Today, having a solid digital marketing strategy is not optional anymore. It is a necessity for any company that wants to gain a competitive advantage and build a recognizable brand name.
However, when building your brand’s presence online, your marketing team needs to be aware of the rising cybersecurity risks.
No matter if you are collecting customer data to personalize website experiences or you sell products online, protecting sensitive customer information should be your top priority. A study by PwC states that over 90% of users believe companies should be more proactive about data protection.
So, what should digital marketers know about cybersecurity?
Negligence Poses a Major Cybersecurity Risk
According to some recent statistics, 66% of data security breaches are a result of employee negligence. The example of the CapitalOne hack backs me up on that. The company announced that, due to employee negligence, hackers stole personal data of 106 million credit card customers.
Therefore, learning about cybersecurity risks and practices should be any digital marketer’s priority. Choose an accredited cyber security course online for your team to familiarize themselves with the basics of IT security. Always choose a course that offers 1: 1 consultation options with the mentor and uses interactive video materials, quizzes, and demonstration labs.
Email Remains the Weakest Link in your Cybersecurity Strategy
The number of email phishing scams is rising. According to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, nearly one-fourth breaches involved phishing.
So, how to recognize email phishing and prevent it?
- Before opening an email, pay attention to the sender’s address. Legitimate organizations use the company name in employees’ email addresses.
- Phishing emails often begin with your name.
- Watch out for bad spelling or grammar.
- Before clicking on the URL, double-check it to ensure it is going to take you to a safe place.
- If there are any PDF files and similar attachments, check them before clicking “Download.” The report mentioned above claims that 66% of malware is installed via malicious email attachments.
WordPress is Prone to Hacks
WordPress powers 35% of the web. Unfortunately, that makes it a big target of cybercriminals. They will use any unprotected software components, such as outdated plugins or weak passwords, to hack your network.
- Keep everything up-to-date. If a theme or a plugin you are using cannot be upgraded, delete it and install its updated alternative.
- Download themes and plugins from reliable sources.
- Install cybersecurity plugins, such as Sucuri SiteCheck, Search Console, and Wordfence Security. They will scan your WP website for malware, outdated software, and malicious scripts.
- Create a new admin account. Traditional WordPress admin accounts are easy to hack. Therefore, delete them and create a new admin account.
- Limit access to your blog. There is no need for guest bloggers to register on your WordPress website. Go to “Settings” and turn off the “Anyone can register” option.
Weak Passwords are the Easiest Entry Point of Attack
It is 2020, and yet, many users still use their birthdays or kids’ names as passwords. If you are creating easy-to-remember passwords to manage your accounts, it is time to rethink your decisions.
Cracking someone’s password can be done in multiple ways, from outright guessing to using sophisticated password-hacking techniques. Brute-force password cracking involves randomly trying out different passwords, usually a victim’s birthday, job title, or company name, hoping that one of those combinations will work. Dictionary attacks, on the other hand, use a dictionary of most common passwords to hack someone’s accounts or network.
To create hard-to-hack passwords, you should:
- Come up with random and complex password combinations.
- Never use personal information.
- Avoid using sequential numbers.
- Combine characters, such as numbers, symbols, upper-case letters, or lower-case letters.
- Use unique passwords for each account you manage.
- Update passwords once monthly.
The Number of Social Media Scams is Rising
Social media marketers need to pay special attention to the rising social media scams. Some hackers only want to confuse your followers by changing a profile photo or posting spammy content. On the other hand, more experienced hackers can also use login information to steal your followers’ information. Those activities may severely harm your company’s reputation and prevent you from gaining new customers.
So, how to protect the social media accounts you are managing?
- Create strong passwords. Researchers found that 22% of social network users have fallen victim to security-related incidents.
- Remember that not everyone that follows you is your friend. Followers can also send spammy links and content that will take you to a malicious site that is infected with malware.
- Mind the content you are sharing and clicking on. Popular click-bait posts on social networks are often used to trick a user to click and, then, take them to an infected site or steal their information.
Performing Regular Backups is the No.1 Cybersecurity Tactic
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to protect your data online, you cannot prevent a cyberattack. In the worst-case scenario, such as serious data breaches, you may lose the sensitive customer data and quality content you have been creating for years.
That is why backing up your data is your safest move, no matter if it is for your clients or your own business. Only by creating a regular backup schedule for your digital accounts will you be able to restore your online data anytime and ensure business continuity.
Fortunately, there is a wide range of backup options today. You could choose an on-premise external hard drive or a cloud solution such as Dropbox or Google Drive. When managing your company’s website, you could also choose a reliable web hosting provider that offers automated backups.
As a digital marketer, you need to keep pace with the latest cybersecurity risks. With the rise of advanced cybersecurity technologies, cybercriminals will continue to produce sophisticated hacking tools and strategies. Keep learning about the major online threats and learn from the examples of the businesses that have fallen victim to online scams.