Ever since Internet has become pervasive, protection of online web privacy is becoming tougher day by day. Your login credentials, passwords, email addresses and lots of other sensitive and personal information are all stored on the internet; which needs to be protected from cyber criminals.
There are many security vulnerabilities, viruses, worms, malware, spyware etc. which attack your server, and steal your personal data by gaining unauthorised entry into your network; thus, making your web experience terrible. So, let’s check out some of the top security vulnerabilities which need to be taken care of, for securing web privacy.
Top Security Vulnerabilities:
- SQL Injection:
In SQL injection, a third party attacks the back-end databases and software codes by injecting malicious code and SQL commands, by finding flaws in the web application or web page. These commands when executed in the database, helps the intruder to gain access on the database server. This makes it easier for them to steal personal data and misuse it.
SQLMap is the most famous SQL injection tool used by hackers.
- Cross Site Scripting:
XSS is the acronym of Cross Site Scripting. This security vulnerability allows an attacker to penetrate into a web application by injecting malicious java scripts. These client side script attacks made by attackers, helps them to gain full access to the application, its functions and its data.
Various types of XSS attacks include Reflected XSS, Stored XSS and DOM-based XSS.
- Broken Authentication and Session Management:
In this web security vulnerability, the user has the capability to loot the user login credentials, passwords, session cookies etc. for gaining control on the websites and user identities.
The web attack is serious because it can change or delete your site contents by gaining control on the site administration.
Exposed session ids, improper session timeouts etc. are vulnerable objects which cause risk to your web privacy.
- Security Misconfiguration:
Security lapses in implementing web security controls for server; browser or any other web application is called security misconfiguration. Improper security configurations include use of default account credentials, unpatched systems, unprotected files, directories, poor configuration of network devices etc.
Such misconfigurations allow attackers to gain access on the entire network of your business, thus causing irretrievable damages, because the more lapses in the web security, the more it hampers your business.
- Invalidated Redirects and Forwards:
When a web application accepts untrusted URL as an input and redirects it to a malicious URL or a malware site to gain access on the application, it is called invalidated redirects and forwards. Phishing is possible in such security lapses, where user credentials are at stake.
So it is essential to validate and cross-check URL before forwarding or redirecting any web application from your website.
Since your web privacy is under constant attack due to these web security vulnerabilities, it is essential that you counter attack them,with appropriate safety measures which enable smooth browsing process.
Tips for Browsing Safely:
- Keep your Browser and Plugins Updated:
If you wish for a secured web experience and privacy of your data, the first and foremost web security requirement is using a secured browser. There are lots of popular browsers with multiple functions which help you surf the internet. But there may be a few unsecured browsers amongst them, which pose a threat to your privacy.
Browsers store websites pathyou visit, login ids, usernames and passwords, cookies and trackers on visited sites, and autofill of names, addresses, contact numbers etc. When not properly configured, they can expose your information to intruders. Same is with browser plugins, who add functions to your browser. Always keep them updated for strong web security.An out-dated plugin can welcome hacker to infiltrate your system.
- SSL is your friend:
“Always HTTPS, Never on HTTP”, implementation of this motto will give you a secured experience. SSL encryption security installed on your website gives visual trust indicators like “HTTPS” in URL and a padlock in address bar.
Sites with SSL security are strongly secured against unauthorised entities who are trying to penetrate in your network. It secures information, by encrypting the datain transit (passed between browser and server). This encryption is in aencoded format, which can be only decrypted by the intended receiver.
HTTPS Everywhere is one such browser extension, which compels websites to load HTTPS by default.If you are newbie to SSL certificate then do not worry. Many SSL certificates providers provide free ssl certificate for web security.
- Use a Browser that allows you to take your Bookmarks with you between Devices:
Synchronisation of bookmarks with laptops, tabs and smart phones are now possible; because some browsers allow you to use bookmark between devices as well as with different browsers too.
If you are frequently visiting certain sites, it is the best to bookmark them in your browser. An erratum address written in a hurry may lead you to a duplicate compromised site, which can harm your device and grab your information. Bookmarked sites always lead to the same ones you intend to visit.
- Block Pop-ups:
Pop-ups are not only irritating because they interrupt in smooth surfing of internet;but they also endanger your web privacy by fooling users.
They ascertain users that they are reliable and pop-up some attractive offers, thus luring them into their trap.
Once the users, click on the pop-up, they are directed to compromise or phishing websites, which tactfully asks to enter their personal details like credit card number or bank account number. This is risky and hence it’s preferred to opt for good browsers who always filter trusted pop-ups, and block pop-ups from suspicious sources.
- Enable “Do Not Track” in your Browser:
By enabling the “Do Not Track” (DNT) function in the Settings menu of your browser, you are restricting togive the information of the sites you have visited, to any social and advertising networks. It is a clear indicator to websites and ad companies to stop tracking your visits.
DNT is enabled when a browser adds an HTTP header in the website for web security.
- Avoid Public or Free Wi-Fi:
MITM (Man-In-Middle Attacks), Malware Attacks, Snooping, Sniffing etc. are very easily done when the user uses public Wi-Fi for accessing sites. Since many people including hackercan access public Wi-Fi at the same time and placeso, the risk of your information being misused increases, more likely when your device is not using firewall or anti-virus software.
Use of trusted VPN (Virtual Proxy Network) providers, will keep your network safe from all the above attacks. They not only encrypt your data but also ensure that you are the only person who is viewing your information.
- Read Privacy Policies:
Being a user, it is important to check out the privacy policies and user agreements of the websites as well as their contact information and address, before trusting them with your sensitive information. In this way, you are aware that your information is in safe hands and the site protects your online activities.
If any website lacks privacy information in their agreements, it is the best to avoid the same.
Your private information has to be secured strongly, just like you secure your finances. Since you don’t leave your front door open to thieves, in the same way you cannot allow hackers and nasty cyber thieves to misuse your personal data,because your browser and web are not properly secured.
Apart from strong security measures to keep hackers at bay, it is essential to avoid suspicious sites, opt for VPN network, keep your browsers up-to-date, and always opt for HTTPS websites; which in turn makes your web experience memorable and secured.