Posts Tagged :

security

4 Best Practices To Protect Your Website From Hackers

150 150 Andrew Broberg

Hackers do not choose which website to hack, though this is what people choose to believe. Even if your website is not a big one, there is still a great chance that it will get hacked. In fact, you are most likely to be a good target for hackers because of this false belief. Even if you have a small business, keeping your guards down is not an option. No matter the size, regardless of time, your website gets hacked all the time.

When talking about hacking, the first thing that comes to mind is stealing data or defacing the website. However, these are not the only types of security breaches taking place on the World Wide Web. There are also devious attempts to turn your server into a temporary server for illegal files or an email relay for sending spam. Your website can be protected from suspicious activities and there are 4 ways to keep it secure.

1. Make sure your software is updated

Your website should run on up-to-date software to ensure that it is impervious to cyber attacks. Running updates regularly will help you to identify if your website is supported by the most recent version of the software. Even if you are using third-party plug-ins, you need to keep information updated and implement them in a timely manner. It is easy to forget about keeping your third-party plug-ins updated, but outdated plug-ins can pose a serious threat to your website. It can even become a gateway for hackers to destroy your website.

2. Install antivirus

Malicious attacks happen when you do not reinforce security around your website. Aside from installing antivirus, it is also important to install firewall. They can sift out malicious requests, inspect incoming traffic and protect your website from spam. A web host provider that has the ability to handle website security threats must be considered. It is also recommended to choose a dedicated hosting server so you can prevent attacks due to sharing your server with multiple websites.

3. Switch to HTTPS

Sensitive information cannot be transferred from an unsecured server. This is why switching to HTTPS or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure ensures you have a secure communications protocol. It ensures that there is an additional encryption called Transport Layer Security (TLS), which serves as extra security from hackers. More often than not, e-commerce websites have layers of encryptions so online transactions are protected.

4. Use strong passwords

One way hackers attack is by guessing username/password combinations. There is an alarming rise of attacks in the last two years. It is prevalent across the globe. Brute force attacks can be eliminated by creating strong passwords. A strong password is a combination of alphanumeric characters, symbols, upper and lower case letters. It should be at least 12 characters long. As much as possible, you should not use the password for all website logins. Make it a habit to change your passwords regularly as well.

How To Choose The Right Web Host To Boost Your Marketing Efforts

150 150 Andrew Broberg

Website owners have many reasons for creating a website and one of the most common ones is for marketing purposes. With a website, you will be able to increase brand awareness as customers will be able to find you. It is also through your website that you can showcase what you can offer to customers and why prospects should choose you. Once you create your website, you will be confronted by many decisions including the design and functionality, content and even search engine optimisation. Aside from these elements, business owner must also focus on actual hosting.

As you do your research and discover relevant information, there are other aspects of web hosting that you need to keep in mind. With that said, comparing apples with apples is essential.

Uptime and Security Guarantee

When it comes to selecting the right website host, you should find out what the hosting company’s uptime guarantee is. Customers do not like to experience an error message or blank screen every time they visit your website. Choose companies that can guarantee an uptime of at least 99%. Aside from uptime guarantee, you should also take security guarantee into consideration. With data breach and cyber attacks being a huge issue these days, businesses must add layers of protection to protect websites from being the next target. It is also imperative to protect customers’ information such as email addresses, credit card numbers and passwords.

Back Up For Site Content

You may encounter problems, which may result in deleting important data from your website. Whether it is caused by a hacking issue or a mistake from your end, having a hosting company that ensures your data is backed up should be your priority. Although the process can also be done without the web hosting company’s assistance, you may not have enough time at your disposal to handle the task on a daily basis.

Scalable Plan

As your business grows, the company you sign up for must also have the ability to scale with you. A hosting provider with different levels of service on offer enables you to upgrade over time. It will also be a huge help if you choose providers that will allow you to change plans without charging any exit or cancellation fees. There are companies that give you options to change up or down based on your needs. If you need more bandwidth, an upgrade should not cost you an arm and a leg.

Customer Support

Your website may not always be up and running and a reliable customer support that you can get a hold of 24 hours a day is essential. A customer representative who can get any problems sorted out quickly will prevent any issues, which may take place while you are having an ad run or send an email newsletter.

Why Should Small Businesses Invest in Good Web Hosting Service?

