ARE YOU AT RISK?

Even in a small business, the answer is YES!

An SBS Insight television episode discussed cyber security with some very sophisticated attacks being investigated.

It would be easy to think you will not be targeted unless you are running a large enterprise.

The reality is with more businesses being online and more of us now working from home we can be vulnerable to the increasing incidence of cyber-attacks.

Individuals and small businesses are definitely targets.

Sometimes the attack is by an individual person though more often it is an automated system that simply finds a weakness by trawling many, many sites.

Honestly – Some of the large multinationals spend huge amounts of money on their systems and still experience problems.

Recently Google’s “Threat Analysis Group” discovered another attack on their browser (Chrome)

(Google is aware that an exploit for CVE-2022-1364 exists in the wild.)

The obvious question is

WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?

There are a number of things worth checking to reduce the risk. Whist the following information does not cover every possibility these options will greatly improve your security.

Secure Hosting

Ensure your website is hosted by a reputable company that has a good security record. Once again there are no guarantees, choosing a company that has security as a priority is a wise decision.

There are a number of well-known, reliable hosting companies.

At Neat Websites, we use Siteground which, from our experience, we can highly recommend.

HTTPS – and SSL Certificate

When a website is initially created the prefix is HTTP which means the site is not secure. To create a secure online connection the site needs to have an SSL Certificate.

Once installed the site URL will display a locked padlock.

Here are the two alternatives :

Surprisingly the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia is not a secure site – I guess they think “nobody is going to interfere with the weather reports”

The browser even states “Not Secure”

Neat Websites does have the SSL Certificate (of course)

You can see the locked padlock

Some hosting companies provide the SSL Certificate at no cost others will incur a small charge.

Your webmaster, the company building or looking after your website, will arrange this installation.

Passwords

passwords, how to protect passwords, Neat Websites

It is very important to have secure passwords.

In today’s world, we have numerous passwords and it’s very tempting to use the same password for everything.

Simple advice – DON’T

A mix of letters, upper and lower case, along with numbers and symbols is recommended for a secure password.

This is an easy step in security ignored by many people..

Passwords were the subject of a previous post which you can read here :

neatwebsites.com.au/how-to-protect-your-passwords

Keep a record of your passwords in whatever way you prefer be it hard copy or electronic.

Also, it is very important to keep track of access given to others such as employees or contractors. This must be kept up to date. If an employee leaves the access must be removed or the password changed.

Update Data

Almost half of the hacks into WordPress sites are due to outdated versions and more than half are due to software not being updated. Whilst many of the updates can be automated it is still necessary to check the process was completed and that there were no conflicts found following the update.

Backups

Ensure your website is backed up with the latest version and the backup is kept in a safe place.

You may simply backup to your computer through a cloud-based backup would definitely be preferable.

In the initial phase of website creation, the backups need to be frequent in order to maintain the latest version. Established sites may be backed up daily or weekly depending upon the need – If the information on a site is updated frequently such as an active eCommerce store adding and deleting products the backup is more often than the professional service offer which rarely changes.

At Neat Websites, our client sites are backed up in three different places including Amazon’s secure database.

A website is not a set-and-forget situation. As the business owner, you have a responsibility to ensure the site is secure, particularly if you collect visitor data such as email addresses and credit card payment details.

At the end of the day, your objective is to prevent a problem by making it difficult for a potential attacker, individual or automatic bot, to access your site. If it’s too difficult they will move on to an easier target!

As mentioned at the beginning this is not intended to be a fully comprehensive article. It covers the areas which are most commonly identified as weaknesses and are all quite easy to implement.

There are cybersecurity professionals who will advise in more depth for any specific security breach.

Neat Websites Site Care Plan is a service that looks after your site in the above areas.

We look after your site while you look after your business.

neatwebsites.com.au/site-care

Note

The information in this post is the opinion, based on the experience, of the author. Should you choose to act on any of the information provided please undertake your own research to ensure it is appropriate for your own needs.) We hope this article helps you to understand why website images are important. Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions.

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