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Website Security And Why It’s Needed For Small Businesses

Website Security And Why It’s Needed For Small Businesses

There was a time when ordinary websites need not have any worry about hackers as it seemed like they mostly focused on vulnerabilities in network and operating systems. Those did some major damages and they still happen this day, but we also have hacking attacks on ordinary websites now as they’ve realized how much they can get, even on the simplest of website.

Even if you think that there’s nothing valuable on your website, it doesn’t make you an exception. WordPress hacking has become common, so it needs to be secured. Hacking can result in a range of problems, from being quite an annoyance to identity theft and businesses that are dependent on their online presence being destroyed. A lot of personal and financial information get transferred online. That is why online security is something you can’t ignore for long.

Spam, Bots, and Viruses

Most people take it for granted due to not being aware of the risks and consequences, as well as thinking that hackers wouldn’t waste their time on small fry when there’s bigger fish out there. With automated tools and advanced techniques, hackers can indeed waste more time finding vulnerable sites like yours and it’ll take no time to break. Therefore, website security is nothing to be lazy about.

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Spam, bots, and viruses are just some of the ways hackers use to attack various targets. These are automated tools that hackers prefer to use as it saves them time and lets them get more done. It gives them a better return on investment by letting them cover more ground and taking on less risks. Most attacks don’t target specific individuals, but picking vulnerabilities from the masses through a general selection criteria.

Identity Theft and SQL Injections

    Stealing personal data is one of the most common objectives among hackers as it can contain some valuable stuff, including financial information. To that end, one of the most common types of attack is what’s called an SQL injection. Through such an attack, one can get access to both financial information like credit card numbers and administrative rights to websites, the latter of which can help them gain access to more information.

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    SQL injections can lead to some very costly mishaps for websites. Large organizations have been victims of them, leading to millions of dollars in losses. If they can do that to the big fish, then they can destry the small businesses as well, enough to shatter dreams and dash aspirations.

    Business Sabotage and Legal Troubles

    You have to understand that a lot of these attacks are after businesses that make a good bit of their revenue from their online presence. They are gold mines when it comes to personal information, so they aim for vulnerabilities in websites of businesses that don’t know any better. Business logic attacks are a big part of that, looking rather inconspicuous to the untrained eye but actually yield serious ramifications for businesses when it’s too late to stop them.

    Some of the most common forms of such attacks are comment spam. Do you think those peculiar looking comments with the suspicious links in them are benign and slightly annoying? Think again, because they can lead people to bogus sites that install malware in machines. When your website gets marked for leading visitors to malware, it’ll take a big hit in the rankings or even completely removed from search results, thus rendering the website a dead weight in your business.

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    There’s also the dreaded Distributed Denial of Service attack, or DDoS. This one is serious business and can take down websites like how artillery can bombard a designated target. It’s basically an attack wherein multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a target like your website, thus crashing it and leaving it vulnerable to further attack. These are commonly done to high profile web servers such as that of banks, credit card companies, and so on. However, they can also be done against smaller websites for various reasons, including revenge, blackmail, or so on.

    If an attack got a customer’s data compromised, your business can be plunged in more hot water. A lawsuit can come out of such a misfortune, giving you and your business more problems. Being able to protect your customers’ data is your responsibility, which is why the security of your website is not to be ignored at all.

    The Importance of Updating Your Software

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      Software such as content management systems like WordPress are regularly updated for security and bug fixes, thus making them more secure while adding more features to make them even better and easier to use. It’s important that you update the software you use for your website as it can help you prevent a good number of attacks just by doing so. It also helps to read the notes on updates to be aware of what it can change in your website, including the security side of things.

      The Bottom Line on Protecting Your Data

      No matter how small and insignificant you think you are as a startup or small business, don’t think that hackers have nothing to gain by attacking your website. They don’t discriminate when it comes to their targets as they know they can gain something from just about any active websites. Therefore, you may not want to lower your guard just because your business is a ma-and-pa store that happens to have a website. If that website is of any use to customers, it’ll have a use for hackers as well.

