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We have put together our best tips to keep you safe
Imagine this. You wake up one day to your inbox flooded by your friends and clients. Everyone is in a panic, and it is just about to get worse.
- “Did you post that on Twitter? Why would you post such a crude message?”
- “I keep getting emails from you that have these weird attachments. Are they safe to open?”
- “Your website says it has been taken over by a hacking group. Have you seen this?”
As a business owner, your online security is VITAL to your success. Without adequate security, you run the risk of:
- Losing sales because your website has been hacked and taken down
- Losing the ability to communicate with your clients due to an email hack
- Losing credibility, especially to those that have never done business with you before
- Extra expenses to repair what your hackers have broken
The saying is true, “Time is Money” and with these tips, you will learn what you can do NOW to prevent the time consuming process of repairing what was damaged by an email or website hack. Buckle down, grab a pen and paper, and make sure you take notes. There’s a lot to cover, but it will save you time and money in the long run.
Manage your Passwords
This is the most important step in preventing a hack. Once a potential hacker has one password, if other passwords are not managed properly EVERYTHING can be exposed.
These tips apply to passwords on all platforms, online memberships & subscriptions:
- Change your password at least once a month to anything you do online that requires login.
- Make sure your passwords are at least 8 characters and have at least one number and one symbol.
- Do not use common or generic passwords.
- Try not to use anything relatable to you personally or your company, such as birthdays, anniversaries, children’s names, business name, etc. With social media this information is everywhere, and hackers will do their research to try to guess your password.
- Do not use the same password on multiple accounts… that is a great way to get numerous accounts hacked.
- Keep a log of all of your passwords somewhere secure. Best bet is to invest in a Password saving program like Zoho Vault or others.
- Having trouble thinking of passwords? Use a Random Password Generator. They are free online, such as https://passwordsgenerator.net/
***Side note: Have you ever seen those “Let’s get to know each other” posts on social media where your friends fill in their favorite subject in high school, street they grew up on, favorite color, etc? DON’T DO IT!
You’re probably saying to yourself, “Hmmm…. These questions seem familiar.” These are the kinds of questions that are often used as security questions for email accounts. Once a hacker knows the answer to these security questions, they can gain access to just about anything.
These are probably tips that you’ve heard before, but read through them anyway. Hackers are getting sneakier and sneakier and are always looking for new ways to fool you. (Confession, even we’ve been fooled once or twice.)
- Do not open attachments or click on links if you do not know the sender.
- Even if you do know the sender but the attachment or link looks strange or you were not expecting an email from that person, do not open it until you confirm with the sender that they in fact did send it to you and the attachment or link is safe.
- Make sure you have a good spam filter set up.
- Be careful when signing up or registering on websites… read the Terms and Conditions. Many times when you register on a website you also agree to allow that company to give away or sell your email to other companies for marketing purposes!
Secure Your Website
A website hack is one of the most visible and costly hacks that really hurt your business. It can potentially cause significant downtime of your website and possibly hurt your reputation with future clients. Make sure you follow these tips to avoid this kind of hack.
- Make sure your Hosting company, website management team, or IT department does a backup (whether manual or automatic) of your website, including all files and databases, every month. If your website were to get hacked or infected with malware you can always re-install the most recent backup to restore the website.
- If your website is hosted on a shared server, ask your hosting company if your site is vulnerable when another site on the same server becomes compromised.
- If your website is on a CMS, like WordPress, hackers most often find ways to inject malware or hijack your website through outdated core, theme, or plugin versions on your website. So make sure they are always updated!
- Do NOT rely on free security software (such as free WordPress security plugins). They help, but not much. If you really want your website to stay visible and malware free, spring for the premium version of whatever security software your website has.
- If your website platform does not currently have security software, GET SOME QUICKLY, even if it’s free. This will give you time to get something more permanent and more effective.
- Change the passwords of all users that can log into your website at least once a month. This means all back-end administrators. If you have a membership website where the front-end users login, ask your website management team to install software that requires password changes for your users at least once per month.
Wow, that was a lot to take in. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we understand, we’ve all been there. But it’s best you feel overwhelmed with all of these tips NOW and not after an attack where you are scrambling to learn how to protect yourself from future hacks.
Let us help you secure your site. We have handled some of the most difficult security breaches and have the experience and know-how to prevent it from happening to YOU!
We have put together some WordPress Cyber Security Packages to help you keep your website secure. No matter what your needs, we have the perfect package for you. So select your package and we will contact you soon.
Let Planned Growth Help
WORDPRESS CYBER SECURITY PACKAGES
- Manual backup of the website files and database.
Website Backup and Update
- Manual backup of the website files and database.
- Update of all WordPress versions, theme versions and plugin versions.
- Test of all pages and functionality to insure the updates did not affect the appearance or the functionality of the website.
User Password Updates
$10 / per user
- Generate a strong password for each user on the WordPress website.
- Email each user their new password.
Most websites only have 1 to 10 users, unless they are membership websites.
- Install and configure a free basic security plugin on your WordPress website.
- Initial setup per server.
- First year subscription for one website.
- $250 per year subscription per website cost thereafter (payable to Planned Growth) (This is a steal because if you paid the security company directly this same plan would be $300/year!!!)
*** Please note that if your website is already hacked or has malware on it, there is an additional $200 fee for cleanup and removal of the malware ***
PG will purchase the first year of the security subscription, and install and configure the premium security software. This is more than just installing a plugin and activating it… this is some serious security!
Planned Growth uses only the leading website security company for WordPress. It offers DNS level firewall, intrusion and brute force prevention, as well as malware and blacklist removal services. All your website traffic goes through cloudproxy servers where each request is scanned. Legitimate traffic is allowed to pass through, and all malicious requests are blocked. This security software also improves your website’s performance by reducing server load through caching optimization, website acceleration, and Anycast CDN (all included). It protects your website against SQL Injections, XSS, RCE, RFU and all known-attacks.