Keep Your Website Safe from Cybersecurity Risks

business clock icon
Created April 1, 2020

Effective marketing campaigns are data-driven, the idea is that you know your target customer so well that you can recommend a product or service they’re likely to purchase. Although knowing your customers that good is vital for your campaign, it also presents a few challenges in terms of privacy and data security. As a marketer, what can you do to alleviate some of these risks?

Understand the risks digital marketers face

The first step to solving a problem is understanding the problem and how to solve it. Since you’re dealing with a marketing website, you can start by understanding the cybersecurity risks that marketers face. These include:

1. Email Marketing Risks

Email marketing is still the most effective marketing tool, but it’s also an easy target for cyber attackers. By default, email is not the most secure tool; thus, cybercriminals tend to capitalize on their weaknesses.

Cybercriminals tend to use email spoofing and phishing to trick customers into sending them sensitive information. A cybercriminal can pretend to be your marketing company and convince your clients to send sensitive information such as social security numbers or bank account details. They could also send ransomware to your clients and demand payment to decrypt the data.

Ensure that your email outreach campaign cannot be duplicated, cloaked, or misrepresented. Filter outbound emails to protect your clients. Hackers are sneaky with their attacks, and they can intercept outgoing emails. Once they have access to the emails, they can add attachments or malicious viruses. You can prevent this by adding an extra firewall to detect such messages.

2. Content Management System Risks

You need a content management system to manage content on your website. Typically, most users opt for open-source CMS such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Open-source means that anyone can alter the source code, which has both upsides and downsides.

For starters, you can tweak the code to fit your needs, but anyone can view the changes you make. This means that an attacker can inspect your code in search of weaknesses they can exploit.

Opt for a closed source CMS instead of an open-source as the former will prioritize security maintenance. Also, since the CMS is closed-source, only the providers have access to code. They will constantly review the code and implement security measures to protect the users. The handlers will also prioritize security patches to fix any vulnerabilities in the CMS.

Also, remember to create backups before making any vital changes or updates. If you post content regularly, ensure that you create backups according to your post frequency. This ensures that you don’t lose much of your work in case an intruder modifies your website or deletes your content.

3. Social Media Marketing Risks

You can’t have a successful marketing strategy without using social media. The bulk of the population is on social media; thus, if you want to reach your target audience, you’ve got to prioritize social media marketing campaigns.

Most digital marketers will offer social media marketing as part of their services, but if you’re not cautious, you could fall prey to cyber attackers. Therefore, ensure you improve social media security measures by using strong passwords, limiting access to social media accounts, and educating your employees on how to avoid these risks.

Now that you’ve acknowledged and understood the risks that you face, you implement cybersecurity risk assessment to ensure that you can identify the risks before they occur.

4. Viruses and malware

Website owners often think of their websites as secure or too small for hackers. However, hackers always opt for small businesses as they’re easier targets. You might think that your website is secure, but remember that cyber-attacks are constantly evolving. Your website could be secure today, but tomorrow it becomes vulnerable to malware or virus attacks.

Viruses often come from vulnerable plugins or templates, vulnerable scripts, theft of FTP access, server, or hosting hack. You could also have malware on your site, and they tend to be very destructive.

The key to eradicating a virus or malware is not to treat the symptoms or remove the malware. The most critical solution is understanding how you got the malware or virus. This eliminates the possibility of reinfection.

Hackers typically use the webmaster’s computer to gain access to a website. Therefore, start by checking your computer for any malicious programs. Check your servers, especially if you’re using shared WordPress hosting. Try to eliminate all possible points of entry, and eventually, you’ll figure out how the malware got to your site.

Once you’ve patched the holes, you can take down the site and eliminate the virus or malware before it hurts your reputation. Another option would be to use the last backup before the malware or virus hits your site.

Secure your website

Now that you understand the risks, it’s time to implement measures that ensure your website and clients are protected. These measures include:

1. Upgrade your hosting plan

In case you’re using shared hosting, you might want to upgrade to a better hosting plan. The biggest drawback of using shared hosting is security issues. You’re sharing space and resource with other sites. If any of those sites is infected with a malware or virus, it could spread to your site.

2. Update software

Update any software, plugin, or CMS you have on your site. Developers typically release updates to fix bugs, glitches, and improve security. Hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities, which is why developers release these updates to fix any vulnerabilities.

3. Website security monitoring

It doesn’t hurt to have extra security measures such as security monitoring tools. There are hundreds of web vulnerabilities that could affect your site, most of which you don’t know. They include; cross-site request forgery, external service interaction, malicious file upload, sensitive information disclosure, vulnerable components, weak authentication, source code disclosure, etc.

Use website security monitoring tools to check for vulnerabilities on your website. You can use free tools or opt for paid tools that perform in-depth scans. Some of these in-depth scans include PCI compliance, extensive malware checks, and defacement monitoring.

Install a monitoring tool to alert you in case of a malfunction or an attack, thus improving your response time. Be sure to monitor even parts that you think aren’t important as attackers can use these parts to gain access to other parts of your website that have administrative access.

 

4. Use strong passwords

Update all your passwords and ensure that you use strong passwords, especially those connected to admin user details. Hackers tend to exploit weak passwords to gain access to systems. Therefore, ensure that you don’t reuse passwords, use random and long passwords with at least 12 characters.

 

Conclusion

Better safe than sorry, so underestimate hackers or think that you’re too minute to hack. Use every possible precaution to protect your site against cyber attacks and invest in cybersecurity. You can’t be 100% safe from attacks since attacks are constantly evolving, but you can make it harder for hackers to attack your site.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Is Your Business Being Found Online?

