SEOs are often on the prowl through all areas of the internet looking for the best ways to benefit their client or their brand; and as such, SEOs are often more at risk where cybersecurity is concerned than most general users. And unfortunately, some basic cybersecurity failures are so common that it’s not too hard to find full rosters of problem areas, like the Security Fail Kids published by CBTNuggets.
So, what common failures should any SEO be aware of and on guard for?
1. Not Creating Strong Credentials
Do you have a simple password that you use for just about everything? You should look at correcting that, ASAP. Do you have the option of using two-factor logins, but ignore it? Try and change that habit, too! Creating strong login and user credentials can help stop simple hacking attempts right out of the gate, or if nothing else help create stronger barriers to make sure that your accounts can’t be abused. Along the same vein? Have a user password to log into your computer, whether it’s a work machine or your personal laptop.
2. Not Running Your AV Software
When you’re scouring websites to double-check their quality or PR, you can come across some unsavory links and ads. And most strong antivirus suites can handle common problems. But operator errors magnify the likelihood that SEOs don’t catch malware before it’s a problem, because they don’t run their AV software regularly… often because doing so lag’s system performance and makes it harder to clear work off your desk. But not running it regularly can result in far more catastrophic issues.
3. Not Scanning Email Attachments
Some browsers and mail programs will do this for you; but many people don’t even check to see if this has been done, or worse, will just open an attachment without even giving cybersecurity a thought. So, take the time to scan attachments (even if they look like they come from a trusted source) before opening them!
4. Do Business Without HTTPS
If you’re considering making a transaction of any kind or submitting even remotely personal information, look for the https designation in the url bar. The https designation means that information transmitted is encrypted, and significantly more difficult for hackers to intercept and decrypt.
5. Not Doublechecking Link Destinations
If you hover over a link, you can see where it points; which, as the recent ad-malware attack hidden in Forbes ad links has proven, can help you avoid inadvertently going to sketchy areas of the internet. In this case, it can take just a half-second to do your internet browsing more securely.
6. Not Securing Your Network
How easy is it for other people to get onto your network? Is there a guest login and password, or can anyone with a computer on the far ranges of your network easily hop on? Whether it’s a home or a business network, it should be secured and require some sort of authentication. And believe it or not, in most cases it’s easy to provide a guest authorization, for clients in the building or friends wanting to use their computers in your home. You’d be shocked to find out how many hacking attempts are made by people simply logging onto unsecured networks and destroying or collecting sensitive information.
7. Using Unsecured Networks
The inverse of the above, this should be an important one, especially for anyone who travels. It’s not an uncommon trick for skilled hackers to simply place unsecured networks, requiring no authentication. Users flock to use the network, because it doesn’t require authentication, only to lose sensitive information or to have their machines compromised. Whether it’s a hotel, conference center, event venue, restaurant: just don’t use it if it’s unsecured. Where possible, it’s far better to avoid unnecessary risk than to deal with the consequences!