Thank goodness 2020 is behind us and as we brace ourselves for what 2021 may bring it’s time to reflect and adjust. Just as you consider your health after weeks of festivities (time to dig out the exercise bike?), the same can be said about cyber-security especially if you are a business owner. Therefore, here is a list of New Year’s resolutions that perhaps you should also consider to protect your website, whilst rummaging around for that track-suit.
Keep your website up to date!
Your CMS (eg WordPress) and other website or server software is not updated only to make it have the latest bells and whistles but also to apply important security patches. WordPress alone has numerous patches monthly if not weekly. The key is to get these patches applied routinely and quickly. The main reason being, once a security patch is out, every hacker in the world knows that such an issue exists and they will scour the internet (often using automated tools) to find websites with this known vulnerability. So, in short, keep your website safe and up to date!
Backup your website!
If you are going to stick to just one of these resolutions – this is probably the one that will ‘save your bacon’ in the future. We have blogged about the importance of website backups numerous times as this has proven to be critical in so many scenarios we see here at OneHourSiteFix.com. The main point being, websites just like your car, that once damaged, can have a long, often painful and costly route to be fixed and even in such cases, for example, website ransomware – impossible to fix. A website backup shortens if not completely omits this issue and in any scenario where there is an issue with your website allows you to simply roll back to the version that was working as expected.
Okay, this will not tackle your security issues, but in case your website does get damaged due to a hack or even deleted or encrypted, a backup will allow those parts to be fully restored, repaired and fully operational in a relatively short amount of time.
Update your passwords and don’t make them an easy guess!
Hackers are continually learning and exploring new techniques to hack websites. It is amazing how many users and business owners use simple passwords or ‘common’ easily guessed passwords that hackers take minutes to crack using automated tools. Use more complex passwords, multiple words or include special characters ($%!& etc) and if you have trouble remembering these use a password storage application like 1password, dashlane etc.
We are creatures of habit and we often re-use the same password – if a website you have used gets hacked, your email and password could be compromised and hackers will try these on other websites – including your own. Tools such as pwned can indicate if your details are being circulated on the dark web. In summary, change your passwords every now and again and don’t use your dog or children’s names (unless you are Elon Musk 🙂 ).
Never to early or late for a spring clean!
This resolution is for all the multiple website owners or agencies that take care of multiple websites. Often numerous websites that are in use, or were at some point, or were just used to test out something are all located in the same server environment. This is a catastrophe waiting to happen due to what is called cross-site contamination. Often these old, redundant, un-patched chunks of code have vulnerabilities and a door-way will allow the hacker to get full access to the server.
It is painful that just one website installation on a server has a security breach – but this often leads to compromises across all the websites on the same server. To make it more challenging, often the site that is the entry point does not even show signs of malware – so just like the April spring clean, have a good clear down and remove any unwanted websites, test scripts or old code that you no longer need…or at the very least make them not publicly accessible.
Use a firewall or use pro-active security tools.
Trying to keep the resolutions above will definitely put you in a great position and reduce your risk. Unfortunately based on the speed at which new security vulnerabilities are communicated and software patched there is always going to be a risk. New compromises and hacking techniques are evolving and relentless. If you value your website and your website is a key part of your business and you really need to mitigate the risks, then using professional third-parties such as SharkGate/OneHourSiteFix can provide a level of security second to none.
Having a leading cyber-security company with a professional team available 24×7 with years of experience, at your side is invaluable. In the event that you do suffer a compromise or a hack, you will have the advantage of knowing you are in safe hands with a 5* Trustpilot rated team that deals with these situations every day. Our own SharkGate Firewall is an amazing robust solution that blocks hackers from getting anywhere near your website and is backed up by our ‘always available’ legendary security team. If you would like to know more about this just chat here and we would be happy to answer any questions.
From all of us here, we do hope your 2021 is a great year and that these resolutions last a little longer than the ones we all make at 12.01 am during the height of our New Year celebrations! As always we are always here if you need any help or to discuss how we can help keep your website safe and hacker free.
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