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Safety first, my friends!
If you own a business, your website is likely to be one of your biggest assets. You’ve spent lots of time, money and resources to get it just right–then you took the plunge and launched it into the wilds of the interwebs! But have you given much thought to the safety and security of that site? If your site went down, what would you do? What fail-safes do you have in place? How much money could potentially be lost??
I can’t stress enough just how important it is to ensure the protection and safety of your website. The following list includes some basic questions you can ask yourself (or a trusted developer), in order to determine next steps.
- Is your software up to date?
Perhaps more importantly: when was the last time someone logged in to your site? If you’re unable to answer this question, there’s a good chance you have a problem. Most modern websites are built using third party plugins and software, which needs to be updated on a monthly basis at the very least. These updates are vital to keeping your site secure and if security patches and updates are ignored, hackers will be quick to take advantage of these missteps.
- How do your passwords stack up?
This might seem painfully obvious but a secure username and password combination is a must. Believe it or not, a combination of admin/admin isn’t going to do you or your business any favors! Here are some quick rules to follow when considering password security:
- Your password should be completely random. Our advice? Use something like LastPass as a way to lock down these passwords and auto-generate secure combinations every time you open a new account.
- Passwords should be 12+ characters long. The longer the password the better. Again, LastPass will become your new best friend!
- Do not reuse passwords! Seriously, don’t do it.
- Is SSL installed on your site?
If you are selling anything or storing customer data, you absolutely need to make sure that SSL is installed on your site. Please note that SSL will not protect your site from malicious attacks, but it does encrypt communications between the web server and browser. Have you ever noticed the lovely green padlock that appears to the left of certain URLS? That’s letting you know that SSL is installed.
- Do you have monthly, weekly, even daily backups scheduled?
For the love of all things—PLEASE BACK-UP YOUR WEBSITE. If your site breaks, gets hacked or goes down altogether you absolutely must have a recent back-up in order to get back on track. When we build sites for our customers, we always have a clean back-up at the ready, with regular, daily back-ups running in the background at all times. We also make sure that there are copies of the site on not one, not two, but THREE separate locations. We don’t mess around 😉
- Is your site past the 5 year mark?
The digital environment is shifting at breakneck speed and a solid rule of thumb is to upgrade and/or overhaul your website every 5 years. This may seem like overkill, but think about internet trends 5 years ago—a lot’s changed and you want to be sure your web presence is keeping up! By upgrading your site, you will ensure that your digital proxy is up to snuff, everything is modern and loading quickly AND you will be enhancing your user experience as a result.
If you have a website, then security should absolutely be a concern. Your website is an essential part of your business and if it’s compromised, then your reputation is likely to take a hit as well.
Is this a chance you can afford to take?