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Five Simple Website Safety Tips

Google, Microsoft, and The New York Times are just a few of many big names that have suffered notable security breaches in recent times.  Hacking has become an industry all its own and there is a lot of money to be made for unscrupulous characters who are good at it.  While there is a good chance your website is safe and secure, there is also the possibility that it is vulnerable and open to a wide range of threats.  Unfortunately, many new customers have the presumption that just because they have signed up with a well known web hosting firm, they are automatically protected from a security breach.  They believe that the host will handle all the security measures while they sit back and simply maintain their website.  It is this type of thinking that could make you an easy victim.  In fact, your best defense against a security breach involves taking the necessary measures to protect yourself.

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A Little Common Sense Goes a Long

While many security software solutions exist, some of the best ways to defend yourself can be summed up to applying common sense.  Here are five simple tips to help keep your website safe and secure:

1.) Smart E-commerce – If you plan to sale goods or services through a shopping cart, make sure that the software used is properly figured and secured.  If you do not possess this knowledge, bring someone on board who does.

2.) Password Protection – Use strong passwords for all of your website applications that require a login.  This goes for everything from your control panel to CMS software.  A good rule of thumb is to use a combination of numbers, letters and symbols, in addition to never using something that others can associate with you for a password.

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3.) Monitor Your Server Logs – By checking your server logs on a regular basis, you may be able to identify strange or unusual activity.  Because knowing what to look for can be difficult, many software solutions exist that will do the job for you.  These programs analyze your log files and automatically send alerts if strange behavior is detected.

4.) Update Your Web Applications – An outdated web application is one of the most vulnerable points of a website.  Hackers are constantly working on new ways to compromise security so if your applications are not up to date, you could be exploited.  Also keep in mind that most updates consist of critical upgrades that address known security issues.

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5.) Backup Your Website – Because no website is ever 100% secure, it would be wise to frequently backup your site and all the files its contains.  Don’t overlook this.  Not only do hackers target websites, but entire web servers.  If the server your site resides on is compromised, you could possibly lose everything you worked so hard to build.  Regular backups give you the assurance that your website data can be restored should a disaster occur.  Be sure to keep a copy of your backup in a location other than your hard drive just in case ill fate happens to strike your computer.

1 comment
  1. Green Hosting Services
    Green Hosting Services
    January 5, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Excellent tips! Periodically we see a customer’s site get hacked which is normally due to running old software or using a weak password. If you’re running any type of open source software on your website make sure it is up-to-date and always use strong passwords… change them every 6 months.

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