      Conclusion

      If you had been a skeptic before, hopefully you’re a believer now when it comes to what hackers want. Website security is a very important consideration that must not be taken lightly. Prevention is always better than cure, and it’s indeed what can be the difference between you not having to worry and wallowing in sorrow due to adopting a “worry about it only when hacked” mentality.

      Featured photo credit: Mobilus in Mobili via flickr.com

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      Last Updated on October 22, 2019

      How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Get Unstuck

      How to Make a Career Change at 40 and Get Unstuck

      There are plenty of people who successfully made a career change at the age of 40 or above:

      The Duncan Hines cake products you see in the grocery store are a good example. Hines did not write his first food guide until age 55 and he did not license his name for cake mixes until age 73.

      Samuel L. Jackson made a career change and starred alongside John Travolta in Pulp Fiction at the age of 46.

      Ray Kroc was age 59 when he bought his first McDonald’s.

      And Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart at the age of 44.

      I could keep going, but I think you get the point. If you have a sound mind and oxygen in your lungs, you have the ability to successfully make a career change.

      In this article, I’ll look into why making a career change at 40 seems so difficult for you, and how to make the change and get unstuck from your stagnant job.

      What’s Holding You Back from Making a Career Change?

      There are a flood of amazing reasons to make a career change at 40. Heck, you could argue the benefits of making a career change at any age. However, there is something a little different about making a career change at 40.

      When you are 40, you probably have lots of “responsibilities” that come into the decision-making process. What do I mean by responsibilities, you ask?

      Responsibilities tend to be our fears and self-doubt wrapped in a bow of logic and reason. You may say to yourself:

      • I have bills to pay and a family to support. Can I afford the risk associated with a career change?
      • What about the friends I have made over the years? I cannot just abandon them.
      • What if I do not like my career change as much as I thought I would? I could end up miserable and stuck in a worse situation.
      • My new career is so different than what I have been doing, I need additional training and certifications. Can I afford this additional expense and do I have the time recoup my investment?
      • The economy is not the best and there is so much uncertainty surrounding a new career. Maybe it would be better to wait until I retire from this company in 15 years, and then I can start something new.

      If you have experienced any of these thoughts, they will only pacify you for a short period of time. Whether that time is a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years.

      Since you know that you prefer to do something else for a living, you start to feel stagnant in your current position.

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      Your reasons for inaction that used to work are no longer doing the trick. What used to be a small fissure in your dissatisfaction in your current position is now a chasm.

      Ideally, you never stay in a situation until that point, but if you did, there is still hope.

      4 Tips To Change Your Career at 40

      You do not have to feel stagnant in your current role any longer. You can take steps to conquer your fears and self-doubt so you can accomplish your goal of changing your career.

      The challenge of changing your career is not knowing where to begin. That feeling of overwhelm and the fear of uncertainty is what keeps most people from moving forward.

      To help you successfully change your career at the age of 40, follow these four tips.

      1. Value Your Time Above Money

      There is nothing more valuable than your time. You are likely receiving a pay-check or two every month that is replenishing your income. Money is something you can always receive more of.

      When it comes to your time, when it is gone, it is gone. That is why waiting for the perfect situation to make a career change is the wrong mindset to have.

      Realistically, you will never find the perfect situation. There will always be something that could be better or a project you want to finish before you leave.

      By placing your time above money, you will maximize your opportunity to succeed and avoid stagnation.

      If you feel disconnected when you are at work, understand that you are not alone. According to a Gallup Poll, only 32% of U.S. employees said they were actively engaged at work.[1]

      Whether you think your talents are not being properly utilized, the politics of promotion stress you out, or you feel called to do something else with your life; the time to act is now.

      Do not wait until you retire in another 10 to 20 years to make a career change. Put a plan in place to make a career change now. You will thank yourself later.

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      2. Build a Network

      Making a career change is not going to be easy, but that does not mean it is impossible.

      One benefit to being further along in your career is the people you associate with are further along in their career as well.

      Even if most of the people in your immediate network are not in your target industry, you never know the needs of the people with whom they associate.

