Hacking – in recent years we’ve all heard about it. We’ve heard how devastating it can be, how common it is, and how much hackers have been gaining from our personal information. So you might be wondering – how can I protect myself from hackers? Well, look no further. In this article we describe some simple ways of protecting yourself from hackers.
Use an SSL Certificates on your site
For some this can be one of the less obvious methods of protecting yourself from hackers, however it is often one of the most effective security methods. Regardless of the type of website you are hosting, you should always use SSL certificates on your site, especially if you’re dealing with eCommerce or an online store. SSL certificates helps secure your website traffic and ensures that hackers can’t snoop on the traffic that is being passed back and forth from your website.
SSL certificates are small data files that use cryptographic keys to digitally secure a website when it’s installed on a web server. When you use SSL certificates on your site, you will see a padlock security sign, and your website will load through the secure HTTPS connection. This means that all traffic between the visitor’s computer and the web server is encrypted and sensitive information like credit card information or login details cannot be obtained by hackers.
Keep software up to date
Another easy and quick way of securing your website against hackers is to make sure that all your platforms, content management systems, and software’s are up-to-date with the latest versions. Many older versions of web-based software contain back doors and exploits, which hackers can take advantage of and compromise your website. After all, security is one of the primary reason software packages are regularly updated.
A good example of this is the popular blog and website management system WordPress. It’s always advisable to keep this automatically updated or regularly update it yourself, as older versions are known to have exploits which hackers can take advantage of as new technologies allow for more advanced hacking techniques.
Use complex login details
For some this might go without saying, but one of the simplest ways of securing your accounts is to simply use complex password for your logins. It might seem trivial, however brute force attacks are increasingly common, and using a short or simple password in this day and age is just asking for trouble. You don’t want someone to be able to guess your password, do you?
The best practices for creating a secure password is to actually use a passphrase rather than a short password, as longer and more complex passwords are harder to crack and therefore more secure. Always try and avoid using personal information such as your name, address, or date of birth in your passwords – as hackers can easily guess this based on the publicly available information you have on social media, for example.
Utilise a firewall
Another great way of protecting yourself from hackers is to make use of a firewall to protect your systems. A Firewall is a piece of hardware or, most commonly software, which scans your incoming and outgoing communications for any signs of malicious or troublesome activity. Generally firewalls can help protect against brute force attacks, SQL injection, DDoS attacks, and many other types of hacking attacks. Firewalls work by employing a number of standardised algorithms to detect for known signatures in outgoing and incoming communications, and blocks dangerous traffic based on these algorithms.
A huge benefit of using a firewall is that it will also usually scan your file system for any signs of viruses or corrupted content. It uses an up to date library of virus signatures which it checks against your system’s files, to see if any of the signatures match, if there are any matches, the system will alert the user of the malicious file.