The Hackers Are Coming. Are you Prepared?

Hacking is not just for big retailers and the U.S. government anymore.  Cybercrime and malicious digital attacks are ever increasing and can happen to your business, regardless of how small you may be. In fact, it’s cost the global economy more than $400 billion, and it’s increasingly hurting smaller operations.

The problem goes far beyond the leaking of sensitive emails and sexy selfies. Targeted attacks against small businesses nearly doubled in 2014. One in five small businesses will experience a cyber attack each year and of those attacked, 60% will close their doors within six months as a result.

The grim truth is there is no way to completely protect yourself against hackers and security threats towards your website or blog. A determined hacker will find his or her way into your system whether you like it or not. It is up to you to make their job as difficult as possible so hopefully they move on. Unless there is a large financial payoff, there is a good chance the hacker will give up and try an easier website. 

Once they get in, they typically change your home page to something like this. 

 A Top Hacking Organization

Some Things You Can Do To Prevent:

1. Be password-savvy. If your password is still “Password123” or "Admin", it’s time to wake up. Create unique usernames and passwords for each of your accounts, and make sure they’re at least 8 characters long with special characters.

2. Delete Unused Plugins.  If you have a WordPress site that uses plugins you may have some security holes. A plugin after all is a way to bypass "proper" coding, and they were created by regular people.  Unused plugins are a threat to your WordPress security and should be removed. A hacker often targets plugins that people purchased in mass because they were popular. If he can breach a certain plugin, then he has access to all sites that use it.

3. Keep Things Up To Date. This goes for all your technology, software, and accounts. Keep up to date with WordPress updates, and if your security plugins come with free updates you should update as soon as they are released. Do not stick with old versions of WordPress because the longer a WordPress version exists, then the higher the chances are that hackers have found a way to break into it. 

3. Back Up Your Website. Your best defense is to backup your website, then if you are hacked you can wipe the slate clean, restart your security, change all your access passwords, improve your passwords, and re-upload your website within an hour. Most hosting companies offer these services and you can roll back to yesterday's status with the click of a mouse.