Unfortunately, it’s just part of modern life – hackers are on the prowl, trying to get into your website, email and online accounts. Nothing is impervious to being hacked and there’s no such thing as 100% security. However, that’s no excuse for making it easy for the bad guys and there are several steps you should be taking to discourage those looking for an easy target.
Choose an unguessable password. Hackers use ‘dictionary’ software which can attempt to guess passwords using common words. Make the password long, with a mixture of characters, letters and numbers.
Do not use the same password on more than one website or account. If one gets hacked, chances are that others will be tried with the same login details. If you have a Google account, for example, don’t have the same password for your Amazon account.
To help you set, organise and remember lots of complicated passwords, use something like LastPass, KeePass or 1Password. It will allow you to use a dedicated, complicated password for each website, email and online service that you access.
SECURE YOUR WEBSITE
Every hosting account we provide has the facility to install an SSL certificate, which encrypts all data travelling to and from the website. In many cases, the certificate in pre-installed. Our servers use a mixture of Let’s Encrypt and AutoSSL – look for those apps in your hosting control panel. When your site uses encryption, it prevents data from being intercepted, so passwords become even more secure.
ACCESS SITES SECURELY
When you log into webmail, your hosting control panel or your website admin section, use HTTPS:// as the first part of the URL in your browser address bar – this specifies that you connect via SSL.
If you have bookmarks added to your browser which take you directly to these sites, edit the address in them to use HTTPS:// instead of HTTP://
BACK UP YOUR DATA
Make sure that you have a copy of your website. If something goes wrong, you’ll be able to restore the files.
Make sure you have a copy of the documents and photos (plus any other important files) which are on your computer. You can store them on an external drive or on an online storage service. If a hacker plants some malware on your computer and it has to be wiped and restored, all is not lost.
Make sure you have a copy of your emails. If you store them on your computer (POP3), you can use dedicated email backup software to keep a copy. If you store email on the server (IMAP), keep a backup of these files separately using software like Handy Backup.