Safe practices you can follow to lower your risk of becoming infected by malware. By Alex Summers
On a daily basis, Google’s Safe Browsing technology detects thousands of websites a day that are distributing malware to their networks. In addition to this, cyber terrorists may attempt to infiltrate and compromise your network through other means including emails and messaging platforms. While these risks exist, there are safe practices you can follow to lower your risk of becoming infected by malware.
The absolute best way to protect your website from hackers is to utilize comprehensive cyber-security software. Basic antivirus doesn’t cut it; instead, you need intelligent coverage. For example, ThreatSTOP.com offers cloud-based security that can block inbound malware attacks, as well as prevent data ex-filtration. It doesn’t require that you install new processes or hardware, and it’s able to find and black malware that has bypassed your firewalls, IDS/IPS, and endpoint security.
You’re probably already in the habit of backing up your site before you make changes. If not, get into the practice of this because what if that new theme you’re installing comes packaged with a virus? Before you install anything new, back up your entire site and save the file in a few places. Once you’ve done that, schedule your site to automatically back up at the end of every day. You can have the files store to the cloud, so you can access them no matter what. Backing your site up each time you publish new content, add new users, or otherwise change your site ensures that if you are hacked, you have the potential for data recovery.
Is your software set to automatically install updates? If not, make this change now. Content management providers, such as WordPress, will automatically apply new updates to your site. Other providers may not; you may need to alter your settings to ensure that you’re always updated. Make sure all other software, such as plugins, update on their own. If they don’t, schedule time each week to double check on updates and make necessary changes.
Updates often come with previsions against new malware. If there’s a vulnerability in the software, an update may provide the solution. Hackers look for vulnerabilities to exploit, and will attack anyone using older versions of software.
It stands for: Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. This is more secure than HTTP. By switching to HTTPS, you’re ensuring your website goes through an additional layer of security. To be specific, TLS security, or Transport Layer Security, and SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer.
HTTPS used to only be used when something was being transferred or sold, but if you run a site today, it is advised that you make the switch regardless of what market you’re in. Google’s search engine results actually prefer strong HTTPS encryptions, and encrypted sites will come up first in search results.
It’s unfortunate that not everyone who works with or for you can be trusted. You should be the only administrator on your website, unless you’re working with a partner whom you trust and who is equally invested. Anyone else should have a limited account with little administrative responsibilities. Encourage your employees to change their passwords often, make sure they’re trained to keep your company information and customer data safe, and that they understand the consequences of theft.
Your best line of defense against malware is a good offense, so if you’re not subscribed to high-quality cyber-security, it’s time to fix that. Being informed of vulnerabilities in your network and taking action will help ensure the security or your PCs.
Editor’s note : In this article, the mainstream usage “hacker” is used for computer criminals. Anyway, we would like to remind the readers that, in computing, the word hacker is actually used in a different meaning : “a highly skilled computer expert”.