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Does Your Website Use the Appropriate Contraceptives?

Over the past 12 to 18 months, I’ve seen a spike in sites being hacked. Now that being said, I want to be clear that this isn’t on the scale of an epidemic… yet. But, there have certainly been more incidences of redirects and other malicious mischief. Fortunately, as far as we know, it hasn’t gone further than that. (It’s also on an upswing on social media – seems like every day someone’s sending messages about their account being hacked.)

Your website is one of the most important tools – arguably the most important – in your business’s brand effectiveness. Are you protecting it appropriately?

How Do You Practice Safe Web?

Before we get into that, a disclaimer.

The only way to be 100% safe from malware and hackers is to abstain from having a website. If you are going to have a site, the correct and consistent use of security measures can help protect you from many of these attacks, including a hacked website. These measures also help reduce the risk of unplanned redirects to adults-only sites. You often can’t tell if a website is infected just by looking at it. It’s up to you to protect yourself.

OK, PSA delivered. Now, there are several things you can do to protect your website.

  1. Go with a solid hosting provider who offers a robust suite of site and domain tools and security packages. And maybe more importantly, choose a hosting partner who offers live, 24/7/365 phone support. See Does Your Hosting Provider Serve Up the Gold Standard in Products and Service?
  2. Install an SSL. SSL certificates provide a clear message to visitors – that your site is trustworthy and authentic. In addition, if you don’t have one you’ll be dinged by search engines. You’ll be the kid with a nasty sore on their lip sitting on the side of the dance floor being looked at suspiciously and ignored by everyone.
  3. Install the most robust security package your partner provides. You’ll want to make sure that plan includes:
    • Expedited clean up in the event of an attack
    • Blacklist monitoring and removal
    • Unlimited malware removal and hack repair
    • A WAF – Web Application Firewall – to intercept and inspect incoming data and automatically reject malicious code
    • DDoS protection (Denial of Service) caused by unwanted automated site traffic
    • Brute force protection – no, not unwanted physical contact from politicians, but almost as bad – to prevent an application testing your site continuously until it finds a way in
  4. Set up a site backup plan that does an automated daily backup of your site, so in the event something slips through and infects your site, you can, at the very least roll it back to a clean state.
  5. Regularly check your site’s dashboard and the security dashboard in your hosting account. If you don’t have the time to do so on at least a monthly basis, hire an agency or staff person to do it for you. This is critical.

If your hosting partner doesn’t offer these coverages, don’t wait on them to add the products. Transfer your site and domain to a hosting partner who does provide them. Again see, Does Your Hosting Provider Serve Up the Gold Standard in Products and Service?

So… there are the website facts of life. Be smart about who you partner with and you’ll all feel good about things in the morning. If you are with a host that falls short, give LeftBrainRightBrain a call and we’ll help get you set up with a solid partner.