Don’t get hacked

Website maintenance and security is more important now than ever. Google has detected a 180% increase in websites being hacked in 2015 – a serious increase. Breaches of networks at retailers like Target and Michaels, along with the Heartbleed security gap made software vulnerable to spying and online theft. On May 21, eBay wrote a blog post asking all its users to change their passwords “because of a cyberattack that compromised a database containing encrypted passwords and other nonfinancial data.”

Many business owners started off with a simple website that was built years ago and may have operated without problems for many years. As times and technology change, so do the threats. A hands-off approach to website management is simply not a good strategy, as many of these hacking and malware threats can do more damage than simply crash your site. Compromised customer information, hacked company email accounts, email or website blacklisting, or a complete crash of your website are just a few of the problems that can occur.

Ever get a spammy email supposedly from someone you know? It’s likely that the server that hosts their email had malicious code injected into it – probably through a security hole.

What can you do?

The two most important things you can do is keep your website software up to date, and use strong passwords. Many companies force users to change their password on a regular basis, and website software updates are needed every month for most sites.

Can you live without your website for a few days if it crashes? Some companies can. But can you live without your email? Most companies cannot. Guess what – if your email is hosted in the same place as your website, you will not have access to email if your site goes down. More on that here.

If their site does go down, most clients call their “web guy” to fix it, but it’s actually cheaper to prevent issues than it is to repair the damage done. While there is no way to guarantee your website’s security, preventative measures are your best bet to keep it and your email accounts running smoothly.