Posted on Feb 4, 2014

Site-Smart: Top 3 Tips for Staying Safe on the Web

Site-Smart:Top 3 Tips for Staying Safe on the Web


By Kim Windyka

The recent rash of security breaches at popular stores like Target, Michael’s, and Nieman Marcus has brought the topic of online data privacy to the forefront of many consumers’ minds.  A study conducted by internet security company Incapsula found that more than 60% of website visits were made by bots rather than human beings. While the majority of bots are harmless search engine crawlers, the malicious ones can be used by hackers not only to generate spam, but also to access confidential information – such as credit card numbers. Just one moment of vulnerability could cost your business money, time, and even its reputation.

Despite the many “scary” statistics floating around, web security remains an important issue that’s easily overlooked. In fact, ZDNet reports that 90% of individuals whose sites were compromised didn’t even know that they had been hacked.

So, what can you do to keep your website safe? There are a few steps you can take that help you to protect your online presence and give you peace of mind as well. It might sound cliché, but when it comes to thwarting hackers, the best kind of crisis is one that is prevented.

1.Devise a security plan

For business owners, it’s crucial for all of your employees to be aware of all security measures that are in place. While you can’t ever be completely ready for the situations you may face, it can pay off to be proactive and set yourself up for the worst case scenario. Create a step-by-step disaster preparedness plan for your team that includes an immediate internal and external response, and you’ll already be one step closer to resolving the issue.

2.Manage your passwords

You’ve probably heard that you’re not supposed to use the same password for every website, and that you should change your password several times a year. Experts also recommend that, when choosing a password, you steer clear of double letters or digits, as well as any word that’s in the dictionary. Successful password management is much more than just remembering these tips and tricks, though. While it may take some time to create an efficient system, carving out a few moments to make sure that you have a handle on password protection can be an invaluable investment for you or your business.

In addition to storing your passwords in a centralized, secure location that can be accessed anywhere at any time (consider one of the many software options available), it’s crucial to ensure that there’s a clear understanding of who can view and change these passwords. You should also schedule periodic reviews for the purpose of checking the system to verify that nothing has been changed without your team’s knowledge.

3. Install reliable security software  

Perhaps the most important decision you can make is to invest in trustworthy software with anti-virus capabilities. An example of such a program is SiteLock Premium, which not only scans daily for threats like malware, but automatically removes it upon detection. It also keeps an eye out for vulnerabilities, and alerts you if any of your website’s files are modified. In addition to taking preemptive steps like the ones mentioned above, you can add a cherry on the top of your security sundae by a product that does the hard work for you.