Cyber Attacks That Tampers With Your Privacy

 An increase in technology also increases the possibility of evolved cyber attacks and/or threats. As we get wiser in systems we use or measures to take, so do our hackers, whose aim is to compromise our systems, security, data, and other information, including account numbers, emails, and passwords. This interference can lead to theft of identity, loss of funds from a financial institution, and much more company devastation. 

In this article, we hope to educate you on prevalent attacks that many cause from your online presence and actions that can be taken to mitigate and prevent further trouble.

What Are Some Common Cyber-Attacks?

Computer Crime: Internet Phishing a login and password concept

SSL Stripping

What is SSL stripping? This is also known as an SSL downgrade attack and is an attack used to compass security enforces by the SSL certificates on websites. HTTP and HTTPs function in the request-response protocol, but they deem it more secure as for the request encryption through SSL. 

SSL is a secure protocol used for communicating sensitive information; this information includes but not limited to banking details, email correspondence, to name a few. An encrypted connection between both parties creates this protocol’s security; this is usually a client application and a server. For a secure connection to be established in most scenarios, the following occurs.

  1. A user sends an unsecured HTTP request
  2. The server replies by HTTP and then redirects the user to a secure protocol (HTTPS).
  3. The secure session begins when the user submits a secure HTTPS. 

For the SSL strip to happen, a hacker intercepts the redirected HTTP to the secure HTTPS protocol and interferes with requests between the user and server. The hacker proceeds to establish the connection (HTTPS) between her/himself and server, and an unsecured bond with the user, the hacker acting as a third party.

Help Of a VPN

A Previous article titled Why Invest In A VPNinforms you how a VPN can be your best option for hackers, identity theft, and generally cybercriminals. Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows users to have a secure connection to other networks via the internet; this is usually done remotely. A VPN hides your IP address, which then protects you from identity theft by encrypting your data; all this is done by routing you through a private network. With information encrypted being sent from the user to your intended location, data intercepted by hackers would be unreadable.  

Min-in-the middle

A man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack happens when the attacker/hacker intercepts the communication to inject malware to your device, be it PC or mobile. The MITM usually consists of three parties: the victim (user), the website, or entity the victim is attempting to communicate with and the interceptor/hacker. 

The MITM methods are most times to steal the browser cookies, phishing, and to identify login credentials that are stored. These allow your attacker(s) to insert themselves between the victim and the intended entity to gain relevant credentials and other valuable information.

Fake Hotspots for Wi-Fi

One of the most natural things for hackers to do may be to set-u a false wi-fi hotspot name Barnes & Noble, McDonald, or everyone’s favorite Starbucks. These frauds would look most reputable and would be seen as convenient and identical to the network commonly used. Once connected to this network and data transmission begins, hackers will have access to all your details. This to the hacker is like “taking candy from a child.”

Packet Sniffing

This is considered as the gathering, collecting, and logging of possibly all that passes through your computer network. When using a website with an unprotected network can allow your hacker to attach hi/herself unto packets of information passing between you and the website trying to reach and process.


Why Invest In A VPN?

Multiple questions are surrounding the need and reasons to invest in a VPN. This article seeks to inform you of and answer the majority of issues surrounding the blur of VPN.

What is a VPN?

The abbreviation stands for Virtual Private Network; this is a virtual pathway between devices. A VPN allows its users to create a secure connection to other networks via the internet. With the feature of encryption, it safeguards your every move on the internet, be it working, shopping or banking, proves to be one of the best tools on the market to ensure your internet privacy.  

 

How does a VPN work?

Did you know that VPNs were initially set up by Microsoft in 1996, to have employees remote securely to the company’s internal network?

Virtual Private Network (VPN) works by routing your traffic through a VPN server instead of sending it directly to your internet service provider. What this does is data that is transmitted via the internet, such as your online searches, uploads, and others appear to be coming from your VPN server and not your devices used for browsing. 

In our previous article titled IP Address Security, you would have read how a VPN aids in protecting your IP address, which is a unique number associated with your home or office network. This unique number is visible to the web; hence investing in a VPN hides your IP address by rerouting your traffic, thus protecting your identity with the added encryption feature.

 

Why Use A VPN?

I recently had a conversation with a friend who asked me; why do I need to use a VPN? My answer was, why not? Not several people use the tool for varied privacy reasons. At that time, I thought we are more modernized, and everything is or can be done online.

Public Networks: public network wi-fi, which is found in your favorite places as your favorite coffee shop, and other areas are exceptionally high-risk. If a hacker is on this same open or public network, this individual will easily spy on your activity with the high potential of accessing and using your private information. Having a VPN secured network will have all hidden, and your identity secured.

Why Use a VPN In Home?: The VPN affords you the opportunity of IP address protection, but it also allows you to hide your internet provider. You may say that is not important, but you avoid discrimination of price and geo-blocks on media with it. 

 

Six Reasons To Use A VPN

The piece of mind for secure connections where ever you go:

We mentioned the public network earlier. While it is not security or privacy correct, we all fall short of using that coffee shop wi-fi or the airport wi-fi as we need to connect, to check and reply to that email or simply view social media, I have. In doing that, we shared our information with multiple people in our location. 