150 150 Andrew Broberg

Many businesses have difficulties surviving as they do not know they are getting hacked. Without web hosting knowledge, you will miss the opportunity to grow your business. Even if you only have a few employees, it does not mean that you should skimp on getting a good web hosting service. It is important to increase your awareness of web hosting so you will know the features and providers that can give you great value for money.

Reasons for investing in good web hosting service:

Downtime means loss of sales. If your website is under attack due to poor levels of security or always experiencing frequent downtime, visitors will not hesitate to close your web page and opt for a better service else where. Having a website which is growth-oriented means you choose a provider that goes the extra mile when it comes to ensuring that your website will always be up and running most of the time.

Choosing the right web host service is a critical decision. Aside from the downtime percentage, it is also important for a web host service to have remote backups. Security is also an important factor to take into consideration. Since cybercrime is becoming prevalent these days, many businesses can lose money each day due to the absence of online backups.

You can protect your business against costly mistakes by ensuring that your web host has the right speed and efficiency. This means that your provider should have advanced features and high levels of security to keep cyber attacks at bay.

You can also reduce cost by making sure that your content management systems are updated. A dedicated server is also the best way to go as it minimises the risk of cyber attack. When backing up your backups, it should be on different servers and different machines. However, every business needs to be aware that these backups are not completely immune to attacks. There are many cases when backups have been hacked. If this happens, you totally lose control of your website. Websites need to be secure to avoid chronic downtime. This way, the risk of web hosting companies losing websites will be prevented or minimised.

Businesses should be aware when their DNS is being controlled. They should know if it is being handled by a third party, hosting company or the registrar. A web hosting company that can detect a problem with your website will also help you avoid any mistakes that can hurt your business in the future.

4 Signs Your Web Hosting Service Is Hurting Your Business

150 150 Andrew Broberg

Your website represents your business and to drive traffic to the site and attract customers, choosing a web hosting service that offers excellent performance is a must. To small businesses, choosing a reliable web hosting service can be a bit of a challenge. Instead of focusing on the features, many businesses give importance to the service cost.

Cutting corners may be an option for start ups, but this is not a valid excuse when your online reputation is suffering. If your website experiences frequent down time, it can result in poor customer experience. There are 4 ways bad web hosting service can affect your business:

Your website makes a bad first impression

On average, a website may take 6 seconds to load. If customers have to wait more than 6 seconds, they will either visit another site or close out your web page. You need to make a good first impression when trying to attract potential customers. If your website is image and video-laden, a strong web hosting service is the best way to go. The wrong web hosting service can deter your customer from doing business with you.

Your website is prone to cyber attack

Being a victim of cyber attack is costly and stressful. You do not only invest your precious time in creating a website but your money as well. Having weak web hosting means your website is vulnerable to any kind of attacks. You will need high levels of security to keep hackers at bay. E-commerce websites choose web hosting providers that have the ability to keep the site secure and protected against cyber intruders. When choosing a web hosting service provider, ask about the steps they will take in the event your website information is compromised.

Your website gets penalised

A server that is frequently down can have a negative effect on your business as search engines impose penalties on websites with frequent web host problems. A web host service provider with high downtime percentage can make your website suffer. If you want to prevent penalties in website search rankings, choose a web host with a high uptime percentage.

You miss out on potential leads

Regardless of implementing an effective ad campaign, blog post, social media campaign and promotional offer, you will miss out ondriving traffic to your site if you have a low-quality web host. An unreliable web host can result in missing out on potential leads. Search for a web host that can steadily handle traffic.

4 Cyber Security Threats Every Organisation Must Be Aware Of

150 150 Andrew Broberg

Small businesses that hold on to the belief that cyber criminals only target large companies are exposing themselves to great danger. Cyber threats target everyone and with that said, small businesses are no exception. In fact, experts encourage small businesses to create high levels of security to prevent loss of assets.

Falling victim to cyber attacks is costly. For small businesses, it can break the bank. Cyber threats come in various forms. Educating employees about the risk factors can help decrease the possibility of a threat.

So how do you secure your organisation against cyber security threats? It is essential to be aware of the common types of cyber attacks so you can avoid situations which may put your organisation at risk.

Malware

Malware is a broad term and any machine can get infected once it is installed on a machine. How do you protect your machine against spyware, adware, ransomware and Trojans? Businesses should invest in anti-virus technology to prevent these viruses from taking hold. Even operating systems must also have firmware and firewalls. However, organisations should be aware that these services must  be kept up to date. Outdated services cannot protect your machine against threats.

