4 Steps to Keeping Back The Hacks

Picture this. It’s five o’clock on a Friday, you haven’t had PTO in six months, and you have a week-long rest and relaxation session planned for yourself. *Ring Ring* You answer your phone and it is an unhappy customer on the other end of the line. Viruses are downloading onto her computer from your website and she is being re-directed to an off-shore website. You have been hacked. Not keeping your system updated will result in lost time, business (especially if your business is based completely online), and energy. Not to mention, now you’ll have to kiss that PTO goodbye.

A hack can never be fully prevented, but here are a few easy steps to reduce the risk:

  1. Realize it could happen to you.

You could be next. Whether you are large oil and gas company or a small start-up boutique, it doesn’t matter. Your website could still be the target for a hacker. Yes, a smaller business getting hacked is rarely heard of, but that is just because it is not reported. We primarily hear about larger company hacks, like the “Heart Bleed Bug” that effected commonly used websites, such as, Gmail, Yahoo, and Facebook. So, just because you don’t hear about it doesn’t mean it never happens to small companies.

  1. Update your passwords.

If your name is Walter and your password is Walter1, password1, or easypass (you know who you are), then it is time for a password update.

Microsoft’s tips for a strong password include:

-The password is at least eight characters long

-It does not contain your user name, real name, or company name.

-It does not contain a complete word.

-It is significantly different from previous passwords.

-It contains at least one uppercase letter, symbol, or number.

We typically use https://strongpasswordgenerator.com/ to create all of our passwords.

For more information on creating a stronger password, check out Microsoft’s full article HERE for more tips!

  1. Check the version of your website/system.

Are you still using the 2010 version of WordPress, Windows, or Internet Explorer? It’s time for you to brush the sleep out of your eyes and wake-up in the wonderful age of technology, where system versions are being updated daily, that’s right daily! The latest versions of programs include: bug patches, fixes, and functionality improvements. So, always make sure the latest version of an app or program is downloaded to avoid holes in your website’s security.

  1. Perform a monthly system clean-up.

“Clean-up, clean-up everybody everywhere! Clean-up, clean-up everybody do their share!” It’s not just a fun rhyme you learned in mothers-day-out, your computer/website needs some clean-up time too! We know you’re busy, so a good role of thumb is to shoot for a monthly clean-up of EVERYTHING, from apps, themes, plug-ins, downloads, files, all the way to the cookies and cache on your computer. Do you have apps or downloads that aren’t being used? Delete them. Did you find a better version of a program? Don’t forget to delete the old version! Keeping your computer or website organized can save you a lot of trouble in the long-run.

We get it, just the thought of cleaning and going into WordPress (the backend of your website) is daunting. That’s why Drip Drop Creative in Houston and College Station provides those services for you. We offer 24/7 security monitoring, automated back-ups, software and plug-in updates, so you can enjoy peace-of-mind.

We can also assist with your branding and website development needs. We create everything from logos, to brand guidelines, to full WordPress websites. We work with clients all over the world, from College Station, to Houston, to Tennessee, to New York, to Beijing, China.

Happy cleaning!