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 Simply login to the administration section and update any components that are out of date.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.

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.

Secure messaging, how?

TextSecure_icon.svgSecure messaging on the internet, is this even possible?
Believe it or not, it is. Why should you be interested, and how can you also send/receive secure messages?

Secure messaging is actually possible

What is secure messaging and why should you be interested?

It’s fair to say that despite what you think or have been told, privacy on the internet is almost impossible. When it comes to security however, this is something within your reach. It is something you should be interested in.

Consider how end to end encrypted messaging works. You send a message to me, and only my device(s) can open/read your message. Even if the data was intercepted during the transmission process, it would be impossible for it to be deciphered. This kind of security is possible today.

Read more about end to end encryption here.

While you may not be discussing anything ‘top secret’, surely knowing that your message can only be read by the recipient is reassuring.

How?

One free option is Viber (there are others). To see the details on how this works, see this Viber Support Article.

Basically, once you make a voice call and both parties click the secure padlock icon while on the call, an encryption key will be stored on both devices which ensures that all messages sent between these devices (your device and the other person’s device) cannot be read by anyone else. From that point on, voice and text messages with this person use full end to end encryption.

Do you need it?

It really depends on how securely you want to protect your information. When it comes to business, using secure messaging and data storage is essential to provide your customer with the assurance that you are doing your best to protect them and their data/information.

On a related note, do you offer your customers secure access to your website yet? If not, be sure to read our article on just how easy this is here: Do you SSL/HTTPS? You should. Find out why

Are there other messaging applications that you use and wonder if they are secure and also support end to end encryption? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll dig up the facts for you.