Cybersecurity has been one of the most talked-about issues in recent times. It has been troubling big and small firms alike. If you are looking for a one-stop shop for securing your website and other online information, you’ve come to the right place. While it is great to be an expert in ethical hacking, knowing first the basic steps on how to safeguard confidential data is essential – may it be a personal or business information.
Whether you are an average internet user, or a personnel working for a business organization, or an employer at a huge firm, data security is to be taken seriously. If you don’t, you are making yourself and/or your company vulnerable to potential outside threats. With a number of methods at the disposal of hackers, you may end up getting your private data compromised before you know it.
CSO online details in its post, some of the recent most high-profile data breaches of the century. The most devastating of all was the breach of Yahoo. It resulted in the compromise of the data of all its 3 billion user accounts, including passwords. Later, Verizon acquired Yahoo and now the company is called Altaba Inc. Yahoo aside, eBay, Uber, JP Morgan Chase, Adobe and quite a few other companies have been victims of data breaches.
Hackers follow different ways to steal passwords and other sensitive information. Some of them are:
- Brute Force Attacks: Where different possible password combinations are tried by using scripts or computer programs.
- Phishing Attacks: Phishing is a method of stealing sensitive information; like username, password and credit card details. Mostly through an electronic medium like email. The attackers send an email to the recipient; that disguising as a trustworthy entity.
- Server Root Exploitations: Where the server itself is targeted.
- Dictionary Attacks: Where most likely and possible dictionary words used; in cyclic combinations to defeat a cipher or authentication mechanism.
- Key Logger Attack: This is the most dangerous of all. A computer program is used to track the user’s keystrokes.
When such potent threats exist in the realm of the internet, the question arises. “What can one do to keep his/her website(s) and online activity hack-proof?” Well, let me get you started on that.
- Access Only Secure Websites
Every time you are on the internet, make sure you are only accessing websites that are secured with the most essential features. This includes an SSL certificate. EV SSL (Extended Validation SSL) is the highest form of SSL types. You can see if a website has an EV SSL qualification, by checking for the following:
- Green Padlock Icon
You can find the Green padlock on the extreme left of the URL bar indicates an SSL certification.
Next on the URL bar will be either the attribute HTTP or HTTPS (in green). HTTPS encrypts your information while it is in transit between your browser and server, and keeps your data within your bounds.
- Company Authenticity
An EV SSL certificate displays the organization name and country code, again in green color. To obtaining an EV SSL certificate, a business need to follow a strict verification process. It entails added cost and time, and a process where the owner of the website has to go through a thoroughly and globally standardized identity verification process. This goes to say that you can feel perfectly safe if the website is EV SSL certified. You can buy cheapest EV SSL Certificate at just $79 per year price from here www.cheapsslshop.com/ev-ssl-certificates.
2. Conform to a Strict Password Policy
Many internet users overlook the significance of a good, strong password. That is probably because they don’t know how easy it actually is for hackers to gain access to your personal data. Once they have your basic personal data, for example, your nickname, pet’s name, hometown, favorite number, color etc, how long do you think it’s gonna take for them to put two and two together and find out your password?
You should use hard-to-guess passwords, which are long (at least 8 characters). Use a clever combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid using real dictionary words.
You should also change your passwords on a regular basis.
3. Use a Password Manager Application
A password manager is a software application used to store and manage a user’s passwords. For someone who has a multitude of accounts across various websites, it will be difficult to remember the passwords used for each one of them. Not only do password managers solve this complication, they encrypt and store the login information, and enter them directly into forms. This way, hackers cannot use keystroke logging to purloin your passwords.
Most password managers also provide the additional feature of automatic password generation. It creates a good, strong and unique password that is hard to guess even with the help of the latest software. All you need to remember is a master password to unlock your password manager.
4. Social network privacy
Nowadays, the average Tom, Dick and Harry have accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and a slew of other social networks that have made a foray into our lives in the last decade. But not a lot of people have privacy concerns. Privacy is important because there’s no point in having data security if you can end up losing your rights to it.
Facebook and other social media pages ask for your explicit consent to share stuff you post online. Review your privacy settings on Facebook and other social media pages and make sure you are sharing your data only with the people you intend to.
On Facebook, for instance, you have tweakable privacy options broken down into categories. You can choose for friends only/ friends of friends/public to see your posts. Furthermore, you can also choose which apps to allow access to your Facebook account to.
5. Use an SSL VPN
SSL VPN is a form of VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPN is a technology that lets you create a private network within a public network. Using this private network, you can access your website or your company website and work freely, without having to worry about your data being stolen. So, if you access the internet on public networks frequently, download a VPN today.
6. Use 2FA
When conducting financial transactions online, make sure that the website you access provides 2 Factor Authentication. With 2FA, the user has not only to provide a password, but also a second security factor, such as an instantly generated OTP. A network that enforces 2FA is impenetrable to outside sources.
With the advent of IoT enabled devices coming into play, cyber security is only growing in importance. It’s time we realized the part that cyber security plays in our digital lives, and gave it the requisite attention.