How To Secure Your Website

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If you’re in business you need a website – we all know that. And because we all know that, creating a basic website has never been easier.

You can set up your own site fairly easily, or you can pay somebody else to do it for you. The more complex the site you require, the more it necessitates employing a third party to put something up online for you.

All well and good – but….

Is Your Website Secure?

We have had to pick up the pieces for several businesses after their sites have been hacked or otherwise compromised. The general feeling of those unfortunate enough to have been targeted is “why me”? If you are just running a small business with a basic website, why would anyone bother to hack you?

We can’t give you a definitive answer here, but we can tell you that sophisticated hackers have automated software running that scours the net for vulnerabilities – and if your website is not secured then it is only a matter of when not if it will be attacked.

So what can you do?

5 Basic Ways To Help Protect Your Website:

If you manage your own site, these are all things you need to be doing – if somebody else manages your site you need to ensure they have adequate security measures in place.

BackUp: Regularly backing up your website should be as common place as regularly backing up any other device that you may have – stop for a moment and think what would happen if your computer failed or the data was wiped from your phone. Now look at how much content you have on your website – not only the words, but all of the images, the hyperlinks, the comments – how long would it take you to re-do the entire site? A backup will only restore your site to the last point it was backed up so if you are regularly updating your site (which of course is an SEO necessity) then you also need to be regularly updating your website backups.

PlugIns: We like WordPress, and one of the reasons that we do is because of the plugins and the updates. There are a vast array of sophisticated security plugins, both free and paid for, which will help you to protect your website. One such plugin that we installed on one of our clients websites kept us informed in real time of the sustained attack the site was under and helped keep the hackers locked out. WordPress itself can also be updated and much like updating your computer and operating systems this helps to keep your site up to date and less vulnerable to exploitation.

Passwords: The websites most likely to be hacked are those that retain the default login – are you still using “Admin” to access your site? Change it now. And that password, is it the same as your Facebook login? An alarming amount of passwords can be worked out, either through trying the most commonly used passwords (such as 123456) or through a quick look at your social media updates. If you add images of your dog or cat online with their name there’s a good chance these will be your passwords online. Mixing upper and lower case letters and throwing in a handful of numbers will help make your passwords a bit less hackable.

Comments: When was the last time that you logged in and checked your comments? We took over a website recently where the client was under the impression that their site was being managed and therefore had no idea that they had over 2000 spam comments on their website. Even if you have outsourced your site it is still worth your while checking what’s going on over there.

TrackBacks: There has been a big rise in trackbacks on websites in place of comments – comments are self explanatory, somebody adds a few words beneath a post on your website – and there are some great plugins that will moderate comments and filter out the spam. Because of this, spammers are now adding trackbacks -  links to your website are added to other sites and anybody looking at those sites could potentially click through to you. Trackbacks in themselves aren’t  bad things as they can help your overall link strategy – but if you have a whole host of links from un-reputable sites going back to your site it could be you who gets penalised.

If you are unsure about your site’s security and would like us to take a quick look please get in touch. Remember though, it doesn’t matter how small you feel you are, if you have a website you need to have ongoing security measures in place.

 

 

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