With the growing number of security attacks and identify theft cases in the U.S., being aware of what you can do to protect yourself and your website is very important. To do so we have a few tips you can follow to help lockdown your security and give yourself peace of mind.
- The broken record of security is to simply Update Your Passwords. We hear this all the time and for good reason. They are the first line of defense against hacking and identity theft. Just be sure to pick the right password. In the industry we refer to them as "Strong" passwords. These passwords are generally 8 characters in length, contain capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and even special characters like # and $. By mixing it up you can help make sure no one can simply guess or use sophisticated software to figure out what you password is even if its encoded in a database. To make the password easy to remember try common words with personal meaning to you, except replace some letters with numbers. You can replace the letter "i" with a 1, the letter "a" with a 4, the letter "o" with a 0, and the letter e with a "3". For example, if you child's name is Stephanie you could use the password "St3ph4n13" instead. If it cannot be read as a word it is much harder to crack.
- If your website is using content management software such as Joomla, WordPress, or Drupal (such as Anttix websites) have your web developer or IT specialist update your software. This should be done as often as once a month and no less than every 3 months. Also, if a security threat is announced you should update immediately regardless of an update schedule. If you are an Anttix client don't worry, we update all sites if any serious security threats arise on our client's behalf. If your site software has no available security update when it is needed then it may be time to upgrade your site to another software package and service.
- When it comes to email our spam detection can do a pretty good job of catching fraudulent or malicious emails. However, sometimes a few clever ones can slip past this security. Be sure to never open attachments from sources you do not trust and avoid any emails that ask you to offer passwords or sensitive information. Be sure when you are providing sensitive information it is through a trusted source with acceptable security.
- Backup your local files often, especially when working on large pieces of data such as spreadsheets and multi-page documents or presentations. You never know when a crash or attack may happen, and it is certainly best to play it safe when you don't want to lose your work. We recommend external drives and flash drives for external storage to make sure it is safe.
- Be careful who you friend and connect with on social media networks. Many false account are created with malicious intention of connecting with users and gain access to your personal information. The best case scenario is they use your information to spam advertising your way, but the worst case is when they use this information to steal your identity.
- Even when you are not online there is some risk of attack. Be wary of suspicious phone calls from "support centers' claiming to be from sources such as Microsoft. They attempt to get you log into your computer and grant them access so they can "fix" a problem your computer reported to them. Companies such as Microsoft will never call you in such a manner, and these calls are only meant to cheat you out of data and force you pay for your files. If you receive such calls, or a pop-up on your computer telling you to contact a service center, ignore them. You may report the malicious call to the authorities and be sure to keep your legitimate anti-virus software up to date to avoid these malicious attempts.
Most of all, always keep in touch with IT professionals and your web developers to stay informed and safe. Call Anttix today at 877-426-8849 or click here to contact us if you would like to know more.