Five Security Tips
The Internet is a dangerous place, you see the same news I do, new software vulnerabilities are reported daily. Security experts agree these are the top five security tips you should use to protect yourself and your data.
1: Keep your software updated.
Have you seen software notices that tell you an update is ready? You shouldn’t ignore them—that’s a bad idea. Updates and patches are there to protect us. They secure and reinforce your computer, software, and data.
2: Use strong passwords.
You probably already know how important it is to use strong, random, and unique passwords. And I’m sure your banking password isn’t your cat’s name—right?
A really solid password meets three criteria:
• It has at least twelve characters.
• It includes uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols.
• It does not contain words that can be found in the dictionary, or people’s names.
3: Fortify sensitive accounts.
To be honest, passwords are important, but their effectiveness is inherently limited. Add a second layer called two-step authentication. Also called 2FA or multifactor authentication, two-factor authentication is more effective than passwords alone.
Many sites already allow (even encourage) users to turn on 2FA, including Gmail, Twitter, and PayPal. Chances are your bank has it too. You don’t need to set it up everywhere, only at your most important and sensitive accounts such as PayPal or your online bank account.
4: Back up, back up, back up!
Here is the harsh reality: one day, you will lose your data. Your hard drive will crash. Or maybe you accidentally erase your data. Or maybe you lose your computer or device altogether. Losing your data can be catastrophic, but if you have a backup it’s not such a big deal. Back up regularly and test your backups.
5: Update your antivirus.
You already know that installing a solid antivirus program is one of your best defenses against malware. But installing antivirus software isn’t enough. Just like those patches and updates, you need to make sure you have the most current version and the virus definitions are up-to-date.
Of course, you can avoid the hassle altogether by allowing important software like your operating system and antivirus to update automatically. The takeaway is that a few minutes spent here and there can save you a world of pain.
Don’t be a mistake waiting to happen!
WNC Urban Farms was in the middle of a new site launch when their web person crashed the site, forcing a sudden rebuild. The web person could not get the UPS shipping and payment gateway to work. When pressured, she got frustrated and told WNC to find someone else, essentially leaving them hanging. Gary the owner called in a panic, watching dollar signs flying out the window. We had the problem straightened out so WNC Urban Farms could fulfill orders in less than twenty-four hours.
"I knew Lone Bird Studio from our networking group, but still made the often-repeated mistake of using a family friend. When she left us, I called Lone Bird, and in twenty-four hours they had us up and running. And, in the process, they opened our eyes to other issues with our site and marketing approach. Now we have them working on our new marketing plan. They were calm, experienced, and worked directly with UPS to solve the problem. When it’s mission critical, use a professional."
Gary, WNC Urban Farms, Waynesville NC
What They Don’t Tell You
Word Press is great – don’t get me wrong. But, they neglect to tell you it needs to be updated regularly. WP has many parts. It has core software, themes, and widgets which all need to be kept up to date.
•Avoid the frustration
•Avoid the lost time
•Avoid down time
•Avoid it completely, let Lone Bird Studio do it.