Simple Tips to Increase Online Security

Today’s world has gone digital, so when you hear the term security, you think of the Internet. Internet security encompasses browser security, website security, network security and establishes measures against potential attacks.

So, online security is something we use daily without even knowing about it! Online stores or banks, in particular, keep your personal information as safe as possible. As a rule, such websites or apps explain in detail how they store or use your data.

However, you should rely on yourself and be able to protect your personal information and devices. Be aware of the types of threats you can face and security measures to apply.

Threats to Internet Safety

  • Hacking

It’s an activity seeking to compromise digital devices or networks. Hackers get unauthorized access to your device and personal information in several ways. Although hacking might not always be harmful, most people refer to it as an illegal activity for cybercriminals.

  • Pharming

Pharming is the ability to redirect people using the URL of a secure website to a fake one. It’s possible even if the original URL is typed correctly. This cyber-attack can be conducted either by changing the host file on a victim’s computer or using a vulnerability in the DNS server software.

  • Phishing

It’s a social engineering attack aimed to steal personal data, install malware or freeze your system. An attacker uses fake emails, websites, or text messages made to look like they are from an authentic company or sender so that a recipient clicked a harmful link.

  • Malware

Malware is malicious software that cybercriminals can install on your device. It’s one of the most common types of attacks. Once malware is applied, attackers can modify or delete files, send emails on your behalf, intimidate people and reformat your hard drive, so you can’t access it.

  • Spyware

Сybercriminals and business people often appeal to this type of software. Spyware goes undetected by the recipient, and if someone is applying it maliciously, it can be difficult to remove once it has infected a computer. However, spyware can also refer to legitimate software for commercial purposes like advertising.

Six Ways to Increase Security

Although nothing can guarantee you 100% safety, you can significantly reduce the risk of being attacked. Follow these simple tips and sleep in peace:

  • Use Stronger Passwords & 2FA

The easiest way is to improve existing safety measures. Modern passwords require at least eight characters with one letter, one number, one capital, one symbol. It seems secure enough, but we recommend you use longer passwords. Consider passphrases to be able to remember them. The longer your pass is, the fewer your chances to fall under attack are. Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is a perfect choice to minimize the risk of being hacked. It’s a one-time code sent during each log-in to you by email, SMS, or through an authenticator app. A combination of a complex pass and a 2FA establishes a killer security level.

  • Add HTTPS and TLS

These protocols help you establish safe URLs, and a secure URL contributes to your website’s safety. HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a protocol that prevents interruptions to the content transit and provides security over the Internet. TLS (Transport Layer Security) is another protocol that provides communications security over a computer network.

  • Record User Access & Permissions

Always track who or what has access to your website and its data. Every person having permission is a weak spot for safety. Targeted attacks don’t necessarily come from professional hackers. Former employees, notably unhappy ones, may want to harm you. Create a list of people having access to your website, and specify the permissions they have. Review and update this list regularly, and don’t forget to change accesses from time to time. Moreover, be selective in the apps or extensions you install. Investigate user feedbacks and the amount of data this extension will be able to affect.

  • Backup Website

Automatic and consistent backups are highly effective for security. Backup versions are crucial to recovering your website after security incidents. Web host providers usually provide backups of their servers, however, you should copy your files regularly. You can install appropriate plugins or do it in an old-fashioned way, manually. Store this data off-site or in the cloud (but don’t rely only on clouds).

  • Apply for a Web App Firewall

A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a specific form to filter, monitor, and block HTTP traffic to and from websites. It scans every bit of data and protects you from a variety of app layer attacks such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, cookie poisoning, and so on. Nowadays, the majority of WAFs are cloud-based and are plug-and-play services.

  • Update and Scan Regularly

Delete any files or apps from your website that are no longer in use. Perform regular audits to scan your website and server for vulnerabilities. Security scans should be run both on schedule and after any change of your website components. You can use numerous free tools for a brief review, and professional audits for in-depth revision.

Conclusion

Keeping your website safe and secure from attacks doesn’t require too much time or effort. Start with quick actions like password enforcement, and then proceed to time-consuming processes such as creating a list of all users with permissions.

If you think you can’t manage security yourself, consider expert intervention. Website security falls under the DevSecOps field responsibility. You can either develop a relationship with an agency providing such services or study the subject yourself. If you tend to choose the second option, the upcoming article from Corewide devoted to DevSecOps will help you.

Stay tuned for more!

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