Poor website security can affect your business reputation adversely.
A hacked website can be a real problem on the internet. When your site goes down it can reduce trust in your business, its website and technical assets. If malware is placed on your website without your knowledge, your customers could be redirected to porn sites, or get a warning that your website is a threat and could cause harm to their computer. Keep your website visitors safe from harmful content. A good reputation once lost can be very difficult to win back.
There are financial implications to your business.
If your website serves up malware to visitors, your website could be blacklisted by browsers and desktop anti-virus software. If you are a small to medium sized business you have more to lose than a bigger company. Larger firms have insurance, recovery strategies and adequate resources to survive a breach. Would you?
ID Theft and Fraud can threaten your livelihood long term.
Online identity theft, financial fraud, hacking, e-mail spoofing, information piracy and intellectual property crime can be a major inconvenience and annoyance. It can also lead to financial ruin, threaten your good reputation and possibly even your personal safety.
An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure.
With any website there are potential security issues that may arise if basic precautions aren’t taken. Be aware. Take preventive action. Keep your website secure. Know what to do if it happens to you.
How do I keep my website secure?
You need to be smart when choosing a platform to build your website.
At Original Ginger we specialize in WordPress. WordPress is an amazing content management system (CMS) that provides agencies like ours with all the tools we need, and access to tons more. Since WordPress is what we call “open source software”, it engages a community of thousands of developers creating unlimited options for the future with new plug-ins and widgets every day. This also means thousands of developers scrutinizing the code every day. If there is a security loophole, it is typically discovered and fixed quickly. You know the saying “two heads are better than one” – well in this case it’s thousands.
The popularity of WordPress is also a weakness. It’s going to attract some unwanted attention too from malicious people who look to discover vulnerabilities before we do. Forewarned is forearmed. At Original Ginger we take extra precautions in the websites we build – using additional platforms that will improve performance AND security. We suggest you do the same. Don’t be the weakest link!
Eliminate vulnerabilities on your own computer.
Make sure the computers you use are free of spyware, malware, and virus infections. The best way is to install an anti-virus software like ESET.
Always keep your operating system and the software on it, especially your web browser, up to date to protect you from security vulnerabilities. Stay away from untrusted sites when browsing the web.
Choose trusted website hosting.
How do you know if you’ve chosen a solid website hosting provider?
- Do they readily discuss your security concerns and which security features and processes they offer with their hosting?
- Do they provide the most recent stable versions of all server software?
- Do they provide reliable methods for backup and recovery?
- Did you look to see the types of reviews they are getting from other users?
- Is there a number you can call when you need help? Are they knowledgeable and courteous when you do?
Maintain and update your website as often as possible.
One of the biggest contributors to malware attacks is running outdated software. This applies to all development platforms, not just to WordPress. We cannot stress this point enough!
Update themes and plugins as new versions are released.
Updates are not always straight forward. ALWAYS ensure you have a fresh backup BEFORE you update. We recommend hiring a professional web administrator who can troubleshoot if issues should arise. Asking for help AFTER you’ve already run into trouble usually costs more money in the long run.
We recommend website maintenance on a monthly basis — we know for some of you on a smaller budget that quarterly or semi-annually is your only option; however, the longer you wait to update, the more vulnerable your website is to security risk.
In so many instances, WordPress site problems could have been avoided with simple and consistent maintenance. This is not an upsell by your developer – it’s serious business!
Change your paradigm.
If the WordPress powers that be DO discover a vulnerability and release a new version of WordPress to address the issue, that means that the vulnerability is now very public knowledge and older versions of WordPress become fair game for attack. Don’t think of maintenance as an annoying expense where you can afford to cut costs.
Think of maintenance as a necessary and imperative “cost of doing business on the internet”.
Don’t use FREE or unsupported Themes and plugins.
We know it is tempting to “Do-It-Yourself” and use FREE themes. Unfortunately, FREE themes are often unsupported and poorly coded. Not only will this affect search engine optimization (SEO) but it can also present major security issues and even a broken website as your CMS releases new updates. Would you know how to identify if the theme or plugin you are using is from a trusted source?
Hire a professional design and development team like ours at Original Ginger to build a strongly coded and supported website for you. We have access to tools you are not even aware of that improve security, search ability, and a host of other important elements we guarantee you haven’t even thought of.
Choose strong passwords.
It’s pretty simple. The stronger your password, the harder it is to hack. Make sure all of the users with access to your website have strong passwords. Limit their access as required.
What makes a password strong?
- Choose a password that is at least eight characters long.
- It should not contain your user name, real name, or company name.
- It should not contain a complete word.
- It should not contain your birthdate, address, or something easily guessed at.
- Don’t use the same password continuously on different sites.
- Ensure it contains a combination of UPPERCASE letters, lowercase letters, symbols (@ # $ % & * ), and numbers.
Do you have a plan to recover your website if something goes wrong?
Be prepared. No matter the platform, there is never a 100% guarantee that your website will never be hacked. Have a plan in place to recover your website so you can get back online quickly.
Looking to get serious about your website?
Call Original Ginger at 778.298.1966 or Toll Free at 1.855.298.8650 to ask about our services.
We are a full service digital agency and great website design just happens to be one of the things we do well. Ask us to design and build your website for you so you can stay worry free.
Imagine your website: beautiful, functional and effective
Unlock Access to Our E-Book:
Website Design: 21 Tips that Convert
This guide will help you understand the balance between design, function, customer experience and user experience for an effective website. It’s a strong resource, an informative read, and would be very helpful prior to meeting with an agency like Original Ginger.