Laptop Metrics Colorado

Free Digital Marketing Report ($150 Value)

marketing module lineWant to know how your business stacks up against the competition?

Read more articles about website development.

6 Reasons Why A Good Design Propels Business Growth

A good design is a common thing in the digital world. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs think that a good logo and website design is something to look at and not worry about. The truth is that a good design can propel your business to new heights. Here are six reasons...

5 Website Redesign Tips To Nail User Experience

A website is a powerful marketing tool that can help businesses improve their online presence and engage with existing and potential customers alike. A business website can also function as 24/7 customer support, allowing companies to answer users' queries in real...

The Golden Rules of Web Design That You Should Know About

When the internet was first created, the designers had to work with the constraints of the technology. Today's web design is much more open and expansive, but there are still many rules that you should follow when designing your site. Some of these golden rules have...

7 tips for making your website more accessible

  About 25% of the population have a disability, and this is important for you because that means that 25% of the people can’t reach you and can’t find your product or your information shared online. You must make your website accessible because you want to give...

Pros and Cons of Free Website Creation

  Not too long ago, only IT experts and specialists could create websites. The rest of the people couldn't perform this task effectively as it required a great deal of technical knowledge. But the thing about technological advancement is that it manages to make...

6 Ways to Incorporate Cyber Security into Your Web Design

When designing a website, there are many things to consider. Interactivity, layout, fonts, color, and responsiveness are just a few examples. While it's true that these elements are all essential to web design, some are more important than others. Cyber security is...

What is Parallax Web Design?

Parallax web design is the brainchild of HTML and coding along with the principles of optical illusion. Multiple slides of images and videos are used at varying speeds to create a 3D effect.     When it was first introduced in 2011, it wowed the internet and...

14 Websites with Free Stock Images for Commercial Use

Photography is an essential part of any design and finding the right commercial-use photos for free can be a challenge. Sure, you could find the standard stock photos of a person sitting in front of a computer or business professionals smiling in a conference room,...

Read more articles about marketing.

Digital Marketing Agency – Hire Them When You See These 12 Signs

Digital Marketing Agency – Hire Them When You See These 12 Signs

  Wondering why your digital marketing strategies are failing? Why are you not getting the expected ROI? Well, it’s a sign that it’s high time you hired a digital marketing agency. You should reevaluate your decisions and rely on professionals. However, you might...

6 Content Marketing Tips For Financial Advisors

6 Content Marketing Tips For Financial Advisors

  Integrity and authority are considered top factors that separate mediocre practitioners from exceptional ones in the finance world. Like any industry in the digital age, engagement and interactions are slowly moving towards a more technologically infused way....

How to Successfully Enhance Your Employee Marketing

How to Successfully Enhance Your Employee Marketing

  It’s not always an easy mission to align the workforce with business objectives but if you want your company to flourish, you must put in the effort. One of the best ways that businesses can meet their goals is to do everything possible to provide a superior...

Product Descriptions: Writing them the Right Way

Product Descriptions: Writing them the Right Way

  The end goal of a product description is to describe the product in a way that elicits a positive buying response from customers. A product description that’s well-written has an effect on your customers - enticing them to move through your sales funnel....

6 Tips To Help You Pursue A Career In Marketing

6 Tips To Help You Pursue A Career In Marketing

So, you’re convinced that marketing is the right career for you – but you’re just not sure how to get started. Marketing is one of the fastest-growing career paths in the world, and more people than ever want to enter this field. If you’re one of them, you may be...

Why the Brand Experience Is Considered the Future of Marketing

Why the Brand Experience Is Considered the Future of Marketing

  Over the last few years, marketing has evolved to include various different techniques for engaging customers. Brand experience marketing is one of these branches of marketing. In its essence, it is a type of experiential marketing that is being rolled out in...

5 Not-So-Obvious Ways How to Generate Leads on Pinterest

5 Not-So-Obvious Ways How to Generate Leads on Pinterest

  With its 431 million monthly active users and their growing shopping engagement, Pinterest has become one of the most promising visual content sharing platforms on the web. Being easy to use and feature-rich at once, Pinterest creates excellent opportunities...

Useful Tips To Help You Create A Marketing Strategy

Useful Tips To Help You Create A Marketing Strategy

Marketing is paramount to a business’s success. If a business doesn’t have an intricately mapped out marketing strategy, then it won’t be able to increase its exposure and make a profit. Creating a marketing strategy can be difficult, especially if you haven’t got any...

How Can Your Website Become More Popular With These 4 Simple Steps

How Can Your Website Become More Popular With These 4 Simple Steps

Designing a website for your business is imperative in today’s digital age, but making it popular is a whole other story. You have to revamp certain aspects of your website so it achieves better reach, more web traffic, and most importantly, better business outcomes....

How to Make a Successful Fundraising Campaign in 6 Simple Steps

How to Make a Successful Fundraising Campaign in 6 Simple Steps

  Are you looking to raise money for a good cause? If so, you're going to need a successful fundraising campaign. It can be tough to get people to donate money, but you can make it happen with the right approach. This blog post will outline six simple steps that...

Understanding the Role of SEO in Marketing

Understanding the Role of SEO in Marketing

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of attracting more visitors to your website through the use of different search engines. This is an effective type of digital marketing service that helps visitors find your website easily and increases organic traffic....

Career Paths for Marketers to Consider

Career Paths for Marketers to Consider

As the world of marketing evolves, so too do the career paths available to marketers. There are now more opportunities than ever before to enter this exciting and fast-paced industry. However, with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which path is...

Share This