Security
Synthetic Identity Fraud Is on the Rise: How to Protect Yourself

Identity theft and identity fraud have been significant concerns among consumers for many years, especially as the internet has made it easier than ever for criminals to purchase unsuspecting victims' financial credentials on the "black market." If you weren't already worried enough about protecting your identity, there's a new form of identity fraud online – and it's becoming an increasingly serious threat. Known as synthetic identity fraud, this threat can have devastating consequences for its victims. Below, we’re taking a closer look at synthetic identity fraud and how to protect yourself. What Is Synthetic Identity Fraud? Synthetic identity fraud occurs when a combination of real and fake personal information is used to open financial accounts. For example, someone committing synthetic identity fraud may use a victim's real Social Security Number (SSN) to open an account along with made-up credentials, such as fake names and contact information. Compared to "traditional" identity

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Most Common Security Threats for Online Gamers

Across the globe, many people have taken up online gaming as a new hobby – especially during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Online games like Minecraft and other massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) allow you to escape from everyday life’s realities in a socially-distanced environment. Unfortunately, there are still some threats that lurk on the web and target gamers directly. By being aware of some of the most common security issues for online gamers and how to protect yourself, you can reduce your risk of falling victim and continue to enjoy your favorite online games. Security Flaws in Gaming Platforms Steam is a popular third-party gaming platform that allows users to enjoy access to thousands of online games in one convenient place. Unfortunately, not all gaming platforms (Steam included) are 100% secure, and security vulnerabilities can affect users. For example, in December of 2020, critical bugs within the Steam gaming

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Cyber-Attacks Targeting Schools Are on the Rise: Here’s How to Protect Your Institution

With more schools relying on virtual learning platforms than ever before, cybercriminals are looking to take advantage. Unfortunately, recent findings by the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have revealed that cyber-attacks within the K-12 education sector are increasing at an alarming rate. Specifically, one study found that between August and September of 2020, 57 percent of reported ransomware attacks were carried out against K-12 schools. This number is more than double the percentage of ransomware attacks seen from January through July of the 2020 academic year. It's not just ransomware attacks that are on the rise; cybercriminals are also carrying out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, phishing schemes, and other hacks at record rates. In some cases, attackers have even threatened to share sensitive student data as part of their ransomware schemes – creating more tension and uncertainty in these educational institutions.

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Hackers Are Turning to the Cloud – Why Switching to Dedicated Hosting is More Important than Ever

It's no secret that cloud-based services have become increasingly popular in recent years. Many growing businesses and organizations rely on the cloud for its affordability and scalability. However, some inherent drawbacks come with using cloud-based services – especially from a security standpoint. This issue is becoming increasingly relevant, as recent findings suggest that hackers are now targeting the cloud to carry out larger and more malicious attacks. By having a better understanding of how these attacks work and the other vulnerabilities you may be exposed to with a cloud-based web host, you can make a more informed decision regarding your hosting needs. Let’s take a closer look. How Do Cloud-Based Attacks Work? Cloud-based services are already at a disadvantage when it comes to security; by their very nature, they're more prone to attacks and are typically easier for hackers to gain access to. However, hackers are now taking advantage of

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Five Cybersecurity Predictions in 2021

With 2020 coming to a close, now is the time to look to 2021 and beyond – especially as it relates to the ever-changing digital world we live in. While only time will tell what the new year has in store, we anticipate that our online presence will continue to grow rapidly. With that, we expect more cybersecurity challenges to emerge. Below, we’re discussing our cybersecurity predictions for 2021. By understanding what digital security might look like in the coming year, you can take the right precautions to protect yourself. Cybercriminals Will Continue to Target Remote Workers It’s expected that many businesses will continue remote operations at least into the first half of 2021. We already saw some of the cybersecurity impacts of remote work in 2020, and we anticipate that this will continue to be an issue well into the new year. Specifically, hackers will likely target more remote

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Protect Your Site with Our Website Security Checklist

There's no overstating the importance of security on your website, regardless of whether you use it to promote your growing business or as a personal blog. Unfortunately, countless threats are lurking on the web today – and your site could be targeted at any time. Fortunately, by following our website security checklist, you can avoid some of the most common cybersecurity mistakes that site owners make. 1. Set Up DDoS Protection Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have become an increasingly common threat in recent years. These attacks work by flooding your site's server with fake traffic, slowing down your website or even causing a complete server outage. If you don't already have DDoS protection in place as part of your hosting plan, now is the time to implement it. There are various DDoS protection options available; many work by "screening" traffic as it comes into your site to make

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Five Common Cybersecurity Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

The digital world is teeming with cybersecurity threats ranging from phishing schemes to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and everything in between. Therefore, keeping your data safe online has become more challenging than ever before.  Unfortunately, people often fall victim to threats when they make common cybersecurity mistakes. By being aware of these errors and how to stay safe, you may be able to avoid becoming another cybersecurity statistic.  Let’s take a closer look at five of the most common security mistakes people make online: 1. Assuming You're Not a Target Even if you’re aware of the many risks that exist on the web, you might have adopted an “it won’t happen to me” mentality. Unfortunately, online security breaches are more common now than ever – and it seems as though no one is safe from being a target. With this in mind, protecting your data begins with understanding

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Cybersecurity Best Practices for Hospitals & Healthcare Facilities

These days, keeping information safe online is a greater challenge than ever. Security risks seem to lurk around every corner of the web – and even some of the most seemingly "secure" websites have been compromised by online attacks. If there’s one field that faces an even higher than usual risk when it comes to data breaches and other security concerns, however, it's the healthcare industry. This is especially true during these unprecedented times when healthcare offices are handling high volumes of sensitive patient data. Healthcare Industry Special Considerations and Risks With the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and flu season converging simultaneously, it's no wonder that data security is an even bigger concern among healthcare professionals. Combine this with laws and regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and it's easy to see why so many medical offices are under additional strain this year. Not only are healthcare

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Dealing with Downtime: What to Do When Your Website Crashes

Downtime is every website owner's worst nightmare. Unfortunately, it can happen to the best of us – and it never occurs at a "convenient" time. Unexpected site downtime can not only cost your business thousands of dollars (or more), but it could also tarnish your reputation. By knowing how to handle downtime when it occurs, you can minimize the impact it has on your site or business. 1. Confirm the Outage If a regular user has alerted you of the downtime, it's always best to confirm for yourself that your site is down. Check out the issue on your own and ask a few other people you trust to visit your website and see if it loads. 2. Determine the Cause Once you've confirmed that your site is actually down, it's time to get to work determining the cause. There are many potential sources of website downtime, ranging from a

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What Is the Emotet Ransomware?

There are so many security threats lurking around the web today that it can be difficult to keep up with them all. From distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to phishing schemes and everything in between, there's a lot to worry about. One growing security threat that you won't want to overlook, though, is ransomware. Not only have ransomware attacks become more common, but they have also become more accessible to hackers across the globe. One increasingly popular ransomware package that cybercriminals are using in record numbers is Emotet. By knowing what Emotet is and how it works, you can take the necessary measures to protect yourself and your data. Emotet: What Is It and How Does It Work? Emotet is a malware-as-a-service (MaaS) package, which allows cybercriminals to purchase malware and use it to their liking against unsuspecting victims. The MaaS model is extremely problematic because it allows people

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