3 Ways to keep your website working

internet2Imagine you have had a great new website developed. What can you do to ensure it stays up and running, is not compromised/hacked and continues to keep showing up in Google and other search engines?

Here are 3 simple tips:

1. Keep software and components/plugins up to date

Your website most likely runs on some software, perhaps Joomla, WordPress or something similar. This software is only secure if it is kept up to date. You’ll find keeping your website software up to date fairly simple these days. Simply login to the administration section and update any components that are out of date.

This will possibly reduce the likelihood of your website being compromised by 95% or more.

2. Enable SSL/HTTPS

We have written about this before, but some of our valued clients are still not sure how important it is. Unless your website is running via SSL/HTTPS (green padlock in the browser when you visit) you are at risk of being penalised by search engines. Read more about this here: Do you SSL/HTTPS? You should. Find out why

3. Host with XYZulu Web Hosting

At XYZulu Web Hosting we run up to date server software and even allow you to choose, for example, the version of php you want to run. See more on this here: Does your web host offer multiple versions of php?

The server that hosts your website needs to be kept up to date. Failure to do this could be similar to rarely updating your own computer software which will greatly increase the risk of having information stolen, or worse still, your computer being hijacked and used to attack others.

Don’t take the risk

While you may not give internet and website security the highest priority, taking these 3 simple steps will GREATLY reduce the risk of your website being compromised and/or losing credibility with your own customers.

We are here to help and are ready to answer your questions related to website security, please leave your comments below.

2 Factor Authentication now available for all our clients

2faXYZulu take security very seriously and we want you to do same. We are pleased to announce that 2 factor authentication (2FA) is now available to all our valued clients.

To activate two factor authentication, please visit our support article: Enabling two factor authentication (2FA) for your XYZulu Customer Portal login

What is 2FA?

Please read this post: Why do I need 2FA?

Another security essential is using a password manager. Please be sure to read this post: Overwhelmed with passwords?

Let us help you to stay safe online!

3 mobile security tips

Do you have a mobile phone or mobile device? If so, this post is for you.

We often don’t stop to think about the important role our mobile security plays in protecting our digital assets. But just think about what issues you might face if your mobile was stolen and the thief was able to access your apps/data. Would they be able to transfer money out of your bank account? Use your email to reset your email password? Could they have a sms with a verification code sent to your phone so they could reset the password to a number of other services you are subscribed to?

Here are our top 3 simple steps to secure your mobile:
  1. Have a numeric PIN of at least 6 digits set. A PIN of 4 digits is relatively easy to guess. With a day or 2 to spare a thief or hacker could easily guess your PIN, not so with a 6 digit PIN.
  2. Use TouchID or fingerprint access for any apps that support this method of login. If your device comes with a built in fingerprint reader, use it, whenever you can. This can provide an extra layer of security without the hassle of a password or PIN code when you open a banking app.
  3. Enable a “find my phone” option on your mobile device. For example see the options on iOS and Android. You need to enable these options BEFORE your phone is stolen, do it now. Once this is enabled, you can remotely wipe your phone if it is stolen.

Do you have any tips of your own? Any questions regarding the ones mentioned above? We look forward to hearing from you.

7 reasons YOUR business needs US

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XYZulu have been in the hosting business since 2000. Our offerings are aimed at people who are proficient enough to manage their own website, but may also require some help with setting up DNS, Email, CDN etc.

7 reasons YOUR business needs US
  1. We own and operate our business. This means we personally monitor all areas to ensure our valued customers are being provided the highest level of service.
  2. Support. Via our help desk we will provide you prompt support. Prefer to talk? We’re happy to chat with you.
  3. Our regular posts will teach you to keep safe online. Here are some recent examples:
  4. Extensive experience. We have many years experience in the webhosting field and have a broad knowledge of other complementary products and services to help your business reach its full potential. For example: We also offer advanced features like free SSL/HTTPS and multiple versions of php.
  5. Need a new website or maybe just a redesign? Our design partners On Time Marketing can make it happen.
  6. Domain name registration and renewals? No problems, we offer both. We offer more than just .com domains, see: Is the .com all there is? We can transfer your domain to us (a free service) so you can manage your domain and hosting all in one convenient place.
  7. We accept a wide variety of payment methods (Paypal, VISA, MC, AMEX and even Bank Transfer) with no surcharges.

Our regular posts will teach you to keep safe online

What are you waiting for? Join us now!

3 Reasons why you should use Google Inbox instead of Gmail

inbox
No doubt you have heard of and are probably well acquainted with Gmail. It’s an email interface most of us have used. You may be less familiar with Google’s “other” email offer: Inbox

What makes it better than Gmail?

It’s much faster at reading/processing emails than Gmail, especially when it comes to newsletters. Inbox provides you a quick summary of the newsletter before you even open it. What exactly makes it better or different to Gmail?

  1. Inbox groups (or bundles) emails in a far more intuitive way than Gmail. This is especially useful if you receive automated emails that you later simply delete or archive. Inbox allows you to do this with a single swipe or click.
  2. Integrated into Inbox is a smart reminder system. For example, if you receive an email that you need to deal with, but not at this time, simply “snooze” the email until the time or place (yes, location is another new option in Inbox) and it will reappear in your Inbox then, or in the case of a location choice, when you arrive at that location.
  3. Inbox has smart replies built in. Have a look at it in action below:

Thought has been given to the layout of all emails on mobile as well as computers. You’ll find the interface different, but also familiar if you are familiar with using Google services.

 

How do I use it?

It’s simple, just visit Inbox while you are logged into your Gmail account and you will be on your way.

To see what Google themselves have to say about Inbox, visit this page: www.google.com.au/inbox/  and take the time to watch the video they have put together. There are a number of other features we have not touched on in this post, so let us know if you would like to hear more about a particular feature and we’ll be happy to explain.

It seems likely in time Gmail will evolve into Inbox, or the features will be integrated. So there is no better time to see the future of Gmail/Inbox.

Opera – a free VPN Browser

Opera Browser (free) now includes a free VPN. Apart from the security benefits, this can also be handy when it comes to testing your own website from another location, especially when doing web development.

Read more about the VPN security features in this post discussing the release of Opera Browser 40: www.opera.com/blogs/desktop/2016/09/free-vpn-in-opera-browser-40/

How does this work?

A VPN routes all your traffic via the VPN server. Opera Browser allows you to choose the location of the VPN server. For example, you could choose a USA located server and test your own website from the USA. Currently VPN server options are: Netherlands, Germany, USA, Singapore, Canada.

There is also an ‘optimal location’ choice which in my case, uses a VPN server in Australia (closest to me).

Opera Browser is not a new player in the Web Browser space and while it’s not as well known or popular as Google Chrome for example, it is a solid product with an excellent mobile app on many platforms.

How could you use this?

You may wish to use this to browse the internet anonymously, or avoid the security policies your workplace/office or ISP has in place. As I see it, a more ‘useful’ option is to use this to test your website from various locations around the world.

You might want to do this just after updating your DNS, or after updating something on your website to check how it’s being seen by everyone else. Often time, your own ISP’s DNS server (which you probably use by default) may take up to 24hrs to update when changing your websites DNS or nameservers. Using Opera Browser might be handy for you in a situation like that.

Why not download and give it a test today. It’s a free download of course. Grab it here: www.opera.com/download