Keep your website secure or suffer the consequences

23 Jul 2018

Currently, we live in a pretty advanced technological age. We can interact with people hundreds of miles away via email, we can share memories with family members via social media and we have the capability to purchase pretty much anything online. These technological advances do come at a cost. Having a website to promote your business or sell your products does leave you vulnerable to cyber attacks and hacks. When this does happen it isn’t like a scene out of a big budget film, a few taps on a keyboard can’t magically restore your website and in most cases, your entire business.

What can you do to make sure you don’t end up falling victim to an attack?

Keep your plugins updated

Most sites use plugins to run certain features. These plugins are innocent and help your website function. However, these plugins can sometimes become outdated and replaced with a new version. The new version of your plugins will be totally up to date and secure, that’s not the problem. Leaving an older version on the plugin active on your website will leave it open to security vulnerabilities. If you’re not sure what to update, having a support retainer with Geonet Solutions is the perfect solution. Every month, our developers will make sure your website plugins are kept up to date and are totally secure.

Get an SSL certificate

We’ve talked about SSL before in a past blog, but by now, with the upcoming changes to Chrome, you should have an SSL certificate on your website. You really don’t want credit card info, passwords and other sensitive customer information accessible. Without a valid SSL, your customers are put at risk every time they visit your site.  Making sure that your customer data is secure is paramount, especially after the implementation of the GDPR.

Backup your website

A no-brainer really. If you have access to your hosting and website files, we would recommend you make regular backups of your site, some hosting providers will keep a backup for you, but it is always good to have your own. If you’re not technically savvy, as part of a support retainer, the team at Geonet can make regular backups of your website so you never have to worry about missing a backup.

Update your website

This sounds like the most costly solution, but in the long run, it really isn’t. Imagine if your website has been hacked and you have now lost your main source of income. Straight away you are losing money without even trying to fix the problem if customers can’t use your website to purchase or enquire, you are losing valuable custom already. You’ve got a backup, brilliant, but how old is the backup, if your backup is a few weeks out of date you will lose anything you have uploaded. You will then spend time and money trying to recreate your lost website, further losing you money. Now here’s the real kicker. Your website will probably get hacked pretty much straight away, again. Your backup will be a backup of a vulnerable system, just restoring the old website won’t update your security, you will still have the same flaws to be taken advantage of. You will be back to square one and still losing money.

The best solution? A fully updated website design and CMS. Now we’re not saying that you need to get a new website every other month, but we recommend that you should be looking at an overhaul every 3 years. Not only will a new website give you a fresh new look, it will be built with the newest design and development methods, it will be secure and built with the newest CMS and plugins and it will also help with your organic rankings.

How old is your website? Be totally honest, can you really afford to lose your website? If you think that your website could do with both a refresh and a security update, contact the team at Hush to arrange a meeting.