The Internet is – let’s all face it like adults – a very scary place these days and online security should top your list of essentials for operating in the digital world.
Oh sure, you think, “but I’m just little ol’ me, no one’s going to bother me.” But hackers, malware distributors, ransomware distributors don’t really care who you are nor how small may be your digital universe. The fact is malware and other nefarious infestations are often distributed at random, with bots (web robots) or a string of already-infected computers (desktop or mobile) which become a botnet.
We all know the major horror stories of huge and sophisticated business and government sites getting hacked. But it happens to us little guys, too, every day.
Just last week a Relevanza client had its site hacked. Curiously, the malware affected only mobile devices. In other words, only those coming to the website via mobile devices were redirected to a spam site by malware. What that tells you is the bad guys know – like we all know – how much we use our mobile devices.
Fortunately, we found the culprit quickly and eradicated it. And, then, it happened again. We found it again, eliminated it, added even more security and so far, so good. It’s an old website (meaning four years old), one we inherited and we’re in the middle of creating a new, more sophisticated site. But there are never absolute guarantees in the online world of today. It’s always a scramble just to keep up with the bad guys.
The bad guys also know most of us pay very little attention to the security on our mobile devices.
Security on mobile devices
In plenty of ways, mobile devices can be even more susceptible to threats like malware and spyware than are PCs or laptops.
Most mobile carriers these days and many manufacturers have, at least a modest protection kit, baked into the smartphone or tablet. But often, new owners have to actually activate the security measures. And, of course, the carriers and manufacturers want you to buy additional levels of security.
Big names like Kaspersky and Norton offer mobile protections, too.
And, be sure, mobile security is an altogether different proposition on iOS and Android
For iOS devices, Apple has its own sophisticated security and details other options in its briefing. The Lookout app is also good for iOS devices.
Online security is a must
Our good buddy Ron Sela published a good piece recently on steps digital marketeers should to take to make clients’ websites a bit safer.
“Website hacking isn’t just something that happens to the guy with ‘123456’ as his password,” Sela posts. “According to a 2012 Sophos Security Threat Report, something like 30,000 websites are hacked every day, and it’s not just the big fish either.”
And even the most sophisticated and complicated passwords don’t always stop threats.
Sela suggests some steps to be taken seriously:
- Always use strong anti-virus software.
- Be selective with cloud storage.
- Keep plugins and browsers up to date.
- Secure your network, your Wifi.
- Avoid public Wifi or, at least, take precautions.
- Limit the number of people with admin privileges to your clients’ sites.
- Practice good, solid password security.
“There is no one size fits all security plan, and hackers are clever—even all of this may not be enough to keep your site secure,” Ron so very accurately points out. “However, following a few simple steps like these can mean the difference between compromising the reputation of your site and maintaining a reliable, secure image.”