Dental Website Security – 5 Tips For Optimum Cybersecurity

Dental and Orthodontic websites are not immune to cyber attacks and hacking and if you’re website is attacked and goes down then it will cost you in lost new patients and revenue.

At FooCo we believe the key is to stay ahead of the attacks with vigilance and by implementing the following protective measures.

1 Use Strong Passwords

If you’re using a password that can be easily guessed by a person or a bot, it makes you and your practice an easy target for hackers and cybercriminals. Avoid the following:

  • Common passwords such as 123456, password, your name, etc.
  • Passwords that can be guessed or obtained from social media (pet’s name, spouses name, child’s name, graduation year, birthday, etc.)
  • Any password under 8 characters.
  • Passwords using common dictionary words such as running, ferrari, etc.

How to beat the hackers: Choose passwords that are:

  • 12 characters or longer
  • A combination of lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and special characters
  • Randomly generated, if possible (if not, choose a phrase that’s long but personal so not too hard to remember)

2 Use Unique Passwords

Once you’ve created a secure password, it’s very convenient to use the same password across multiple sites. (Who can remember 250 different passwords?!) But this is a big mistake. Once hackers access your password via a data breach on one site, they can then use it to access your accounts on other sites.

Data breaches are common, with hundreds of records being exposed every second. If your password gets exposed, hackers will act fast to use it to access every account you use online.

How to beat hackers: Use a unique password for each site. To help you remember the passwords, use the password manager provided in your web browser or a password app.

3 Don’t Access Unprotected WiFi

You’re most vulnerable to attack when you connect to a public WiFi network at a hotel, restaurant, airport, etc. It’s easy for hackers to either broadcast their own WiFi signal (that looks like the legitimate network) or hack the WiFi router. Once the hacker controls the router, they can see, intercept, or modify data you send and receive. For example, they could get your email password and use that to access your email account, bank account, and more.

How to beat hackers: Be extra vigilant to ensure that you’re visiting websites via HTTPS using a certificate signed by a trusted root. Look out for the padlock sign on websites you log into. For extra protection, use a VPN (virtual private network) every time you connect via public WiFi.

4 Keep All Software Updated

Keeping every piece of software updated across every computer, mobile device, website, server, and other device in your practice is a big job. Unfortunately, this often results in negligence when the job is downgraded to the bottom of your To Do list. This is a big mistake. Outdated software is one of the most common causes of data breaches.

Hackers are constantly coming up with new attacks and scams, the only way to stay ahead of them is to ensure that your software has the latest security patches and updates. This includes (but isn’t limited to):

  • Operating System (eg Windows) updates on every computer
  • Updating individual software (eg Word, Adobe, etc.) on every computer
  • Operating System (eg Android) updates on every mobile device
  • Updating apps on every mobile device
  • Updating anti-virus definitions on every computer and device
  • Operating system updates on every server
  • Software updates (Apache, PHP, etc.) on every server
  • Software updates on every website (WordPress, Magento, etc.)
  • Plugin updates on every website (WordPress plugins, WordPress themes, etc.)
  • And many more!

How to beat hackers: Set up automatic updates everywhere you can. Also, create a schedule for manually checking each server, computer, website, and other device for software updates on a regular basis. Install all security updates as soon as possible!

5 Don’t Use HTTP and/or FTP

For many years, HTTP was the standard protocol for viewing webpages and FTP was the standard protocol for uploading and editing website files. Not anymore. Due to increased security requirements, no website should be using HTTP or FTP nowadays.

How to beat hackers: Use HTTPS on every page on your website, and always use SFTP or FTPS when editing your website.

If you’re worried about your practice’s digital security contact [email protected] today.