From email attacks phishing for personal information to e-commerce attacks that extract credit card numbers and even ransomware attacks that hold your computer “hostage” until you pay the hacker to release your data – a hack is a hack.
A recent survey by Manta found that 87% of small business owners did not feel they were at risk of getting hacked, but the data proves otherwise:
- 43% of all cyberattacks in 2015 targeted small businesses (Symantec 2016 Internet Security Report)
- Attacks on websites were up 32% in 2016 (Google State of Website Security in 2016 report)
- 60% of small businesses that are hacked go bankrupt within six months of the cyberattack (source: U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance)
- 1 in 3 small businesses have no security safeguards in place to protect them from attacks (Manta)
No business is too small to be hacked. Are you doing what it takes to protect yours?
SAFEGUARD YOUR SITE
The first thing to remember is that keeping your website safe from attacks will be an ongoing process. Prevention is key.
Here are four safeguards to start with.
1. Web Host
Your web host is responsible for storing (aka hosting) all the content – your files, images, posts, etc.. – that make up your website on their computers (called servers). The hosting company’s job is to keep their servers – and therefore your site – up and running. In short, they store your website and make sure it is visible your visitors.
Since your website “lives” on your web host’s server, your very first website security measure starts with choosing a reputable, trustworthy web host. Your web host should have the highest security protocols installed and regularly updated on their servers to protect your website.
When choosing a web host, look for services that go above and beyond just storing you website. Look for features like site backups and around the clock support team. After all, your web host is the foundation of your website security.
KartHost™ offers elite web hosting services, including 6x daily backups, Karnatical support, top of the line malware scanning, a 30-day money guarantee and so much more.
Having a secure password is crucial. Not only are hackers getting smarter, but for some reason internet users continue to be uneducated and/or lazy when it comes to creating passwords. Can you believe the most common password is “123456”? A hacker can crack that password (and any password six characters or fewer) in less time than it took you to read this sentence. Hackers start with randomly guessing common passwords and sequential characters, like above and then try words and phrases that are familiar to the victim, like family’s names, local sports teams & addresses. Then there’s the super sophisticated programs that scan and scramble combinations of text until your password is revealed to these unwanted guests.
Complexity = security when it comes to passwords. Here are some guidelines when creating a strong password:
- Use a minimum of 9+ characters (we recommend 14+)
- Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, punctuation, numbers & symbols
- Do not use the same password for more than one online account
- Do not using sequential numbers (123 or 987 for example)
- Do not use personal information
Sound overwhelming? Don’t worry, we have created an eBook with an easy to follow guide on how to create (and remember) a unique, complex password:
Using the same password for multiple logins online, you know like email accounts, banking/credit card accounts, social networking sites, is another big no no.
3. Stay Up To Date
This may be the most obvious, but also the most overlooked safeguard out there. Using outdated versions of software, internet browsers, content management systems (CMS), plug-ins etc… increases your risk of being hacked. Developers are constantly looking for weaknesses and vulnerabilities in their products, and when they find any they fix it and send an update out to correct any issues. Similarly, hackers are always looking to exploit those vulnerabilities and access information. Check for software updates often, or even set up automatic updates when possible. This also applies to your devices.
Prior to installing the updates we also recommend you back up your information. When it comes to CMS updates, if you have our Managed WordPress Hosting we do them for you, including all core updates, plugins and security screenings.
4. Only Open Trusted Emails & Downloads
Hackers are getting better at replicating emails that look like they are legitimately from banks, retail stores and other places you may conduct business. Be very cautious when opening email attachments and filling out any requests for personal data you may receive.
Use HTTPS on your site & check for it when using the web, especially if you are asked to provide personal information. KartHost™ provides a free SSL Certificate to all our hosting clients.