CTI’s Tips for a Secure Small Business Website in 2018
Think about the last time you updated your small business website. Is it hard to remember back that far? Are the details somewhat hazy? If so it is probably time for another update to make sure your website is strong and secure and will continue to meet your business needs. The world of website design and security is constantly evolving and changing to meet new challenges. There is an ongoing arms race between hackers and criminals and web security experts like those at CTI who are working hard to keep your site secure and your data safe. It is important to use the latest and most up to date techniques to make your site a “hard target” for potential hackers.
Software Updates and Up To Date Plugins
Always keep your site current with the most recent version and software updates. Why? You may ask. Older software versions have been out on the street for a while criminals have had an opportunity to study them thoroughly, learn their weaknesses and develop computer virsues or other methods to penetrate their security. Outdated software is asking for trouble. The City of Atlanta recently learned this lesson the hard way when hackers were able to exploit outdated security to hold their data hostage for ransom. If something like this can happen to a large organization like Atlanta what chance does your small business site stand if it is relying on outdated security? To avoid this kind of situation make sure your site is backed up regularly by the company that is hosting it. Or if you are hosting it yourself there are plugins you can use to manage this process.
Strong Passwords Are The First Step
Passwords are another area of vulnerability. Do not use terms like “password” or “admin” as login or “1234” as your password. You need terms that include numbers and special characters to make it harder for criminals to get access to your data. You may recall that during the 2016 election there was a scandal involving the release of some emails written by members of the Democratic National Committee. How were the hackers able to get access? Easily enough when one of the senior figures in the party was using “password” as his password, something like that is an open invitation to criminals. To avoid this instead using “BigJim” as your user name you might want to use something like Jim6459, where those four numbers only have significance to you and no one else. One point of caution though, don’t use readily identifiable numbers like your birthdate or social security number. The same thing is true of your password don’t just use “Fluffy” in memory of your pet, if you want to use something like that make sure you ad numbers and special characters like “Fluffy8923%”. These editions will make you a much harder target to crack.
General Security Areas That Always Need Attention
There are some other general areas of vulnerability that can be avoided with a few simple changes. For example, you should limit the number of attempts to login in to your site. After a certain number of attempts the person should be locked out. Allowing unlimited attempts increases the risk that somebody can eventually figure out the correct password and get into your site. You should also limit the amount of plugins that you allow to be used on your site and keep the ones you do allow up to date. Out of date plugins create security vulnerabilities that could be used by devious types to gain access, they also bog things down and reduce the overall speed and performance of your website. There are security plugins such as Scuri and Wordfence that can be used to enhance security. These plugins are designed to help keep your site secure and block phishing attempts (trying to gain access by sending you a link that looks like it is to your real website). These security plugins are also optimized to work with certain types of software so which one you use will depend on the software behind your website.
Don’t Get Too Intimated Let CTI Help
All of this may sound like a lot to keep track and somewhat scary to contemplate. To be perfectly frank, it should sound scary since these types of hacking and data theft attacks happen thousands of times every single day. However, there is a solution, contact the experts at CTI and let us work with you to develop a robust security plan and update strategy for your small business website. While there is no such thing as 100% security we can give you peace of mind and the knowledge that everything possible is being done to protect your data. Give us a call today and we can get started working with you!