Accessing video streaming content where ever you travel worldwide:

True story: A year ago I took a trip to the Caribbean while on the island I decided to get connected to the internet and watch my favorite investigating series, only to find out it wasn’t available in my geo-location. My first shocker of many that could have been resolved with a VPN. 

Seen that a VPN allows you to connect to a US-based server or an equivalent home server while you take those memorable trips, this has your streaming services thinking you are still at home.

Be safe shopping locally or internationally online:

We can’t deny the convenience and benefits of shopping from your most comforting spot (home or office), can’t deny online shopping. 

A reminder from the previous article “website security” shop or disclose sensitive information only to SSL certified websites, which means your website should have the closed lock to the front of “https.” In this, the site is more secured for you.

Feel secure when banking online:

From the various conversations with customers and clients, one of the most important to both parties to secure other than their social security number (SSN) is their banking information. Your VPN provides an additional security layer, which puts your mind at ease because we all love the convenience of online banking.

Ability to remain anonymous:

Often we may hear the phrase, “our phones listen to us,” and that is true. We often search for items in our search engines, and they pop up on our social media page(s), which proves our devices listen but safe to say they provide answers. 

Your VPN allows you to remain anonymous from shopping for flights to checking in your hotel room as these websites also track your activity.

What fears of public wi-fi?

It cannot be said too many times, airports and other places with public wi-fi offer you this opportunity to be entertained or busy while waiting on your flight or even coffee. You may not realize that this would be a hotspot for identity theft just waiting to happen.

 

Advantages of:

  • Censorship avoidance: Though illegal in most cases to circumvent restricted government information sometimes it is necessary and a VPN allows that.
  • Stream from any location: A VPN gives you the grand privilege to stream your favorite videos from whichever location you are. 
  • Beat price discrimination: Your location and internet service providers play a huge role in this area. Have you ever realize that your more sought after items from your browser usually populates your social media pages and other sites? Your VPN helps in minimizing in that department.
  • Don’t be tracked: Cannot be said too many times a VPN adds that layer that hides you from hackers and other cyber type criminals. 

Disadvantages of:

  • VPN Blocked: I learned this at an inopportune time on my part, that companies do get wiser in detecting VPN. Here I was settled to stream one of my favorite series and the website gave me an error as it was detecting my VPN. 
  • No cookie protection: There are cookies that sole purpose is to make the websites work better, in those cases, the VPNs will not be able to block cookies. You are allowed with the privilege of deleting cookies that track or some virus protection such as AVAST that allows you a secure browser. 
  • Potential slow speed: This happens as there is a lot more pressure on website traffic putting it through a VPN, with all the steps of finding a private network. 
  • May not have complete privacy: This point must be most alarming. While your VPN blocks and secure from hackers, government entities, and any other lurkers, your VPN providers can see all activity if they wish.

Website Security

Congratulations, you have successfully launched your website but, is it all done? how secure is your website? and is it ready for business? These questions are the best to ask at the end of the project and just before launch. At this point we are thinking of potential cyberattacks, encourage potential visitors and maintaining your reputation. In this article, you are going to be informed of your new best-friend website security. 

Now, What is Website Security? You might ask. This is an action or application taken to ensure the protection of website data is not exposed to cybercriminals or prevent exploitation of websites of any form, this is an ongoing and essential part of your website management.

 

Why is it Important and What does it Protect?

Website security is important as it protects as hacks, simple. Having security is just as important if not more than all other aspects. Look at it this way, no security results in potentially being hacked, being hacked can result in data loss, data loss results in a damaged reputation, possibly blacklisted, lawsuits and this can result in some huge fines.  

Some of what you will be protected against are as listed:

Defacing: replacing your website content/material with other malicious data.

Malware: This can be used to steal sensitive information.

Blacklisting: The possibility of your website being removed for search engines.   

All of the above shows lost and now results in favor of your or your business.

 

As for your users some of what the will be protected against includes:

Phishing:  In most cases, this is found happening emails, however, this is now seen in various web browsers and is designed to trick the user into giving up sensitive information. 

Malicious Redirect: In this case, the attack redirects the user from the intended site to another. 

Stolen Data: Cybercriminals oftentimes attempt to save users’ data which may vary from as simple as your name to SSN and also payment information done online.

 

BROWSE I A SECURE ENVIRONMENT

How Do You Secure Your Website?

There are many steps to take in securing a website, here goes to name a few:

 

Web Application Firewall: A web application firewall (WAF), stops automated attacks usually carried out by malicious bots that seeks to attack from your more vulnerable points to exploits or even slows down and crashes site through a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

SSL Certificate: This certificate protects data collected by the website as it is being transferred to the server. Though considered a basic security measure a site on any browser labeled “insecure” is without an SSL certificate and is suggested to stay off. 

The cost of an SSL certificate may vary depending on the site and their of at that moment. Some of the most popular sites to get your SSL certificate are:

  •  SSL.com
  • Namecheap
  • The SSL Store
  • GoDaddy
  • GlobalSign
  • Digicert

Just to list a few and you will see that all sites offer to vary in prices.

Though we have only touched the surface of what website security is remember, “a breach in your website security cost more the longer it stays”.