Security is such a big issue in our world. We are always striving to make sure our families are secure, there are people who make it their job to keep our country secure, but what about our businesses? As business owners, we also need to make sure that not just our storefronts have security but our “online brick and mortar” has a security system in place. It can be overlooked because it is a website, but the security of that can be the difference between generating new customers, or having to start over again if it gets hacked.
I don’t say this to get you running to your website developer (or yourself if you created your website) and ask to check if you are hacked, because in all honesty, you are probably good. Implementing some strategies and tips, though, can keep your website safe and secure in the future and let you get back to running the business you love!
Here are my 5 top security plug-ins/tips to get make sure your website is as awesome as your home alarm system!
Passwords. This one may sound simple, but when was the last time you changed your passwords or made them so hard you forgot them? When you create a password, it has to be complicated in order to ensure that no one else could ever figure it out. Long gone are the days of when “yourname123”–or anything that people could guess because they found your FB profile and saw your dog’s name is X–is an acceptable password. The best tip I have is to have the password generated so that it is absolutely nothing you can remember or guess. Well, how can you do this and have a secure place to store all these crazy passwords? Let’s move on to tip number 2… 🙂
Last Pass. Last Pass is a FREE website platform where not only are you able to create an account that stores and saves all your important website passwords, it also has a free password generated so that you can create those crazy passwords and store them, all in the same place! This platform not only is great for your passwords to the backend of your website but honestly any site you have a password for. Who has time to go look for the book you created with all of the passwords you ever used? I know I do not, so this is a great free option to really start to secure all your online data, not just your website info!
Captcha on the backend. So for those who are using a self-hosted website platform like WordPress, it is really a good idea to have a Captcha on the login page on the backend. Captcha is simply a program or system intended to distinguish human from machine input. It’s a way of thwarting spam and automated extraction of data from websites and unwarranted logins. We normally put these on the forms on our websites, but on self-hosted platforms, having them on the backend login can make a world of difference! When looking for one, I would research the platform your on, so for example, on WordPress there are many options of these in the form of a plug-in, you simply pick the one you want (I recommend Better WordPress reCAPTCHA) and then install it. Some ask you to obtain an API, and if that is the case, follow the steps to the website you need to go to, for the reCaptcha plugin that can be found here, and then add them to the plugin in WordPress!
Back Up Often. For managed platforms like Squarespace and Wix, you do not need to worry about this. Your latest information is backed up for you. You can always export the data if you need to, but that is the point of a managed web platform–they take care of updates for you. For the self-hosted platforms, though, it is a best practice to backup your site on a monthly basis. This ensures that your website information is up-to-date in case you ever have to restore it. I do not say this to scare you, but if something were to happen to your website tomorrow, would you be able to restore it easily with minor fixes, or would it be a complete re-build because you never backed it up? Just like your cell-phone that asks you to back up so you don’t lose your crazy awesome photos and videos, the same goes for websites that are hosted on self-hosted platforms. Don’t know if your website is stored on a self-hosted platform? Well, here is a quick breakdown of the most popular platforms and if you need to backup your website or not:
WordPress (both .com and .org) – Yes
GoDaddy – Yes
Weebly – Yes
Wix – No
SquareSpace – No
Check Analytics. Analytics are great for finding out how people are coming to your website. They are also great for tracking goals, figuring out how the ad spend is going and down right letting you fist pump as you see your numbers increase. Did you know it’s a great way to see if your website is vulnerable? You can do this a number of ways, but if you have google analytics set up, I love to first check the countries that are coming to my website. If there is a red flag that goes off with a specific country that doesn’t make sense I dig deeper to see where they are going and what not. I then go to my Google Webmasters Tools and click the “security issues” tab and see if they have detected anything. This will give you a good picture through another party on if your website is having an issues!
If you do not know or have not set up a Google Webmasters Tools account, simply click here and follow the instructions to verify you own the website!
With more and more services and products being offered online, it makes sense that we are able to not only stand out in the crowd but also protect the crowd and ourselves from being the victims of a web hack!
These simple yet important tips can help keep your business’s website be secure online and help prevent any future instances from occurring. If these tasks are not something you enjoy doing but know the importance of them, it is ok to outsource these things too to make sure that you are doing what you can to protect your online “brick and mortar”!
Nicole is a small business + confidence coach with a background in marketing. Her experience in marketing started out in 2008 and has evolved as the industry has changed over those years. She love all things that deal with your brand and getting your message out into the world through the online marketing. She believes that attracting the right customers to your website through strategic intentional content marketing is how you can achieve your own version of success! Learn more about Nicole at her website.