‘Tis the Season for Hacking
Let’s face it. We’re distracted during the holidays. As consumers, we are busy shopping, As business owners, we’re busy with retail or online sales (hopefully) or we’re in the midst formulating 2015 marketing plans. It’s a prime time for hackers to take advantage. Here are few ideas on website safety during the holidays and into the New Year.
Plug Website Security Holes
Depending upon your website platform, there are ways to build in website security with things like firewalls and monitoring systems. 2-step authentication is a good idea regardless of which website platform you use. For WordPress we recommend these plugins:
- BruteProtect – in conjunction with other WordPress websites it fights Brute Force attacks
- WP Google Authenticator – 2-step authenticator that works with Google’s systems
- Sucuri Security – malware scanner and auditor
Action Item: Check that you have malware, Brute Force and other website security features turned on.
Remain Current on Software
Keeping your software up to date is probably the most important elements of website safety. We use, build and maintain WordPress websites which uses open source code. It’s free to use and very public. That means that hackers have easy access. Even if you harden your site — fundamental changes to the backend that improve security — software updates are still critical.
Action Item: Determine what the latest release version available for your platform. If it’s not up-to-date, make a back-up of your website and upgrade it.
If your website accepts sensitive information like financial transaction, this is a requirement. Google recently announced that HTTPS may positively affect search visibility for websites that use these protocols. Call me jaded, but I think it will be a minor SEO consideration. Even so, making the web more secure for everyone is a very good thing.
Action Item: Consider moving your website to HTTPS.
Strong Password Management
You may have the best website security practices in place, but they are worthless if your users have weak passwords. My advice regarding passwords is simple: if you can remember it, it’s not strong enough. Use a secure password generator program; it uses number, letters (upper and lower case) and special characters. Another layer of protection is to require users to update their passwords every 60-90 days.
Are you worried about your website security this holiday season?
How can we help?
Launching a website and need help with design? Or, are you tweaking your landing pages to improve sales conversion?
We are the spectrum group online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.