If your business depends on its website in any way, keeping it secure should be a top priority. While it sounds like obvious advice, many business owners and webmasters do not take even the simplest of steps to ensure their site’s safety. If this sounds like you, here is your warning!
With a few of Tandem Interactive’s easy tweaks, you can take preventative steps to secure your website:
1. Logins and passwords. It is really common for websites to have an “Admin” login. Do not be one of these sites! Hackers know this is true, and if they have your login, they have won half the battle. You should also steer clear of logins that are simply your business’ name. When it comes to passwords, avoid using your business’ name or consecutive numbers. Incorporate random words, numbers and symbols.
If your CMS allows it, you should also limit login attempts. This will prevent a hacker from having unlimited “chances” at guessing your login and password combination. And it is also important to protect your login information. Only make logins for those who absolutely need it, and do not give out the information to just anyone who asks.
2. Update everything. When using a CMS, you may have several plugins, extensions, applications and themes. It is important to keep these updated. When you do not take this precaution, you are pretty much inviting hackers in. Updates repair security issues, so take advantage of the bandages they provide. You should also ensure your website is running on the latest version of your CMS.
Before you install any plugins, extensions or applications, make sure you really need them. Since they can cause vulnerabilities, you only want to install something if it is really necessary.
3. Work with those you can trust. When you work with an internet marketing company, web developer, or programmer, make sure you trust them. If you were not referred, ask for former or current clients you can talk to. Your website is an investment that likely cost a lot of time and money; do not give just anyone access to your baby.
The same goes for your hosting provider. It is important to choose a reputable company, because they will have strong security measures in place. And if something does go wrong, you want a company with a responsive and helpful customer service team that will try their best to rectify the problem.
4. Back it up. Back up your website’s files and database! If you do not do this, and you do not have a web developer, it is likely not happening. This small step can be the difference between your entire site being wiped out or not. Ask your hosting provider about site backups, and keep a recent backup on a local drive just in case.
5. Monitor your web property. While it is important to check on your site and make sure everything is running smoothly, you need to put in just a bit more effort. That is because malware can be added to your site, and everything can look a-okay on the front-end (scary, we know!). Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) makes monitoring your website’s health pretty simple. The “Security Issues” section of Search Console will keep you up-to-date if it detects any malware, hacking or security issues. You just need to make sure to connect your web property to Search Console and keep an eye on the email address it is connected with. It also does not hurt to login from time to time. The same goes for Google Analytics. Monitor your traffic, and look into any irregular spikes.
While managing a website can be stressful, there are a few simple steps you can take to safeguard it from a security attack. Because trust us, there is nothing more stressful than trying to put the pieces of your site back together. Once your site is secure, contact Tandem Interactive for any of your site’s organic, paid search, or local needs!