How to protect your website & personal information from cyber security risks

Digital transformation can help to improve, automate and streamline the way we do business. Amongst many other realisations,the current pandemic has highlighted just how reliant humans are on the internet. However, without following the correct security protocols, the cyber security risks associated with being "connected" could become catastrophic.

In adopting change, we must accept and address the risks, first. This can be done by prioritising online safety on the monthly agenda and proactively implement encryption and protection strategies as a matter of urgency. The latest survey conducted by Citrix showed that 74% of South African business owners are ready to invest more in data security.

Here are our Top 3 online safety tips companies can implement right now:

Know what the threats are and what they mean

Realising that there are threats, and learning what to look out for, are one of the first steps to limiting cyber security risks. Here are some of the most common threats:

What is SPAM?

SPAM is unwanted bulk communication (emails, SMS etc.) that aims to either market a product or company to the masses, share infected documents or conduct fraud.

What is Phishing?

Similar to SPAM, hackers use phishing techniques to send out bulk emails to recipients in order to trick recipients into divulging personal information. These emails are generic in nature and not specifically targeted. They may even look as if they originated from a reputable source. By sending them out in bulk, hackers hope to cast a wide net and catch a handful of vulnerable recipients.

What is Spear-Phishing?

Spear-phishing is like phishing but it is targeted in nature, i.e. these emails are directed at specific individuals. Hackers use spear-phishing techniques when they already have certain personal information about an individual in their possession. In trying this more direct approach, hackers try to obtain even more of your personal information for fraudulent purposes.

What is Whaling?

Hackers use spear-phishing techniques to target executives at companies i.e. Financial Directors etc. This is often referred to as "whaling".

What is malware?

Malware is malicious software such as viruses, trojans, spyware and ransomware, that hackers use to damage devices, cause disruptions in companies and steal data.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of malware aimed at taking control of a website or server in order to hold the company to financial ransom.

What is social engineering?

Social engineering is the ability to manipulate and deceive individuals into divulging confidential personal information. Cyber criminals use social engineering to be more successful at phishing and other online scams.

Protect your website from hackers

You can protect your website in the following three ways:

Invest in secure, reliable website hosting

Think of your hosting as your website's foundation. It is essential to ensure that your website is built on a solid foundation, isn't it? Choose a secure, reliable website hosting provider that offers free backups, malware scanning, virus and SPAM protection.

Order an SSL Certificate

A vulnerable website is bad news for your company in more ways than one. Your customers trust that you will protect their personal information when they shop or interact with you, and you need to live up to that promise. End-to-end encryption through an SSL Certificate offers a reliable way for you to protect sensitive data sent to and from your website. In browsers' navigation bars, it will reflect the addition of the word "Secure" next to your domain name, which may improve your reputation and will offer potential customers peace of mind.

Manage WordPress Plugins

WordPress is perhaps the most successful Content Management System (CMS) on the market. With roughly one in every three websites running on this platform, hackers focus a lot of their attention on seeking out vulnerabilities. Hackers particularly exploit vulnerable WordPress Plugins. It is therefore essential to manage your WordPress plugins i.e. run plugin updates etc. Domains.co.za's WordPress Hosting offers free automatic Smart Updates that takes care of this for you.

Protect your personal information

Malicious software such as viruses, trojans, spyware and ransomware are often deployed unsuspectingly on staff computers. Sometimes a virus even "hides" in a flash drive and is unknowingly transferred to a PC. That's why the best defense is a good offense, and a strict antivirus protocol should be implemented by all companies to prevent, detect and remove viruses and malware prior to any functionality being damaged.

Improve your company's online safety with our help. Talk to a Sales Agent today by completing the form here.