Crabtree + Company's Online Reputation Management (ORM) Series
Part Four: Website Security
Welcome to the fourth edition of Crabtree + Company’s ORM series. In our very first issue, we highlighted the impact your website has on your online reputation. In this issue, we focus on protecting it.
Your website is often the first opportunity to make a good impression on potential clients, so you want to be sure the only information that goes on it — is information posted or approved by you. A hacked site will not only drive potential clients away, it could also cause active clients and business partners to question your credibility.
How do you keep hackers at bay? Here are a few tips:
1. Get private domain registration.
This blocks potential hackers from getting your personal information (administrative contact name, phone number, address, and email address) through a WHOIS lookup. If someone gets your email address from WHOIS and successfully hacks into your email account, your domain could be easily hijacked.
2. Take regular site backups.
This best practice is an essential habit to protect your website. Harm from an intentional hack or an honest mistake can be quickly remedied by restoring content from your latest site backup.
3. Use strong passwords.
Change your passwords periodically, and don't use the same password across multiple web properties. Also, be careful when sharing your username and password — consider privnote.com when emailing credentials (your message self-destructs after being read).
4. Keep your CMS current.
If your website utilizes a Content Management System (CMS), stay appraised of the latest updates and strive to ensure that you’re running the most current version.
5. Secure your domain with SSL (https).
Contact your domain host and get an SSL certificate for your site. This safeguards your customer information by encrypting anything that is submitted through your forms, and keeps your visitors' browsing details private. Added bonus: SSL now boosts your Google SEO ranking as well.
6. Get a firewall.
Many CMS platforms, including Wordpress, make it easy to search for security and firewall plugins right from your dashboard. There are many options, and some are free.
7. Ignore unsolicited emails.
Legitimate organizations won’t ask for your credentials or other secure information via email.
8. Talk to your site host.
Many website hosting providers offer security and backups as add-on services. If you’re too busy (like most of us!), the fee to protect your site would be well worth it.
If you missed Part One about Websites, you can read it here.
If you missed Part Two about Social Media and PR, you can read it here.
If you missed Part Three about Emails and Eblasts, you can read it here.