privacy rules. Although there isn’t a set of laws to protect individual privacy, this has been proposed in the U.S. Congress recently. In the APAC region, reforms have been made by many countries. China has implemented a Cyber Security Law, Japan has focused on data protection laws, and so has Australia.

Data breaches are very expensive

It seems like the whole world is focused on this issue, but beyond the trust problem, there are hidden costs of data breaches for business owners. In fact, the financial damage of a data breach increased by 6% between 2017 and 2018. Although the major data breaches that have impacted companies like Equifax, Dropbox, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Quora, and Marriott Hotels are the ones that are covered in the news, data breaches can impact small businesses as well and often have more devastating effects.

Don’t end up like Target…protect your store and your customers with technology

One of the most forgotten impacts of the increase in data breaches is that in addition to promising protections for their customers, businesses must take added security measures, especially in e-commerce. You probably remember the Target data breach of 2014…but what you might not know is that in total it cost the company $162 MILLION!

Now think about if hackers attacked your e-commerce business to not just steal data, but actually lure your customers away to other stores? Would you be able to weather the storm? Most e-commerce stores don’t have the revenue stream that Target has and have not been in business nearly as long, so they would very likely just go out of business. However, there are steps you can take to protect your online store from hackers or unauthorized browser-injected ads and content displays.

The first one being – securing the consumer browser end for your store. Did you know that a lot of your customers are actually seeing unwanted ads, deals, coupons and adult content injected by the browser extensions and web apps they are making use of

Studying thousands of stores across the world, it was reported that a whopping 15% of your store traffic could be seeing these ads. The only way to remove this content from your store is to identify what kind of ads an infected extension or web app may inject and remove it before they even show up.

With 13,000+ adware strains being introduced into the digital space every day, the only way to do the above is to leverage the power of machine learning. Shield by BrandLock combines technology and the expertise of R&D specialists to do exactly that. Working with global brands like Nine West, Kirkland’s, and many more, the conversion suits isn’t just keeping the brand secure on the consumer browser, but also ensuring higher conversions and sales by removing all distractions.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at how these brands are using Shield: Case studies.

And don’t be afraid to rope in help from experts…

A lot of business owners are concerned about data breaches now, but almost everyone at one point has wanted to let someone work on their store but been afraid that the person they hired might not be trustworthy.

Do they have the right skills, and experience working with e-commerce stores? How can you tell if someone wants to help you succeed, or just copy your innovation for their own benefit? It can be difficult to manage all of the work of running an e-commerce store on your own, but equally difficult to trust other people with some of the tasks.  Small brands and large corporate brands both struggle with this.

With experts at Storetasker, you can actually outsource e-commerce development, design, and marketing projects without worrying. The best part is that all the experts have gone through a vetting process and have the relevant experience and skills to complete your project professionally and on time. Meet the experts and see what skills they offer here.

Don’t let adware steal your store’s business

Don’t let your company become another data breach statistic or newspaper headline.  And definitely, don’t let your competitors frisk away shoppers from your site itself!

Ready to improve your store’s online experience and offer your shoppers a secure environment for online shopping?
Let’s attack those unauthorized ads right away.

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Editor's Desk