The internet is a dangerous world. If a media giant such as Yahoo can be hacked (causing one billion accounts to be affected), then what chance do smaller sites have? Sure, you might think that cyber thieves won’t be interested in your little account, but you can’t assume anything. So do we give up and hand our internet login accounts over to criminals? Of course not – we fight, using methods such as these:
1. Consider changing your password regularly
The vast majority of security infiltration is due to human error, and one of the biggest open goals is your password. Not only do some users still use obvious passwords such as ‘123456’ and ‘Password’, but they also use them for everything – websites, email and social media accounts, and confidential files.
Even if we try what is apparently a random array of numbers and letters, we might be surprised to know that they are a lot more regular than we expect. According to an article on Huffington Post, we have regular patterns that we use, and hackers know about it.
The solution is regular password changes, and using different passwords for different accounts. Also, don’t keep them stored in the computer when a hacker can access them! Be careful with wording – even an error message can sometimes give away clues as to the accuracy of a guess.
2. Security software cannot be overemphasised
This should be one of the first concerns when you buy a PC, and definitely for your older PC where hackers are more likely to find a way around older technology. Antivirus software detects and then prevents or removes malicious programmes from your PC, and while not perfect, it’s a good first step.
As PC Advisor states, protecting your PC is no a lesser concern for many people compared to personal data (which could be removed and used by criminals in the form of ransomware). Best-known solutions include Norton, Kaspersky and AVG.
For your website, look into apps that can secure your files and protect them from intrusions. You can easily stop vulnerability exploit attempts and brute force attacks. Make your your choice of app offers Website Application Firewall (WAF) and Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).
3. Technological battling
Slightly more advanced ways of battling hackers can be found here; suggestions include taking great care with file permissions if you are allowing people to make downloads from your site, the use of parameterised queries, precise use of data submission when creating forms, and “treating files with great suspicion” if you’re allowing people to upload them to your website.
Additionally, it’s important to be wary of error messages. For instance, it is wise to consider the language used to communicate an incorrect login. This would include communicating a vague message such as ‘incorrect password’.
4. Allowing a host to do the hard work
There are numerous reasons why one might utilise the use of secured hosting, such as the number of options they offer, the guidance of experienced teams that administer the hosting, and the options available such as SSD/cloud and huge RAM/disk sizes.
However, another great bonus to remote hosting is the safety; VPS servers, and indeed other similar companies, rely upon the security of their product as one of the main selling points for potential customers. Not only is there free SSL security, but also 24-hour support if you do suspect something is amiss.