This article has been submitted by Trent Blizzard from BlizzardPress as part of All Mountain Technologies on-going mission to share important technology news with our community.
10 Proactive Steps to Protect your Business
As a CEO or CTO or CMO there are a few simple things you can do on a regular basis to protect your online presence. Like brushing your teeth every day, these best practices can save you great cost and discomfort in the future. None of these items will generate new leads for your business or make you any additional revenue, however they are going to protect your business from a potentially expensive situation.
Most of these items are what one would call “blind spots” in upper management. They typically reveal themselves when an employee leaves, or a contractor is let go or just disappears. Or, when a website gets hacked or breaks. We deal with these issues regularly – they are all very easy to keep from happening, but hard to fix after the fact.
4 One-Time Activities:
- Reset passwords and enforce strong passwords on your website – Did you know your website is probably being probed right now? Hackers try thousands and thousands of password combinations, hoping your website has a user with a poor password. Don’t allow users on your website to set up simple passwords! Reset all your current passwords. And regularly delete old users too.
- Domain name registration access – Losing an employee should not mean losing a domain name. Do you have username and password credentials to your domain name registration provider (i.e. GoDaddy, Network Solutions, etc)? We are surprised at the high percentage of businesses unable to login and renew their domains or update the contact information associated after losing a key employee. Many don’t even know where their domains are registered. Try the simple test of just updating your contact information related to your domain for proof of access.
- Domain name ownership – Definitely double check that the “registrant” (or owner) of your domain is your business, not a previous employee or consultant.
- Access to Key Tools – Google Analytics, Google My Business, Google Search Console and Google Tag Manager are key tools typically connected to an actively managed website. Those tools are not owned by your webmaster! Make sure you have full admin access to each of those tools. If those tools have not been set up, this is an indicator of a different problem. If you need help, connect with myself or your team at AMT for help.
6 Ongoing Activities
- Website Software Update – WordPress driven websites need their plugins, themes and underlying software regularly updated. Just like your phone or your laptop, if you don’t install updates your website will eventually implode. What is your website’s update schedule? We update each of our client’s sites every month to make sure they stay secure and never fall more than one version behind.
- Off-site Backups of Website – This is a big one! Your website should be automatically backed up every day. Your management team should have access to those backups. Good backup systems are easy – your management team should be able to complete a restore process easily. Test this out yourself – try to restore your website to last night’s backup! This is typically completed via your server host. It should be quick, easy and painless.
- Daily Scans – How do you know if your website has malware on it or if it has a security problem? At BlizzardPress, we scan every single website we manage, every single day, looking for security issues so we can solve them before anyone else notices. We document those scans and share the result with each customer monthly (along with the list of every backup that month and a list of all the software updates done that month.) Ask for monthly.
- Uptime Monitoring – Monitoring your website “uptime” and having alerts in place if it goes down is a sound practice. Your webmaster typically does this monitoring and should be able to prove it with regular uptime reporting. Ask for a monthly uptime report.
- Google Search Console Alerts – Google Search Console alerts its admin accounts to little problems (or big!) that it regularly discovers in websites. Subscribe to GSC alerts and make sure they get sorted out in a timely fashion.
- Health and Performance Scans – Running your website through a health and performance scan on a regular basis helps to keep tabs on your website’s overall health. It can also give you helpful action items to focus future efforts. Many tools are available – for these scans, we favor Google’s web.dev tool.
If any of these practices sound daunting, a good web management team like BlizzardPress can help. We regularly manage all of these items for our clients and provide monthly health reporting.
Are you ready for YOUR technology to work for you? Contact the IT specialists at All Mountain Technologies today to make your business more efficient, secure, organized and successful.