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By in Develop + Grow

This question probably doesn’t cross your mind very often, if at all … and when it does, it usually means something has gone wrong with your website and then you’ve got that horrible sinking feeling.

How do you know if your website is secure? Or not? Is your website easy to secure? How does this help my business? And does Google ‘know’ if my website is secure?

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You don’t need us to tell you that your website is your global shop window, promoting your goods and services. Your website is your digital presence or footprint for your business and of course is one of the most essential aspects of your business.

If you have physical premises such as an office, retail unit or similar, then chances are you are occupied with day-to-day tasks and you don’t even glance at your website. So, you certainly don’t ask yourself if it’s secure …

Wouldn’t it be amazing if your website had the security already built in? Now there’s a thought!

Actually, here at Colour Creation, we do this as standard. We not only help prevent a cyberattacks on your website, we’ll receive alerts and live traffic reports of any potential or on-going dangers.

Why on Earth Would Anyone Want to Hack My Website?

Apart from the frustration and stress an anonymous hacker causes, the hacker isn’t always wanting your data or to take over your website (although both these things happen). What the hacker generally wants is to use the server on which your website is hosted and send out spam emails. And this is not only an invasion of your privacy, it can be a threat to your business.

What Does Spam Mean?

As well as the well-known processed meat product, spam means lots of unwanted and unsolicited emails going out under your name or brand.

This can potentially damage your business reputation as you can be blacklisted, and it is a worry. Prevention in this instance is definitely better than cure.

Recovery from blacklisting can cost you a pretty penny or two, can take a long time and on rare occasions, some business have been unable to recover from this huge and mindless intrusive inconvenience.

What Does Colour Creation Do?

We protect your digital, online presence on three levels, you ‘ll be reassured to know … we protect:

1. At server level (i.e. where your website ‘lives’ and very much behind the scenes)
2. At your website level
3. And we also protect emails (emails originating from and sent to your website)

And we don’t want to give too much away of course (you never know who reads these blogs!).

What Purposes Do Servers Have?

A server is a piece of kit that delivers your website to its visitors when they search or request them over the internet. Basically, it is the home of your website.
Colour Creation understands the importance of servers and uses a globally recognised, managed server package that provides software updates, security patching and system hardening (which means it reduces vulnerabilities and risks from potential attacks). The system is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year by trained staff industry standard threat monitoring software.

Our system keeps tabs on over 40 aspects of server health and if anything suspicious dares to try to infiltrate, it’s flagged up before it becomes an issue. As well as this amazingly in-depth system, our in-house experts have implemented an additional layer of protection, a server-based firewall. We also utilise a Lightweight Virtual Environment that allows granular control of our server’s use of resources, to isolate individual client accounts and ensure resources are delivered to where they are needed the most.

But Is My Website Secure Then?

Many of the websites we create are built using web publishing software called WordPress. WordPress is one of the leading software packages for websites in the world. It started out as software for simple blog websites in the early 2000’s and developed into the leading, user-friendly product it is today.

Yet this isn’t the only reason we use it. Any bugs, issues or security breaches with WordPress are quickly spotted and easily sorted.

Like any piece of kit, whether software, computers or cars, updates are required to keep it in tip-top shape. The WordPress team releases updates for security and we always update our WordPress to the latest version. Hackers are on the lookout for old, out-dated versions and make a beeline for them. And the good news is that we do this as part of our hosting service for all our clients. You can rest assured that when your website is created, it used the most up to date secure publishing software.

Here at Colour Creation, we also provide an SSL Certificate for your website. Yes, yet another acronym, but this one is important! An SSL Certificate is provided for all the websites that we create and host on our server and are basically a series of small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to your business details. When installed on a web server, this activates the padlock that you will see prefixed to website addresses. This allows for a secure connection from service to a browser (ie Google) and the browsers ‘sees’ the connection is to be trusted and is authentic. Google also likes to see these padlocks as they enable a safer user experience.

Why Do You Need a Firewall?

A firewall is a security ‘measure’ that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic and creates a barrier between the trusted bits and anything that looks suspect.
Wordpress offers a range of tried and tested firewall solutions, this is especially important if you have an e-commerce website or you need to protect mission critical data.
Most attacks prioritise the website’s administrative login page, and are called Brute Force Attacks. These are quite simplistic forms of attack where an automated bot tries to guess your password, making hundreds of attempts each minute.

The best method to protect yourself against this type of attack is to use strong passwords (in addition to a firewall which can detect these attacks and block the offending bot from further attempts).

WordPress will ask you to use strong passwords https://howsecureismypassword.net and here you can check how good your password is. For example, something like queen123 may only take one of these Brute Force Attack bots a single day to figure out.

It is best to use a selection of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and a punctuation mark and make sure you change them regularly.

So a great password is essential and password housekeeping is to be advised.