Keeping your website and information secure is always important. But with the state of the world today, it’s more important now than ever to pay close attention to the security of your personal information, passwords and website.
At Infomedia, security is always high on our list of priorities — we are a website company, after all. But in light of the recent events happening in Russia and Ukraine, it’s more important for everyone to think about.
Why Would I Get Hacked?
Hacking and information theft is on the rise, but it’s not a new issue — and it’s not just Russia. There are hackers everywhere that will attempt to steal your identity, money and information.
If your website is hacked or stolen, it puts your business at risk. Hacking discredits your business — if your customers think you’re publishing spam, they’re going to trust you less, which ultimately will affect your bottom line. That’s why it’s critical to take precautionary measures to protect your information and prevent getting hacked.
How Can I Protect Myself?
Use a VPN — especially in public!
A VPN (virtual private network) is a software that encrypts your activity on the web and prevents hackers from seeing what you’re doing online. In other words, VPNs hide the information that hackers would use to get into your computer. If you’re working, accessing sensitive data or editing your website in a public space, a VPN will significantly reduce your risk of getting hacked.
Moderate your comments
If you allow comments on your website in any form, whether through a contact form or on your blog, pay attention to what people are saying. You can set notifications to see when someone makes a comment, and if you see a spammy comment, just delete it!
You can also add security measures, like a CAPTCHA, to your comments or forms. If spam comments become too much of an issue, we recommend turning off your comments. If you’re an Infomedia client, we can add additional measures to filter out spam on your website.
Keep your website up to date
In general, it’s best practice to run website updates regularly. But be careful with this — if you’re using plugins or have unique functionality on your website, it’s important to make sure that you know what you’re updating and understand what’s changing. That way, if something goes wrong, you know where to go to resolve the issue.
Website updates are more complex than updating apps on your phone. Apps are built to be updated, and their updates don’t affect each other, but websites are different because they pull software and code from lots of different places. There are cases where it’s better not to update everything at once, as some updates can interfere with each other or break things on your website. This is a great reason to engage with a hosting company like Infomedia — we update our clients’ websites regularly, and we also ensure that the updates aren’t doing any harm.
Use secure passwords
Passwords are a key to protecting your information (pun intended!). We know you’ve heard this many times, but we’ll say it again: Keep your passwords secure. Here are a few tips for coming up with more secure passwords:
- Don’t include personal information that’s easy to find in your passwords. If someone can find out the name of your dog on your Instagram account, it’s probably not good to use it in your password.
- Use unique passwords when you can — it’s tempting to use the same password for everything, but it’s not best practice.
- Use numbers and letters (capitalizing certain letters is also good, and these days, lots of websites require at least one capital letter, number or special character).
Need a better way to keep up with all your passwords? Use a password manager! Password managers remember everything for you, and they also keep all your passwords in a secure place. If you’re not sure where to start, contact us! Infomedia can set you up with a password manager.
Host your website securely
If you’re paying for a company to host your website, it’s very important to trust that company to host your website on secure servers. Infomedia clients never have to worry about this — we take extensive measures to ensure security for our clients’ websites and information. But regardless of who you choose, do your research! Before you choose a hosting company, check out their reviews online and ask questions about the measures they take to ensure security.
If you’re not sure where your website is hosted, Infomedia can help! Hosting services are included in our Support plans, and we go the extra mile to ensure that our clients’ websites are secure and up to date. Get in touch with us today for more information.
Want to learn more?
Check out last week’s episode of the Localist podcast: Misinformation, Cyber Attacks and Small Business. The Localist is a conversation with local makers and entrepreneurs, hosted by our own Carrie Rollwagen, VP of Strategic Planning.
The featured guest in this episode is Michael Stuckey, Education & Development Specialist at Infomedia. He’s got a knack for techy stuff and all things security, so we trust what he has to say about this topic — and he gives lots of valuable, insightful advice on how to protect your information and keep your website safe.