What would you do if I told you your site is under constant attack? 90% of sites are hacked with malware and you never know it. Hackers are getting very sophisticated and run scripts whose sole purpose is to break into one of the services on your website server, such as your email server, FTP, or if you have a Word Press site your plug-ins become a liability. There’s an old saying in the industry: “There are those who have been hacked and those who don’t know it yet.”
I have first-hand experience dealing with these types of events. It is of the utmost importance that you keep your site up-to-date, which includes the software running your site as well as the plug-ins adding features to your site. Creating strong passwords with more than sixteen characters, using both uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers and never using real words, is of vital importance.
Let me play out a scenario for you. When the site is hacked, the hackers have a plan and they stick to their playbook:
• They crack your password or break into one of your services, like an outdated plug-in.
• They install malware on your site and let that malware sit there for a few backup cycles. What that does is infect not only your live site but also contaminates your back ups.
• After a few months of being dormant, they take over or hijack your mail server and start sending spam out unbeknownst to you. Once you figure out that’s happening and shut it down they turn on all their hacks and your site goes down or infects other users.
Don’t fall for a false sense of security – if your site is online, it’s hackable.
You can take some simple steps to see if your site is sound. If you’re running your own server, make sure you have all the up-to-date server software and security software installed. Change your password at least twice a year, using at least 16 characters including uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers. Once you get control of your site from a developer change all the passwords. Never share passwords over email. Never leave your default login name. These are only a handful of steps you can take.
If you have questions or need help, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you and address you concerns.
Pedro Pérez is a founding partner of Nuevo Advertising Group, and an Adjunct Professor of Global Brand Strategies at Ringling College of Art + Design. For over 17 years Pedro has offered clients his knowledge and expertise. Pedro has always demonstrated a keen analytical sense combined with a good dose of common sense in crafting digital + online marketing strategies as part of an integrated marketing plan.