For a long time, I considered myself totally hopeless when it comes to everything technological. I probably could not have told you the difference between a monitor and a PC brick. I know – terrible, right? While it was a difficult decision, I ended up making the choice to educate myself to become better at this sort of thing.
You see, my dream for a long time was to create my own virtual shop. Do you know what that requires? That is right: computer know-how. Talk about unfortunate! While it might not have been required a decade ago, now it is really hard to open up even a brick-and-mortar shop without creating a website to complement it.
To teach myself, I used something like this: https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/what-is-programming/. However, an issue that I was not prepared for was figuring out how to store all of my data. Eventually, even a terabyte of storage simply will not cut it. That is especially true when tracking sales transactions.
That is where servers come into the equation. If they are not something that you are already familiar with, make sure that you stick around today. They are shockingly essential to a lot of what we do on our computers in general!
Added Security for Digital Shopping
I am starting off here, since it is probably the biggest role that servers have played in my own start-up. Think about the last time that you decided to go shopping online. A lot of people are doing it today – you would be hard pressed to find a friend or family member that has not bought anything over the internet in the past month. To say that it has pervaded our lives is probably an understatement.
With that note, what is something that is critical for us to do as consumers when performing these actions? We should always ensure that we are entering out sensitive information into a secured (and encrypted, ideally) server. Are you starting to see the relevance of a data center, along with some of the other parts of the security?
For anyone operating a virtual store, it is very important to establish this sort of server. Sometimes they are called “proxies,” but as long as you ensure that they are ensure and not able to be hacked, you should be okay. The biggest thing is that your consumers feel safe enough to enter their credit card information on your page. Otherwise, good luck making sales.
If we take a moment to consider some of the biggest scandals in the business world in the past decade, a lot of them have been security breaches. To say that it is one of the worst things that can happen is probably an understatement. Credit card numbers, birthdays, and even social security numbers in some instances have been leaked to the public.
That means that identity theft can be a real threat to anyone impacted. Obviously, if you experience a breach like this, you have to tell anyone who has shopped with you. The bad press alone could put you out of business. However, sometimes those impacted will even pursue legal action! So, avoiding this is probably something that you should do to the best of your ability.
Keeping Your Own Data Secure
Something else that many of us do not think about before we dive headfirst into operating a business or storefront is that we need somewhere to keep our own information safe, too. Computers do have built in storage options, which you can read about on this page: https://www.techopedia.com/definition/1115/storage. However, often that is simply not going to be enough to keep the massive amounts of data that most companies collect in one spot, let alone safe as well.
That is one part of why databases have become a popular solution for many organizations. Now, I am not saying it will work for everyone. In fact, that is far from being the truth of the matter. However, if you are technologically savvy or do not mind hiring someone to do the work required to keep one operational, it could be viable.
What matters most in this regard is that you figure out a way to keep your data private. Many of us end up making prototypes or designs of new products in the future. If we have a team to report to, that might end up on a PowerPoint. Having a competitor get ahold of that before they even enter large scale production could be a huge problem. That is not the only worry, either.
Transaction and projection details should also be kept private. Not everyone needs to see that. In fact, it is generally best to simply keep that information distributed on a need-to-know basis. Otherwise, you could end up with a leak on your hands!
Andrea Parker is a reporter for Zobuz. She previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Andrea is based in NYC and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe coffee addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.