Don’t Want Your Website Hacked? Read This…
If you’re committed to keeping and maintaining a presence online, then this will be the most important thing you read today.
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From the Home Depot hacking, to HeartBleed, to the internet slow down day, to Kim Kardashian trying to the take down the internet, the past year has been one of great adventure in the online world. Although those were only a few of the stories that made headlines, they are mild compared to everything else that happened online in 2014.
The world wide web, as most people think of it today, has been around for about 20 years. Even so, it’s still like the wild, wild west, with masked bandits moving from settlement to settlement, causing a ruckus wherever they go. As it was back then, most of the settlers—those with websites—are caught completely off-guard when those bandits strike.
Unlike the wild, wild west, however, the bandits on the internet can often create chaos without ever being seen. They’re usually located half-way around the world, completely free from any consequences for the ruckus they’ve caused. Vigilance, cunning, and the best strategies are often not enough to ward off these malicious attacks by hackers.
Sony, Home Depot, Michaels, Yahoo!, eBay, Google, Apple, and J.P. Morgan Chase were just a few of the companies hacked in 2014.
It’s easy to quickly read over those names and think nothing more about it. However, that would be a mistake. You see, what’s so scary about that list is that each of those companies spend in excess (some far in excess) of a million dollars each year on internet security. Those companies employ some the most skilled and talented web security coders in the world, and yet their data still wasn’t safe.
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They’re spending over a million dollars each year!
With countless dollars and the smartest coders in the world, these companies still got hacked! You and I don’t really stand a chance against hackers. It won’t do any good to stick your head in the sand and pretend it won’t happen to your website. The best plan is to be prepared for when it does happen.
Two things you must do to prepare for WHEN bandits strike!
Remember, it’s not a matter of if it will happen, it’s a matter of when. At some point, odds are good that your website is going to be affected by some malicious code or malware, so now is the time to prepare your emergency kit.
Your site must be continually monitored for malware and other threats. The way many hackers work is by writing code that enters at one point on your site, and then slowly works its way to all your other pages and files.
Much like a real virus that affects a human, if you can catch the malware/virus early enough, you can prevent it from spreading and doing additional damage.
Fortunately, for less than $10.00 per month you can find a monitoring service for your website. These services will continually scan your website files, looking for anything suspicious or potentially threatening.
Your site files must be continually backed up to a third-party server. Remember, it’s not a matter of if, but rather of when. When the worst does occur, it’s crucial that you are able to restore your website files with clean versions.
There are numerous services available that will back up all your website files and safely store them each day. These services can cost as little as $5.00 per month.
Here are three steps to ensuring your website stays up and running on the world wide web.
- Plan for the worst, but expect the best. There’s no need to run around worrying that the sky is falling, but it certainly can’t hurt to have a backup plan in place just in case it does fall.
- Be Careful with access. Be careful to whom you give access to your website admin panel and hosting account. I’m not suggesting you should be suspicious of everyone; I’m suggesting that other people may not protect your information as well as they should. For example, if you share your login credentials with your assistant via email, she might let her 14 year login to her email account. The next thing you know, her email account gets hacked . . . well, now your website could be at risk.
- Prepare for change. It would be naive to believe you’ll never have to spend any money mitigating issues on your website. Plan and prepare to make changes to your website. I’m not referring to design changes, I’m referring to changes the public will never notice. Changes that may keep your website safe.
Despite the risks and uncertainty, living in the wild, wild west was fun and exciting. Each day brought new adventures and massive opportunities. The same is true on the world wide web. Sure, there are threats, risks, and uncertainty, but the opportunities are huge.
Think about it, never before, in the history of the world, have you had such an easy method by which to present your products and services to people around the world. As the book says, the world is not flat. For the most part geographical boundaries no longer exist. Instead of reaching people within only a few miles, or a few states away from your business, you can reach countries on the opposite side of the globe.
Plan for the worst, expect the best, and go reach the world!
P.S. What’s next? If you’d like help putting systems in place to protect you in the event of a worst-case scenario, shoot us an email at: support [at] uglymugmarketing.com with the subject line, “Web Security Help.” We’ll be happy to schedule a brief phone call to help steer you in the right direction.
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