Most digital marketers know it’s important to keep their online accounts safe and secure, but many don’t pay close attention to the cyber security threats they encounter regularly. In today’s world, there’re various dangers lurking in the digital space that can compromise both your personal and professional privacy, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the most common cyber security threats and the steps you can take to protect yourself.
Here are five critical cybersecurity threats digital marketers can’t afford to ignore.
1. The threat of Data Breaches
Digital marketing professionals have an important job: they help get the word out about products and services. Unfortunately, there are risks involved with any profession. One of the biggest risks is a data breach.
A data breach is when someone steals or accidentally releases information that should not be shared like names, addresses, phone numbers, and credit card numbers. This could lead to identity theft or fraud because criminals now know your personal information which allows them to impersonate you.
2. The threat of Phishing Scams
Phishing Scams are one of the biggest risks when it comes to online safety. These scams may include anything from fake emails that trick you into revealing personal information, like passwords and credit card numbers, all the way up to fake websites or advertisements that take your money without giving you what you ordered.
There’re tons of phishing scams out there, and it’s hard for people with busy lives to stay on top of them all. Luckily, there are some simple tips that will help you keep safe!
- Be sure to check any messages you receive from an unknown source before opening any attachment; if it looks too good to be true, chances are it is.
- Use a powerful VPN service whenever possible; this helps protect your data by changing the information about where you’re browsing from, which makes it harder for hackers to find a weak spot in your system.
- Be wary of free WiFi connections – these networks aren’t monitored or secure and have been used by scammers in the past as a means of gathering information about potential victims. Remember: just because something is free doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for using it.
3. The threat of Malware
While the threat of malware is nothing new, it is a serious problem that has been around for as long as there have been computers. It’s a problem because it infects and damages systems and devices, making them more vulnerable to other types of attacks.
Malware is usually spread by users downloading software from untrustworthy sources or through phishing scams. As a digital marketer, you need to be aware of these common ways malware spreads so you can educate your clients on how they might be at risk and what they should do to protect themselves.
4. The threat of Ransomware
Ransomware is one of the most frequent cyber security threats. Ransomware is malicious software that tries to encrypt files on your computer and then demands payment for the key that will decrypt them, usually in bitcoins. If you don’t pay any ransom, you’ll never get your files back.
The best way to protect yourself from ransomware is by backing up your data regularly so that if something happens you won’t lose all of your files. The second best way is to keep an offline backup that’s not connected to a network or internet at all times, such as an external hard drive or thumb drive. You should also avoid opening email attachments from unknown senders and scanning all downloads with antivirus software before installing them on your computer.
5. The threat of DDOS attacks
The threat of DDOS attacks is a very real one for every business that relies heavily on the internet. DDOS, or distributed denial-of-service, attacks are attempts to shut down a network by overloading it with information requests. These can come in the form of emails, phone calls, and website crawlers.
The goal is often to take down a site for an extended period of time or make it available altogether. Digital marketers should be aware of this threat and have contingencies in place in case an attack does occur. This could include having a backup site that’s ready to go at all times, having strong passwords, and updating them regularly, as well as keeping anti-virus software up-to-date.
The central point here is that digital marketers cannot afford to ignore cybersecurity simply because it is not part of their job description.
It not only puts your data at risk, but any businesses you work with are unlikely to continue working with you if you are the victim of a hack or data breach. It simply isn’t worth the risk for them.
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My name is Sujoy Mukherji. I am an Internet Marketer, Entrepreneur & Professional Blogger. Founder of the Affiliate Hub Blog.