Cyberattacks respect no boundaries. They target all levels of organizations. Starting from small to medium to large enterprises. And when a successful data breach occurs to you, be sure of sinking to the rock bottom. In boxing parlance, a cyber breach will knock the air out of your windpipe. Your website will be brought to its knees, losing significant amounts of resources as well as distorting its reputation. In worst-case scenarios, the organization will be forced to shut its operations, all because of a cyber-attack. There is a reason to be alert. The rate of successful data breaches that occur in the modern day is extremely alarming.
Today, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Maryland, there is a cyber-breach at an average of 39 seconds per minute. You might be the source of the problem. You might be the one opening up doors, unknowingly, for the cyber attackers to carry out their malicious activities. Wondering how this is possible? Well, read on some of the security mistakes that you might be committing, knowingly or unknowingly, that create loopholes for cybercriminals to conduct successful data breaches.
- You are Using Weak Passwords
- Not Installing an SSL Certificate on Your Website/ Using Unsecure HTTP Websites
- You Are Not Regularly Updating Your Software
- Not Carrying Out Regular Back-ups
- You are Not Using a 2-factor Authentication
- You are Using Public Wi-Fi to Access Your Accounts
- Letting Your Web Browser Store Your Passwords
You are Using Weak Passwords
Weak passwords offer the easiest and the quickest pathway by which a cyber-criminal can use to access your accounts. If you are using an insecure password, you are only making your system a better target for a hacker. According to the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), 80% of all successful data breaches are all as a result of weak passwords.
It is crucial that when you are creating your login details, you make them as secure as possible. Your password, for instance, should be long and a hard to guess password. The length of the password should be about eight or more characters. It should also be composed of both numbers, lower and uppercase letters as well as symbols.
Another mistake that you could be making with your passwords is using a single password for multiple accounts. You must use a unique password for every account and keep on changing the passwords within time. As such, it would be hard for a hacker to access your accounts.
Not Installing an SSL Certificate on Your Website/ Using Unsecure HTTP Websites
The problem with using the HTTP protocol is that there is no data encryption attached to it. Data files can, therefore, be intercepted by third parties and other unauthorized and malicious people. They can then alter the information to fit the wrong reasons. So, if you are powering your website using the HTTP protocol, it is about time you started thinking about going the HTTPS way.
With HTTPS, all your information and data files are encrypted. The HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. HTTPS involves installing an SSL certificate on your website. SSL stands for a Secure Socket Layer. The SSL certificate plays the role of creating a safe and secure connection between web browsers and web servers. When a website has an SSL certificate, a padlock icon appears at the top, near the address bar to indicate that the user has established a secure connection.
An SSL certificate is, therefore, an almost indispensable ingredient that adds an extra security layer to your website. A GeoTrust QuickSSL Premium is one of the best SSL certificates that you can acquire for your website. It is a perfect sign to your customers that you genuinely care about their information. As there are many SSL providers out there but you should go with the best SSL certificate because that will helps to create a strong reputation and a perfect brand.
You Are Not Regularly Updating Your Software
There is a reason as to why a “New Software Update Available” message usually pops up -on your screen display. So if you keep on ignoring the word, then you are making a grave mistake that could expose your entire system to hackers. You might have heard of the saying, “A stitch in time saves nine,” Updating your software will save you from cyber-attacks.
Usually, software experts are keen to identify loopholes that exist in the current versions of their software, loopholes that could be exposing the software to potential cyber threats. The experts will then fix such patches and then release new software versions that come with fixed patches.
Installing the software updates will, therefore, strengthen the security walls of your systems. You should always check for these new software version releases and install them once they have been verified. Doing this will improve the general security of your software and guard it against the reach of hackers.
Not Carrying Out Regular Back-ups
Hackers are resilient. They are smart and will always find sophisticated tricks to try and commit a data breach. This is despite all the security walls that you have structured to mitigate cyber threats. The question is: What if hackers succeed in going past your security walls and causing havoc to your website? What plans do you have that will see to it that you have your data and information back?
Creating a backup is the perfect answer to the questions. A backup is kind of a contingency plan that will see to it that you rise to your feet and have all your data restored even after a successful security breach. If you are not making a regular backup, then you could as well be digging your own grave. You can enable an automatic backup so that your data files will be backed up automatically after a specific period. Also, make sure that you store your backup in a safe place such as in the clouds.
You are Not Using a 2-factor Authentication
Just a username and a password are never enough when logging into your accounts. You need an extra step to verify the authenticity of the user. This is where the multiple-step authentication comes in hand. If you have not yet started using it, then you are making a mistake that will quickly render you vulnerable to hackers.
A multiple-factor authentication is useful when logging into your online accounts. You will need a verification code that is sent to your device via text message or via email. You will have to enter this code within a specific time limit to access your accounts. If your online account has the multiple-step authentication feature, make sure you use it. This will help you be on the safer side. Stay away from the reach of cybercriminals.
You are Using Public Wi-Fi to Access Your Accounts
Using public Wi-Fi to access your vital data files and carry out other crucial transactions is one of the worst mistakes that you are probably doing right now. Public Wi-Fi is usually very vulnerable. There exists a tremendous number of risks that are associated with public Wi-Fi. For instance, you can easily fall victim to Man-in-the-Middle attacks. Public Wi-Fi can allow an attacker to gain access to your computer and eavesdrop into your files. Also, most public connections are usually not encrypted. This makes the information that is transferred over the wireless network not coded, and this might give an attacker access to the data.
There are other threats such as malware injection, sniffing, and snooping that are also associated with such public connections. The way to stay secure is to avoid using open connections or use a Virtual Public Network.
Letting Your Web Browser Store Your Passwords
Sometimes users find it easy when the browsers that they are using store their passwords. It makes the logging in process easy and fast. But it can also be a significant threat that can expose your system to cyber insecurities. When a hacker or any other person gains access to your device, he can easily access the accounts without any difficulty. The results can be devastating. To stay safe, avoid storing your password in your browser.
As insecurity threats continue to increase day after day, make sure that you do all it takes to protect all your systems. Sometimes it is the actions that you will do that will give a hacker a chance to break into your system and cause havoc. Do not wait until it is too late to realize your mistakes. This article will help you stay aware of some of the common mistakes that you might already be doing, which might give a hacker a perfect chance to gain entry into your website. I hope it will help you stay safe.