What Digital Marketers Need to Know About Cyber Security

No matter the size of your company or your brand, if you’re online, there’s a possibility you’ll experience a security breach. Digital marketers are not immune to this. In fact, since digital marketing reaches a broad audience, there could be a higher risk. It’s crucial that digital marketers stay up-to-date with the latest security concerns.

In 2018, data breaches cost companies around the world about $3.86 million. In the US alone, the average incident could cost a company up to $7.9 million.

Email, social media, your website – these are the most important and most vulnerable security risks. Within a company, it’s likely that multiple people have access to social media accounts, as well as the company website. While these channels are used to improve your online presence, they can also pose a serious threat.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the security risks you can expect as a digital marketer, as well as a few ways to combat those risks.

Malware

Malware is malicious software. It can be any program or file that is designed to be harmful to a computer, server, client or network. Malware can be applied to almost anything. It can be as simple as opening a malicious site or clicking on an email or an ad that has malware within it. Spyware can be installed on your computer to record anything from passwords to keystrokes. Ransomware can take control of your computer, which allows cybercriminals to hijack data. These cybercriminals will then demand money before they release the data back to you.

How can you defend against malware?

First and foremost, acquire a firewall and anti-malware software. It’s also crucial to be smart about what you click on. Don’t click on suspicious emails, links, websites, or ads. Some browsers offer antivirus plugins or extensions. If you have a form to be completed on your website, you can use CAPTCHA tests that will ensure it’s a human trying to submit information, not a bot.

WordPress Security

WordPress is, hands down, the most popular content management system used today. That makes is a big target of hackers. The most accessible plan of attack they use is to exploit outdated software components of your site. This could be anything from outdated themes and plugins to more crucial backend components.

How can you improve your WordPress security?

The best way to protect your WordPress account against cybercriminals is simply to keep everything up to date. The best way to perform this protection is by turning on automatic updates. This ensures that your WordPress remains up-to-date at all times. Additionally, WordPress and/or your domain host can perform backups on a regular basis. This allows you to replace any information that may be lost.

Domain Security

If your website isn’t hosted on WordPress, it can also be at risk. Your site can suffer from:

  • Cross-site scripting, which is when hackers add malicious code to your website in order to infect or steal data from site visitors.
  • SQL injection attacks, which are when attacks send commands to forms or search boxes. These attacks can give hackers access to the backend database of your site.
  • DDoS attacks, which are when hackers bombard your website with traffic in order to bring your site down.

How can you prevent your website from being hacked?

As is the answer for a lot of security issues, strengthen and change your password often. You should also put your site behind a firewall. Acquiring a digital certificate for your website is also a smart idea. SSL is digitally signed by a trusted authority on the internet and ensures that the session between your visitor and your site is encrypted.

Social Media

If you’re on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve likely received a spam message or seen a spam post from someone you’re “friends” with. Some hackers are just there to stir up some chaos for you and your followers. They can make changes to your profile, like adding offensive photos. They can also post spammy or offensive content on your behalf. They can also send inappropriate emails from your account.

How can you ensure your social media accounts don’t get hacked?

To prevent this, use strong passwords, and change them regularly. Using a password like 123456 or password will almost guarantee getting hacked.

Email Security

Email is more prone to cybersecurity issues than other channels of marketing. Email phishing scams are bigger than ever. It’s important to notice what is a legitimate email sent from a legitimate website, versus someone phishing for information.

What are some signs to detect email phishing? Try these:

  • Legitimate companies don’t request sensitive information via email.
  • They also usually call you by your name, not “dear customer” or “dear miss.”
  • Always check the sender’s email address. Legit companies usually use their domain in their email addresses.
  • Check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Check for unsolicited attachments
  • Check internal links within the email. Double-check URLs and make sure you’re going to a legitimate place.

Backups

In a worst-case scenario, you can lose all of your content and data in a hack or data breach. Backing up any and all important information is your best move, whether it’s for your company or for your personal use. Regularly backing up your data guarantees your information can be salvaged and restored instantly. There are a million backup solutions these days, and it’s always recommended to have a backup of your backup. You can use a cloud backup solution or an external hard drive, or both!

Digital marketers need to be wary of these cybersecurity risks at all times. They’re the most susceptible to cybercriminals and must address weaknesses whenever they arise. Hackers are always producing more and more sophisticated tactics to steal your information. Use these tips and tricks to protect yourself.


 

  • Is your password as secure as you think it is? Find out here.
  • What security tactics do you or does your company employ?
  • Do you regularly backup your data?

 


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