Feeling Vulnerable? Make Your Website Impenetrable to Hackers

May 10, 2016 | Posted in Technology and tagged ,

These days we seem to be getting constant inquiries about one thing – website security. It’s a hot topic – always has been. And with the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), an environment where everything is becoming increasingly connected by the minute, privacy – and security – are becoming more critical than ever. So it seems high time to revisit the topic we initially addressed back in 2014.

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There are countless ways to address website security. So in the interest of keeping it simple, we decided to focus on a “Top Five” list:

  1. Consider a Virtual Private Server (VPS). You can read all about them in an article we wrote a while back – but essentially, a VPS will ensure that the most up-to-date server software is installed so that the latest security patches and functionality are up and running. They are a far superior solution to a Shared Hosting Server – providing ultimate control so you can avoid the pitfalls of sharing resources with other, potentially less secure websites. Yes, it’s a pricier solution. But we simply cannot recommend sharing. Be selfish when it comes to your server.
  1. Invest in security software. It can be installed on both your server (as a software firewall) and on the website itself (for instance, if you’re on WordPress – iThemes Security Pro is a great choice). With this simple installation – you will ensure only registered IPs can login, block access to your administration area and enable multi factor authentication. A lot of bang for your proverbial buck.
  1. Beef up your passwords. Forget about using your birth date plus your dog’s name.  You’re making it too easy. Instead – include capital letters and numbers and throw in a few special characters. We know it’s not easy to remember these convoluted passwords – but these days there are password software programs that will safely store your usernames and passwords so you don’t have to. We like Roboform – and it can even help generate new, hard-to-crack passwords if you’re having a hard time giving up Rover’s name.
  1. Get an SSL certificate. Also known as a “digital certificate”, an SSL protects sensitive data by establishing a secure, encrypted connection between your computer and your website. There are a number of solutions – along with instructions on how to install them – all over the web.
  1. Back it up. Making a backup is easy – it can be done at the server or software level. Obviously we’re hoping that all the aforementioned steps will prevent your site from being compromised – but in the off chance that it is, having an automatically saved, externally stored backup is critical. If you’re using WordPress – try BackupBuddy.

The fact that there are so many “do-it-yourself” solutions available today speaks to the high demand – and need – for securing your website. At the same time, addressing all of these five recommendations may seem daunting. So while you can take all of this on – you can also ask us for help. Somethumb can save you a lot of time, money and potential headaches by finding the solution that fits your exact needs. We can help with installation and even use Nodeping.com to monitor up-time on your server so we would know the minute your site is compromised and can take action.

Considering there are a million new malware threats every day, we think securing your website should be a top priority. So if you’re feeling vulnerable – give us a shout.

About Scott Weiss

Scott Weiss is the founder of Somethumb, a creative services agency focused on web design and development. "Like" us on Facebook, "Follow" us on Twitter, "Plus-One" us on Google+, "Connect" with us on LinkedIn, and view our portfolio on Somethumb.com.

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