Instances of hacking, data theft and cyber crime are certainly nothing new. Those of us who are old enough may be able to recall movies such as WarGames which highlighted what was thought at the time to be nothing more than fiction. If we fast-forward to the 1990s, such events began to enter into the public eye due to the sheer number of infractions. Cyberterrorism has now become part of everyday language. From major state actors to massive breaches of personal data, the statistics seem to point to a future that calls into question the traditional role of online security. However, are transgender-oriented websites more likely to be targeted by such criminals? While the data is somewhat spurious, many experts believe that these portals are at a higher risk of falling victim to hate crimes. Let’s take a closer look.

Homophobia Within the Digital Age

Although the Internet has provided us with more information than would have been conceivable 20 years ago, this has often come at a price. Instances of cyber bullying are on the rise and thenumber of digital hate crimes is quite disturbing. This is just as true when we refer to websites which are devoted to the needs and interests of the transgender community.

The main issue here is that hackers and similar individuals have found many ways to circumvent traditional (and previously reliable) security protocols. As the majority tend to use systems such as theanonymous TOR gateway, even extremely advanced ecommerce platforms have had difficulty remaining one step ahead of the curve. This scenario is likely to become even more challenging in the near future. So, what can website owners do to protect personal information and to prevent data theft?

What Preventative Steps Can be Taken?  

Common sense goes a long way in such situations. First and foremost, no personal information should ever be made public. Email servers must be secure and reliable. Sites which receive a prolific amount of spam should never click on any blind link; this can easily lead to an infection. It is also wise to purchase a professional anti-virus application that is able to work in conjunction with the website in question. These proactive measures will provide an ample amount of security and yet, they might not always be sufficient.

We also need to look at the type of e-commerce platform being employed. How robust are the payment gateways and are encryption protocols in place? In the event that a data breach is suspected, how easy is it to contact a customer service technician? These are two extremely important concerns and robust providers such as Shopify have been known for their ability to adapt to changing situations.

In truth, it is impossible to eliminate all cyber crimes. The main intention should therefore be to safeguard a website as much as possible. Security systems will continue to evolve and programmers therefore need to keep abreast of the latest threats if they hope to offer ample levels of protection to their clients.

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