Internal Threats

Small businesses also face one of the largest cyber security threats and these internal threats can seriously affect internal systems. It is important to take safety measures to reduce these risks. For instance, employees that have already resigned should no longer have access to sensitive files. Having tools that have the ability to track privileged accounts can also prevent malicious activity.

Lack cyber security awareness

Human error is also a problem to most small businesses. It is important for employees to obtain basic level of cyber security knowledge. If employees lack knowledge about different types of cyber security threats, they will be easily convinced to provide their user information and password once a spear phishing email is received. Since you are not always present to monitor your employees’ activities, raising their awareness can make a great difference.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Unsecure mobile devices that access or share company data increase the likelihood of data theft. Many small businesses are embracing BYOD technology, but without knowledge about the security policy, unsecured devices may carry malicious applications that will be able to bypass security. As a result, network within the company can be easily accessed. A defined BYOD policy must be put in place so employees’s expectations are set regarding proper use of devices.

Online Security: Why The Old Tricks Are No Longer Working

150 150 Andrew Broberg

The Internet has taught us an important lesson about online security especially with the most recent global attack. Regardless of your preparation to combat these attacks, the Internet is becoming a nightmare as you have to look over your shoulder and wait for the hackers to strike. Even simple online activities such as checking your emails or reading the news have never been made easy because the digital predators are always on the look out.

Are we really prepared for the worst?

When you are greeted by a ransomware demanding money so you can regain access to your device, the steps you take are never enough. As technology continues to show signs of progress, hackers are also going the extra mile to breach online security. Changing passwords on a regular basis ensuring that they are hard to guess is a cliche but it works nevertheless. However, to keep your data secure, you need to think and act fast.

These days, two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security to online accounts. With its layer of protection, gaining access to your account becomes a challenge to online intruders. Although this is a clever way to keep hackers at bay, this method has been completely busted.

The two-factor authentication sends random codes via SMS to ensure that only account holders can gain access to the account. Unfortunately, hackers have already exploited this method as they have control over redirecting SMS messages to any mobile device they want. This is done via telephone signaling protocols.

Another way in which security can be compromised is when you are using Virtual Private Networks (VPN). How does VPN work? Your online data is encrypted and run through their own server. VPN protects you from hackers as they cannot see what you are doing. Although this idea is appealing to Internet users, there are VPN services that provide a less secure network. The situation even becomes more challenging because it is difficult to tell which VPN is considered legit.

However, this does not mean we should let the attacks happen as we can still do something about it. There is a caveat though: it is no easy task. Fear and paranoia may just save us from hackers. Digital literacy is going to play an important role in providing layers of protection.

Why Is Security Essential In Web Hosting?

150 150 Andrew Broberg

If you have a website for business or personal purposes, you need to make sure that your level of security is not left unchecked. Hackers are lurking in every virtual corner and sometimes, it is already too late before you discover that your website has been a victim of cyber intruders. Many crimes are committed on the Internet and these are costly crimes especially for people who are building a website to do business. The first thing you have to consider when searching for a web host is the level of security they can provide. For fledgling companies, opting for free web hosting services may be a viable option. However, as the company grows, tighter security should be in place.

As you store sensitive data, you cannot afford to let your guard down. Many website owners have been looking over their shoulders because of data breaches. It is a growing problem because the Internet is accessible to everyone. While it is the most convenient way to conduct business, there is still an increased concern with security.

If credit card payment is one of your payment options, you need to give your customers peace of mind by ensuring that confidential credit card information is kept secure.

Reasons to protect your site

There are two types of people that can potentially harm your website. One can steal your identity and the other can hack sensitive information that may affect your website’s functionality. These people are like thief in the night. They can steal information just when you least expect it. Robust security is essential to every website. This is why you need to evaluate the security features  before you choose a web hosting company.

Robust security is essential to combat various security issues especially for e-commerce websites. If you are searching for a web hosting company, make sure you check if they provide the following:

  • Backups-In the event of a problem, backups are going to protect your data. Although you can do this yourself, your host service provider has sound back up processes. Ask your service provider how often they back up their servers. You should also check the method they use.
  • Server Maintenance- The server should also be maintained to make sure that attacks are minimised. A host with a published security protocol is the way to go. It is an indication that they are regularly performing patches and upgrades.
  • SSL- Secure Sockets Layer has the ability to provide an encrypted path between the server and the browser. You will know if your website is utilising an SSL certificate if a locked padlock symbol on the address bar appears. This means sensitive information such as your credit card numbers, name and other personal information are kept secure.