      A friend of mine recently made a career change and entered the real estate industry. The first thing he did was tell everyone he knew that he was a licensed real estate agent.

      It was not as though he thought everyone he knew was getting ready to sell their home. He wanted to make sure he was in the front of our mind if we spoke to anyone purchasing or selling their home.

      You may have had a similar experience with a financial adviser canvasing the neighborhood. They wanted to let you know they were a local and licensed financial adviser. Whether you or someone you knew was shopping for an adviser, they wanted to make sure you thought of them first.

      The power of your network being further along in their career is they may be the hiring manager or decision-maker.

      You want to let people know you are considering a career move early in the process, so they are thinking of you when the need arises.

      Let me put it to you in the form of a question: When is the best time to let people know you have a snow shoveling business?

      In the summer when there is not a drop of snow on the ground.

      Let them know about your business in the summer. Then ask them if it is okay to keep in touch with them until the need arises. Then you want to spend the entire fall season cultivating and nurturing the relationship. As a result, when the winter comes around, they already know who is going to shovel their snow.

      If you want to set yourself apart from your competition, start throwing out those feelers before the need arises. Then you will be ahead of your competition who waited until the snow fell to start canvasing the neighborhood.

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      Learn about networking here: How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

      3. Believe It Is Possible

      One of the greatest mistakes people make when they want to try something new, is they never talk to people living the life they want.

      If you only talk to friends who have not changed their career in 30 years, what kind of advice do you think they will give you? They are going to give you the advice that they live by. If they have spent 30 years in the same career, they most likely feel stability of career is essential to their life.

      In life, your actions often mirror your beliefs. Someone who wants to start a business should not ask for advice from someone who never started one.

      A person who never took the risk of starting a business is most likely risk adverse. Consequently, they are going to speak on the fact that most businesses fail within the first five years.

      Instead, if you talk to someone who is running a business, they will advice you on the difficulties of starting a business. However, they will also share with you how they overcame those difficulties, as well as the benefits of being a business owner.

      If you want to overcome your fears and self-doubt associated with changing your career at 40, you are going to need to talk to people who have successfully managed a career change.

      They are going to provide you a realistic perspective on the difficulties surrounding the endeavor, but they are also going to help you believe it is possible.

      Studies show the sources of your beliefs include,[2]

      “environment, events, knowledge, past experiences, visualization etc. One of the biggest misconceptions people often harbor is that belief is a static, intellectual concept. Nothing can be farther from truth! Beliefs are a choice. We have the power to choose our beliefs.”

      By choosing to absorb the successes of others, you are choosing to believe you can change your career at 40. On the other hand, if you absorb the fears and doubts of others, you have chosen to succumb to your own fears and self-doubt.

      4. Put Yourself Out There

      You are most likely going to have to leave your comfort zone to make a career change at 40.

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      Reason-being, your comfort zone is built on the experiences you have lived thus far. So that means your current career is in your comfort zone.

      Even though you may be feeling stagnant and unproductive in your career, it is still your comfort zone. This helps explain why so many people are unwilling to pursue a career change.

      If you want to improve your prospects of launching your new career, you are going to need to attend industry events.

      Whether these events are local or a large conference that everyone attends, you want to make it a priority to go. Ideally you want to start with local events because they may be a more intimate setting.

      Many of these events have a professional development component where you can see what skill-sets, certification, and education people are looking for. Here you can find 17 best careers worth going back to school for at 40.

      You can almost survey the group and build your plan of action according to the responses you receive.

      The bonus of exposure to your new industry is you may find yourself getting lucky (when opportunity meets preparation) and creating a valuable relationship or landing an interview.

      Final Thoughts

      Whatever the reason, if you want to change your career, you owe it to yourself to do so. You have valuable in-sight from your current career that can help you position yourself above others.

      Start sharing your story and desire to change your career today. Attend industry events and build a mindset of belief. You have everything you need to accomplish your goal, you only need to take action.

      More About Career Change

      Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/HY-Nr7GQs3k via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] News Gallup: Employee Engagement In US, Stagnant In 2015
      [2] Indian J Psychiatry: The Biochemistry Of Belief

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