Tag Archives: malware

fix website security risk

How Your Website is a Security Risk + What You Can Do To Fix It

In this day in age, cyber security is of the utmost importance. Don’t let your beautiful website design and reputation go to waste because of a security risk.

Did you know an average of 30,000 websites are hacked every day? If you think you’re not vulnerable, think again.

In this article, we’re covering common ways new websites are at risk for hackers and viruses.

Don’t worry. This is meant to help you, not just scare you. We’re also covering how you can fix it to protect your site and data. Read on for more.

4 Ways Your Website Is a Security Risk and How You Can Fix Them All:

Excellent website design is just the beginning. You also need to protect your site against cyber attacks, hackers, and more. Here’s how.

1. Malware

Malware is short for “malicious software,” and it is just as sinister as it sounds.

Malware programs are designed to gain access to your computer or website specifically without your knowledge.

Malware can be responsible for data theft and search engine blocking, among other consequences.

Protect your website with malware scanners to monitor security 24/7. Always update platforms, apps, and plugins as soon as the new version comes out.

Always be cautious when it comes to free software programs and research them thoroughly before installation.

2. Get an “SSL” (HTTPS)

Google is leading the way on encouraging every website to be secure. Specifically, every website should be protected by an “SSL” certificate which encrypts all user data submitted in forms or payments.

If the URL for your website doesn’t start with, “HTTPS,” your site isn’t secure. Pretty soon this is going to hurt your site in Google searches, which is incentive enough to secure your website!

There are sites out there like “Let’s Encript” that offer free SSL’s, but not all web hosting companies accommodate them. (They would rather have you pay for theirs) 

If you have to pay for an SSL, it will cost you about $60/year, which is a good incentive to host your site with a company that offers a free SSL.

3. Passwords

It’s obvious that you need a hard to guess password to protect your site from invasion.

For maximum security, require a two-factor authentication for the admin page, so that only authorized admins are able to access the heart of your site and your valuable data.

Require specific password regulations for your users as well, such as the use of numbers and capital letters.

Further protect your customers from hackers by using a one-way function such as SHA (secure hashing algorithm). This will secure the data by using an algorithm that scrambles the data in a way that only the sever will know how to keep track of.

This helps to prevent password guessing software from easily accessing your user accounts.

4. Backups

Backing up your site is an important way to protect your hard work, but it’s also a way in for hackers and cyber thieves.

Keep backups stored locally and offsite to minimize the security risk. In the case of a malware invasion, you’ll be able to more easily restore a secure version of your site.

*Related coupon: 50% off Carbonite backup

5. Manage User Access

We’re not saying trust no one, we’re just saying don’t trust anyone else’s cyber security.

Every time you allow user access, even to another admin (an employee or a guest poster, for example), you’re opening up a pathway for invasion.

Limit who has admin access to as few computers and accounts as possible. Create a layered system of access to limit the functions of the site to only what is absolutely necessary.

Now You Know!

Implementing these cyber security practices will help ensure the functionality, trustworthiness, and reputation of your site.

It’s much easier to take extra precautions to dodge a security risk than to repair it after an attack.

Want more? Check out this post about the worst high profile data leaks of 2017 or this post about how to avoid dating site scams.

worst data leak cases

Hacked Companies: Inside the Largest Data Leak Cases of 2017

From popular dating sites to major retailers, threats to your cybersecurity and sensitive data are everywhere.

If you think you’re immune just because you’re a larger company, think again. Read on to learn more about the biggest data leak incidents of 2017.


Saks Fifth Avenue

This March, popular department store Saks Fifth Avenue experienced a massive data leak that posted the email addresses and telephone numbers of over 10,000 shoppers online.

The personal information was posted on an internal page of Saks’ website, where customers could sign up to get placed on a waiting list for products.

On the bright side, it was confirmed that no credit card information had been stolen and posted online — a rare thing for the cyber hacks of today.


Gmail

In May of 2017, hackers broke into the personal email accounts of over 1 billion Gmail users.

How did they get in?

By using what’s commonly known as a “phishing” scam. Essentially, the hackers sent an email that was disguised as a note from someone on their contacts list. Of course, many users didn’t think twice before opening it, as the sender was familiar to them.

Then, the victims were told that they needed to grant access to a third-party app in order to view an attachment their so-called “friends” had sent them.

Once the virus had the personal information it needed, it could then send itself to all of the initial victim’s contacts. This meant the scam was able to grow incredibly rapidly.

The lesson of this data breach? Always think twice before giving out your personal information to a third-party app.

*The IRS has even recently launched a campaign called, “don’t take the bait” to combat phishing scams that target tax professionals.


Chipotle

Yes, even everyone’s favorite fast food chain isn’t immune from a hack. Sadly, those who frequent the popular restaurant got a little bit more than just extra guacamole in April of this year.

By installing malware in Chipotle’s Point of Sale devices, hackers were able to steal the credit card information of countless customers. Essentially, the hackers were able to read the magnetic strip on the back of credits cards and get their numbers.

Hacking incidents like this are why inserting the chip is now so popular.

The hack was especially frightening as it affected multiple restaurant locations in a variety of cities.

Fortunately, Chipotle was able to quickly get a handle on the hack.


How Can You Prevent A Data Leak?

As you can see from the incidents above, data leaks can be costly, a huge blow to your brand’s reputation, and an enormous threat to customer service.

It’s always a good idea to invest in professional virus protection — especially if you use cloud-based software. Frequently run back-ups of your work, and always conduct rigorous testing to make sure there are no cracks in your security.

Additionally, if you have been hacked, you need to act as quickly as possible to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. Start by using free data recovery software to ensure that you won’t lose all of your customer’s information or your company’s data.


Protect Your Customers — And Your Brand

Don’t end up like the companies on this list. Instead, start getting proactive about your data protection and recovery services.

Remember that new threats happen every day. Always stay on top of the latest hacking and malware news so you can continue to protect yourself and your customers.

online shopping security tips

7 Online Shopping Tips From Norton: Avoid Viruses & Malware

Tips for Online Shopping: So, what can you do right now to stay safe online and avoid computer viruses and malware? Since the story broke about how up to 100 million people’s credit card information was stolen, there is renewed interest in online security. If it can happen to top retailers, surely we’re at risk too.

Here’s a video (under 2 minutes) with tips for not becoming a victim of viruses when you shop online;

Here’s what you can do to stay safe when shopping online:

  • norton secure sealFirst, make sure your web browser is up to date. Old browsers can be hacked into more easily, and aren’t up with the latest security threats
  • Watch the display URL in your browser; whenever you buy something online, you’ll want to see an https:// before the site name. This means that any info that you send will be encrypted before it’s sent because that site has an SSL certificate
  • A green bar on the web address means that the site has been verified to be safe; it may also accompany the “Norton Secured Seal” which shows you that Norton, the leading name in computer antivirus and security online, has verified the site

You don’t even need Norton software (click for a coupon for up to a $50 discount on Norton Security) or McAfee software (click for a 50% off coupon!) to have a fighting chance against viruses if you take precaution online. Also, remember to keep up with credit card and bank statements, as your first red flag may be unwanted charges.