How to Protect Yourself from DDoS Attacks

How to Protect Yourself from DDoS Attacks

Many people have heard of DDoS attacks, even if they aren’t sure what they are. There have been a number of incidents of some very high-profile DDoS attacks against both government targets and private industry in recent years. It’s not just big organizations that are hit by these acts of cybercrime though. Many small website owners also fall victim to DDoS attacks, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

By understanding the nature of DDoS attacks and how to defend against them a little better, it is possible to avoid damage to your infrastructure and reputation.

What is a DDoS Attack?

DDoS stands for distributed denial of service. This type of cyber offensive is a subtype of a larger category of attacks known as denial-of-service attacks. DoS attacks make a very large number of requests to a server within a short space of time, thereby causing the server to buckle and crash under the load. When lots of people try to access the same website simultaneously, it can lead to the site becoming unavailable. In such cases, the crashing of the website is unintentional, but not so with a DDoS attack.

A DoS attack replicates the effect of having a large number of users all trying to put in requests to a website at the same time but does so with the explicit intention of rendering it inaccessible. They are the most common type of all attacks that are likely to affect an average site. The good news is that DoS attacks are usually relatively simple to stop as they come from a single source.

However, a DDoS attack is distributed across a network. This means that the requests are sent to the server from a variety of different sources and IP addresses. Because the requests in the DDoS attack are coming from different IP addresses and physical locations, it isn’t as simple as just blocking an IP address.

Are They a Threat to Ordinary Users?

DDoS attacks are used to render servers inaccessible to users, and they are rarely used as a means of attacking the users themselves. When it comes to the impact of DDoS attacks on users, there are two important issues to know.

The first point is relevant if you also operate your own blog or web service. If you do, you should take steps to ensure that its IP address is protected from DDoS attacks. The easiest way of achieving this is to choose a host for your website that offers automatic DDoS protection, such as Cloudflare. If you aren’t careful, your site could end up becoming part of a botnet.

The second important issue to keep in mind is that it is possible for a DDoS attack to impact you even if you don’t have a website hosted. If you pick up a specific type of malware or install the wrong app on your device, you could end up inadvertently becoming part of a botnet. This can lead to your device running slower and experiencing reduced internet speeds.

How Can You Protect Against Them?

One of the easiest things you can do to protect yourself against DDoS attacks is to start using a virtual private network (VPN) service. A VPN anonymizes your internet browsing by encrypting your data and routing it through a server. This means that other websites will not be able to see your real IP address, without which a DDoS attack cannot be launched against you so easily. Besides, using a VPN is considered to be good practice anyway for those who take their online security seriously.

If you want to be extra certain of your safety from DDoS attacks, look for a VPN service that offers DDoS mitigation, for example products such as NordVPN or ProtonVPN. There is a range of anti-DDoS measures that modern VPN providers can utilize, so there’s no reason you should have to compromise on the safety of your website. Not only do these anti-DDoS VPNs keep your IP address hidden, but they also use filters to analyze any traffic you are receiving which allows them to prevent a DDoS attack from taking hold.

DDoS attacks are among the most common types of hacking attack carried out online. As something that can affect large and small websites alike, any website owner will benefit from an increased awareness of DDoS attacks and how to mitigate them.

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