As part of an ongoing commitment to our customers, security is a major priority. Maintaining your site is of utmost concern when it comes to security. We take great care to make sure plugins and themes are updated and upgraded often to prevent hackers from exploiting weak code. We also backup files on a regular basis and store the backups in a secure location. While this helps to ensure the safety of your site there are some general security procedures that we use and recommend for our customers to practice as well.
It may sound simple, but an easy way to prevent an attack is by having a good password. What defines a good password? A secure password needs to be at least 9 characters long and should include letters, numbers, random capitalization, and punctuation. For example:
Random Password Generator
A great way to get a good password is to use a random password generator. On Mac, the Keychain has a random password generator built-in. There are also plenty of sites that can generate a password, such as Symantec’s PC Tools Secure Password Generator.
Norton recommends “Don’t answer ‘yes’ when prompted to save your password to a particular computer’s browser. Instead, rely on a strong password committed to memory or stored in a dependable password management program” that encrypts the passwords.
For OS X, the Keychain encrypts these passwords, but there are other encryption software applications. If nothing else, keep your passwords in something like a notebook, so there is no digital trace.
If a site requires you to create security questions, stay away from questions that have answers that would be considered public information. Some examples include:
- What is your mother’s maiden name?
- What high school did you go to?
- What is your pet’s name?
This information can be located on the internet with ease by any hacker that has only a little bit of information; such as your first and last name. It is better to use questions with personal answers such as:
- What is your favorite color?
- What was your childhood nickname?
- What was the name of your first stuffed animal?
For more security questions you should and shouldn’t use, check this out.
Be aware of the security of your internet connection. If you use a WiFi connection make sure that it is secure. Using a public WiFi connection such as an unprotected network in your neighborhood or Starbucks’ WiFi leaves you at risk to everyone on that network. When traveling, we recommend using a virtual private network (VPN).
Personal Information and Antivirus software
Most of all, limit the amount of personal information that you put on a computer. Just because you put it in a program that doesn’t go on the internet doesn’t mean it is safe from hackers. By using your computer to access the internet, your entire computer is potentially vulnerable. This is why it is important to have antivirus software installed on your computer.
For business, it is well worth the investment to purchase software, however there are some good free alternatives as well. For Windows, we recommend Windows Security Essentials or AVG and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but includes critical information we think you should start with. Thank you for spending the time to inform yourself and for taking the steps to ensure you and your business’ safety.
If you have any comments or questions, please comment below.