Would you ever leave the front door to your home or business wide open? I’m guessing you wouldn’t, not even if it were located in a very safe neighborhood. It doesn’t matter how tired or distracted you are, you take the time to close up shop, lock the doors, and maybe even set a security alarm to keep things as safe as they can be when you’re not around.
Unfortunately, many business owners don’t take the same level of precaution – or any level of precaution – when it comes to their own websites. That’s too bad, because the data being stored on your servers might be more valuable than what’s in your file cabinet or cash register at any given moment.
There are any number of ways you can neglect your web presence that are akin to leaving the front door open for hackers and thieves. You may not notice them because you don’t know what to look for, but cyber criminals certainly do. Today, we want to share a handful of quick tips you can use to make your website just a little bit safer…
Use Lengthy and Complex Passwords
By now, you already know you’re supposed to use complex passwords with lots of numbers, capitalized letters, and special characters. What you might not realize just how big of a difference this can make. A thief using automated software can break a simple password in tenths of a second. Throw in these more complicated strings, though, and that time stretches to months. Being smart with passwords is a simple way to make your website a lot more secure.
Always Update Your CMS and Plugins
Often, when Internet criminals “break-in” to a website, they aren’t using any sophisticated tools or techniques. Instead, they are exploiting known problems with outdated versions of hosting software or commonly-used plug-ins. By keeping yours up-to-date (or working with a web design team who will upgrade your CMS for you) you can fend off these types of attacks automatically.
Upgrade Your Web Hosting Service
Good web hosting makes your site more secure in a lot of different ways. It allows for stronger encrypted SSL connections (if you have that feature installed), for example, and usually includes ongoing monitoring. What’s even more important, though, is that it keeps you away from servers that are hosting online casinos, adult websites, and other questionable web destinations that tend to harbor malicious software. For a few dollars a day, you could make your site a lot safer..
Make Sure You’re Running Regular Backups
Occasionally, even a well-designed and maintained website will suffer from a security intrusion. When that happens, though, a recent backup can put things to right in a matter of minutes. That’s why it’s critical you have someone monitoring your web activity and keeping restorable copies of your files.
While none of these tips is foolproof, they all go a long way towards keeping you protected online. Just as importantly, they stop you from being an obvious target for people who would like to steal your data. Remember, most online criminals do exactly what real-world burglars do: they look for the easiest victim they can find. Close the front door to your website and they just might take their attention elsewhere.
Need help with web design, Internet marketing, or online security? Get in touch with us today for a free consultation to see how we can help!