5 Tips for A More Secure Website

July 6th, 2016

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5 Tips for A More Secure Website

Our Content Marketing Strategist, Hayley, is currently, as we speak, this very minute, having a mental breakdown.

“This is a sad world we live in,” she keeps saying, “when things like this can happen.”

When we asked her what had happened, she simply replied, “I’m going off the grid!” before announcing her pending disappearance to all of her social media followers and reaching for her copy of Wild.

So what had Hayley in such a craze today?

After returning from lunch at Fran’s Filling Station (super delish, highly recommend), she sat down at her desk to settle back into her work. And then, her phone started to ring.

Imagine her surprise when she looked down to see an incoming call…from herself. (Or rather, from “Ella,” her dog, which is the name she associated with her own phone number in her address book. Which is totally normal. At least for a crazy dog lady like Hayley.)

“Hello…,” she answered. Part of her had hesitated, but she watches enough Twilight Zone to be intrigued. After all, maybe it was herself, calling from the future, to tell her how awesome life is.

And then the response…“Hi. This is a call to tell you that your number has been flagged for a security breach. Please enter the last 4-digits of your social security number….” A recording. Of course.

Without hesitation, she hung up, she did not pass Go, she did not collect $200, and she most certainly did not enter any of her social security numbers.

Slowly setting her phone back on her desk, she turned to her deskmates and said, “I just answered a phone call…from myself.” And without further explanation, and to the bewilderment of her deskmates, she immediately Googled what had just happened to her.

Here’s what she discovered: Apparently, scammers are now able to scam you, using your own phone number. How’s that for a dirty trick?

But this kind of thing is happening, and has been happening, and not just through soliciting phone calls and emails.

Scammers and hackers are now able to steal your information from gas stations and restaurants and just about anywhere you’ve used a credit card or created a login, including your website.

If you’re a client of ours, you already know that we take great measures to protect your website from these kind of hackers, and if you’re not?

Well, here are 5 of our best tips for keeping your website safe:

Tip #1: Stop them at the entry. 

Okay, so you can’t literally hang a sign that says “Do Not Enter,” but you can install a simple login lockdown that will limit the number of login attempts, as well as a login that expires after a period of inactivity. You can also require two-factor authentication before logging in and remove the login link from the theme.

Tip #2: What’s the password? 

Your username should, of course, be something other than the default, and your password should be complex. It’s also wise to change your password on a regular basis for added strength.

Tip #3: Call for backup. 

Never rely on only one method of backup. Be sure to backup your website on a regular basis, download it and store it on a local machine. By backing up your website once a day, you’ll only lose one day’s data if something were to happen. 

Tip #4: Stay up-to-date. 

This one is twofold. First, stay up-to-date on the latest news in website security to know when to take extra precaution. Second, be sure that your software is up-to-date, and when you receive an update, take action immediately.

Tip #5: Be prepared to act.

If you’ve done everything you can, and your website is still hacked, it’s important that you know how to handle the situation. For instance, resist the temptation to delete evidence that might be used to track down the source of the compromise. Secure all computers that are accessing the account, and change passwords.

It’s a lot; we know. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Luckily, that’s why we’re here. For more tips on managing and securing your website, or simply to get your website started, give us a call today.

 

Okay. We should probably go check on Hayley now to see how that mental breakdown is going…