How to protect yourself from viruses and scammers / Houston Web Design

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Everyone can become a victim of scammers and viruses on the web, including the sites’ owners. Scammers can steal your website, your information, and your assets. And viruses can help them or just crouch the work of your site. What will you lose? Trust, authority, and even money. If you are interested in the ways of protection, then read on.

  1. Use antivirus and anti-spyware programs. They will help keeping your computer, software, and sites safe wherever you are. For example, you can use Microsoft Security EssentialsAVG Free, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Spybot Search & Destroy, and Piriform CCleaner. Houston Web Design 
  2. Use Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and Virtual Private Network (VPN). Unfortunately, hosting service providers (HSP) are fairly often vulnerable to breaches. Including WordPress, you know… Check what VPN works best with your HSP and consider using Turnkey Internet hosting. You also need to make sure that HSP makes database backups. And when uploading files to the server, use the SFTP. For instance, there is WinSCP, which is free.
  3. Use strong passwords. It is obvious, but still… Use all the available characters and the combination of 16 characters or more, if your SFTP programs allow it. Don’t be lazy and change your passwords regularly.  
  4. Use programs to protect your passwords. There are too many passwords to remember. Right? So, you can use such programs as Roboform and LastPass to store passwords on your computer. Another option is keeping your passwords in a text file on a flash drive, but be careful. Don’t use the flash drive with unknown computers, as they can be infected with viruses and malware. Houston Web Design 
  5. Don’t use rogue software. Fake anti-malware software is part of growing online scams. Be aware that such programs have seemingly legitimate names and are advertised on the internet.  If you go to one of the sites of these rogue programs, it will strongly offer to run a scan of your computer on viruses and spyware. And guess what? It will find both and convince you to buy the software to delete them. And if you install the rogue software on your computer, it can steal your identity, information and money…
  6. Be careful with emails. Emails are a well-known tool of scammers. So, it is better to use web-based program SpamKiler, which encrypts email address displayed on your site. There are several tips on how to avoid a scam:  
  • Don’t respond to any message, which asks for your financial information.
  • Don’t click on the links in such messages.
  • Don’t copy and paste any URL from these messages into your browser. 
  • Don’t call the phone number in the messages. 
  • Read the privacy policies of your financial institutions to know what they do and what they don’t.
  1. Protect yourself from bots and zombies. If your computer is not protected by strong anti-virus programs and you don’t use VPNs and SFTP, then scammers can take control of your device and use it to create a «botnet» or «zombie army» – a robot network. It puts together hundreds or even thousands of hacked computers, which could be used for DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks or further scam. The malware software that allows hackers to control your computer and everything on it can be on certain sites, in emails, messages, and images. Houston Web Design 
  2. Dread the check scams. This is very important for people, who are selling items online. Don’t accept checks! You will be told a sad story by a person, who will beg you to accept a check and send an item as soon as possible, but don’t do it. Be careful – there are various scams with checks. Houston Web Design 
  3. Protect digital assets from theft. Use DL Guard, so customers won’t share your download links. Set a time limit for the download as well as a limit on the number of times someone can download something from your site. Consider using ClickBank to deal with the issue of «serial refunders».  

Be careful and protect your site!

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