At Infusionsoft, we know security is a very important matter for thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs. In light of recent security news, I want to offer a few helpful suggestions to help you maintain and improve your current security so you don’t become an unsuspecting victim.
We all know the common recommendations to computing safely — like use a virus scanner, keep your system (and web browsers) updated and don’t download files from or click on links from people who you don’t know. But online security these days goes beyond security practices of our previous generation. Here are a few notable examples of security issues along with a simple and direct takeaway that you can implement.
Ubuntu Forums [Details]
Ubuntu, a distribution of the Linux operating system, was found to have their online forums recently compromised. As a result, attackers acquired over 1.8 million usernames, email addresses and somewhat-encrypted passwords, in addition to defacing the website.
While the exact cause is still being determined, the lesson here is that end users (meaning you and I), should be hyper-vigilant or even obsessive about having unique passwords for every website. In the event of situations like this, it’s easier knowing that your password was isolated only to the website in question.
The deeper security risk here is when the same password is used at multiple places – such as your email, your domain, your CRM software … and so on.
WordPress is the largest and most popular content management system for millions of websites on the Internet. With that in mind, it should come to no surprise that not too long ago, it was the target in a distributed attack aiming to exploit default usernames and passwords.
While this specific attack did eventually cease, the risks to WordPress remain. Many providers did tighten up their security settings and network-level filtering, but it doesn’t catch everything. In addition to implementing these security best practices for WordPress, users are encouraged to create unique usernames and strong passwords for their WordPress-powered sites.
Easy Security Tip: Stay informed about security updates and use non-default usernames with incredibly strong passwords.
Public Wi-Fi [Details]
We’ve all found ourselves in an airport needing to quickly check our email (or send out an email campaign) and needed to get on the web. So, you turn on your computer, realize you have 12% of battery life remaining and know that your flight will be leaving soon. You’re in a race against time and double-checking which wireless network you’re connecting to — or how legitimate it is — isn’t really on your mind.
Insecure wireless internet is always risky, especially if you use it to check email, use social media or conduct any form of business. Why? You never know who else may be listening (“sniffing”) in on the connection. And a lot of data could be collected in only a matter of seconds.
Even when using secure websites with SSL (like Infusionsoft, Twitter, Facebook, etc), approach with caution because some wireless network operators could still capture that traffic and trick your browser into still showing a green security lock.
Easy Security Tip: Always use reputable, secure wireless networks and avoid connecting to ‘Free Public Wi-Fi’ networks. Alternatively, I recommend using a tethered mobile broadband connection since overall, that is much more secure when needing to access the Internet on the go. If you must use insecure wireless, then do yourself a favor and route your connection through a secure VPN like HotspotShield.
At Infusionsoft, we’re always working to improve our architecture and processes so you can breathe a little bit easier while you are generating leads, increasing sales and saving time. We work hard to achieve this through PCI certification, which is an endorsement on the trust and assurance you and your customers can have in our infrastrastructure.
How do you conduct business online safely and securely? Share your suggestions and tips in the comments below!
Image credit: DeclanTM
Read more about this post, 3 Reasons Why Online Security Matters (Plus Tips to Stay Secure) on The Infusionsoft Blog.