Security For You And Your Website
Friday, March 3, 2017
Security for you and your website will protect you from hackers and identity theft, as well as, your business from being black-flagged by Google, and so much more.
Not everyone is honest, which is sad; but the forces of evil never quit and never sleep. They have no remorse, consideration, or moral values when it comes to your hard work, property, or life.
"Locks are for honest people." Criminals, at any level, will do what they need to reach their end game. However, there is still hope in combatting, slowing, and deterring them. Although I have many facts, truths, and ideas about criminals that do physical harm, this article is about protecting and securing your digital world from prying eyes and hackers.
Do not be a victim
My faith in people to do the right thing, to be courteous, caring, and honest — to be busy with their own lives not to want or need to disrupt the fabric of civility, wanes at times; Yes, I struggle with positivity one-hudred percent of the time, and my thoughts drift to massive chaos in the cosmos, but with prayer, the cynicism and pessimistic thoughts are resigned from my mind.
That does not mean they are not out there watching; waiting for the right time to strike fear and harm on the unsuspecting, and when they have no other options, on those that are mindful and ready, which is what you should be all the time; but never live in fear, and Do Not Be A Victim!
Start protecting yourself from invaders into your website
I do realize that this is just an article about website, digital, and identity security, but if your own life and world is not protected, the rest of this has little meaning or will do any good — please take precautions in your day to day life.
1. Use respected Software and keep it up to date
Are you using applications and software from valid and respected companies?
Did you purchase, or download, it through trusted outlets?
To keep your computer safe from malware, viruses, and hackers always use trusted sites such as the manufactures site to download your software. Never use third party sites just because it might be cheaper or easier — the risk for reward is not a risk worth taking when it comes to your private data stored on your computer.
Some software updates are designed for bugs and feature improvements, but many of them are designed specifically to reduce security vulnerabilities. Software designers and cyber security experts are in a constant battle with hackers to thwart every new effort they come up with, and they are coming up with new ones faster than we can protect ourselves. So diligently stay on top of security updates — again from trusted and known outlets.
Windows updates, installing virus and spyware protection is a must. I use Mac's, and although I am protected, it is about 95% safe for me to surf the internet, but I do it meticulously looking for signs of trouble and then avoiding it — in the short time using computers since 1981, I have had one virus; it was a Microsoft Word Worm given to in 1994 by my employer who had no idea his computer was infested. It very little to my Mac but destroyed his and several others.
Do not download things you do not know what they are; do not download from sites you have no trust with — hackers are pretty clever making it look like your bank, a trusted company like facebook, or so put together that they could not possibly be evil.
2. Use secure passwords and update them often
I am dumbfounded that people today, even friends and family members, are using stupidly easy basic passwords like “password” or “123456.” for their private data.
The passwords you use to access your private data and your website should use a mix of numbers, letters (small and CAPS), and special characters. Avoid using anything related to you, such as, names of your children, grandchildren, year of birth, hobbies, nicknames, and such that are dear to you; these are easy for someone to figure out once they get to know you — and NEVER use the same password twice! OH MY GOSH! Just give them the key to your world and be done with it.
Us a password at least 12 characters in lengths, the longer the better, and write them down in a safe place with notes to what they are for; remove older passwords so not to get confused as to which one is current. I have used a protect html file for all my passwords with links before I found LastPass in 2014.
You can use a simple but complex HostGator Password Generator tool, simply click and drag Snappy’s head to generate a secure password.
3. Backup regularly and keep a local backup
Weather you use Wordpress, or the dreadful Square Space, Wix, or any other free website service, back up regularly and when possible keep a copy of your website locally on your computer or external hard drive — a process I have done from the beginning.
Wordpress has some great backup plugins, one in particular that I use is UpdraftPlus Backup / Restore for some of my clients sites.
4. Invest in a malware detector
Malware is extremely common; hackers have an interest in infecting any website that people are likely to visit. Which means your website could be felled by malware, or (arguably) worse, it could be the means by which malware infects your visitors computers — this is not a good thing as you can get black-flagged by google and lose your rankings and possibly not get put on any search results rendering your website useless and a waste of time.
Invest in a strong malware detector. Anti-malware programs can spot malware fast and help you get rid of it before it has the chance to do much damage. They are relatively inexpensive when you consider the risks malware poses, and they are not difficult to implement. Your web hosting platform might even offer one, which makes adding it to your website plan and activating it especially easy to do.
5. Set up SSL
An SSL certificate is not just for ecommerce sites, it tells your visitors that the data and their access is secure and protected — you care about your visitors, and it also helps with google rankings. Your customers need to know that your website is secure before they hand over sensitive information. An SSL certificate is the way you provide them that security.
An SSL certificate is not expensive and ensures your websites shows a green HTTPS in the browser bar, which is what consumers look for to see that a website can be trusted. It adds an extra level of protection to ensure the details customers share with you are properly encrypted and cannot be easily snatched up by cyber thieves.
Use a respected and legitimate Web Design and hosting service
If you cannot trust your barber or hair stylist who can you trust? Your web design company / web admin, and your hosting service, along with your domain name registra, that is who. Your partner or spouse might be questionable, but never the people maintaining your website.
The Web Design company you choose to use should handle your security, along with SEO, and maintaining a watchful eye on your analytics.