4 Common Hosting Problems You May Face As A Customer

150 150 Andrew Broberg

Many businesses have been taking extra steps to improve their online presence. However, there are some obstacles that can hamper your website’s progress such as hosting problems. If you do not have enough information about web hosting, you will find it difficult to identify the best hosting facility for your needs. When choosing a web hosting service, it is important to be aware of the common problems associated with web hosting service. Being aware of these problems will help you keep away from them so you can find the best hosting service possible.

1. Low Level of Security

Some web hosting companies do not have the ability to provide high levels of security to ensure that your data will be protected from cyber intruders. As a result, your website becomes vulnerable to data breaches. There are some hosting services that may also provide you a false sense of security. A web hosting business needs to have more and more customers to run successfully. This will only be possible if you have delivered what you have promised. When your web hosting company provide high levels of security to customers, your customers will build confidence in your web hosting company.

2. Speed and Navigation Issues

Fast navigation is essential to drive more traffic to your website. This website owners should choose the web hosting service that has the ability to increase the speed of the website. Users will not dedicate their time on websites that take long time to load. The number of users visiting your website can affect your business. Make sure you go for websites with optimised speeds so prevent delays in website navigation.

3. Getting Less Than What You Have Paid For

They say that quality comes at price, but what if you are paying more but getting less? Some web hosting companies are overcharging customers, but not delivering the results promised. The web hosting company should provide you the required bandwidth based on your needs. If they cannot meet your needs, you have to choose a better web hosting service.

4. Not Resolving Hosting Problem Right Away

A few minutes of going offline can have a negative effect on your business. When a web hosting company does not have a sense of urgency to resolve problems, you can lose money in the long run. You need to be aware about the support that the web hosting company provides. Find out if the company offers 24x7x365 days support.

Should eCommerce Websites Run On HTTPS?

150 150 Andrew Broberg

Security is considered paramount in the digital age.

Security issues can compromise your website. Ecommerce websites are not the only ones that should be using HTTPS. Websites that run on HTTP are more vulnerable to data breaches and cyber attacks. Considering the number of breach in security, websites should start embracing HTTPS.

Why would you consider using HTTPS?

HTTPS secures three elements: encryption, data integrity, and authentication. If you are still using HTTP, third parties can easily inject malicious content to your website without your knowledge. It can have a serious impact on your brand image and may even put your business at risk as a result.

In 2014, many websites have switched to HTTPS with a percentage of 55%. In 2016, the adoption increased to 79% as more and more website owners are concerned about their level of security. Aside from security, people who have made the switch consider HTTPS as a viable platform for meeting customer expectations.

Setting Up HTTPS

HTTPS and SSL work hand in hand to provide an encrypted standard for website-client communication. SSL serves as a door keeper. You cannot enter a building unless you hand your ID to the door keeper. This means that SSL will verify that your license is legit before you can get inside.

The process of setting up HTTPS:

1. Purchase and register an SSL certificate from an SSL provider;

2. Be sure to register the SSL certificate in the name of the website;

3. Verify whether or not the website is legitimate by working with the SSL provider.

You purchase SSL certificates on a yearly basis.  As a rule of thumb, you need to successfully install SSL  certificate on your website to establish HTTPS connections.

Do eCommerce websites really need an SSL certificate?

Ecommerce websites usually require HTTPS and SSL certificates.

1.  Consumers prefer websites using HTTPS especially for credit card payments. Online retailers that provide a secure way of accepting credit card payments give customers greater peace of mind. Running on HTTPS ensures that your website treats information with confidentiality. As a result, more and more customers trust your website.

2. Businesses are expected to follow legal requirements or privacy regulations.

Using third party payment system such as Paypal spares your website from using HTTPS and purchasing SSL. All transactions that you run through a third party shopping cart, which is hosted on a different website will no longer require you to purchase your own SSL certificate.

In general, there is a greater chance that a prospective buyer will commit to choosing your company if your website is secure or using HTTPS. SEO wise, Google favors sites that utilise HTTPS, which can have a slight effect on the sites’ ranking.