One of the most important assets you have as a digital marketer of any type is your website. This is where many marketers direct their traffic to enter their sales funnel, to learn more about the products or even to make the final purchase. Of course, this is also where people sign up for email marketing lists and take most other actions, so it is obvious that the website is an invaluable resource for many businesses. Unfortunately, it can also be a major vulnerability.
If you’re one of the millions of people who have their pages on the WordPress platform, for example, you have (hopefully) noticed that there were two updates in the past several weeks. These updates were put out to close serious security flaws in the WordPress platform that have made millions of sites vulnerable to a variety of different types of hacks.
While WordPress does a fairly good job at keeping their software up and fixing security flaws as they are discovered, it is typically a game of catching up with the bad players. Only when hackers get into enough sites does WordPress find and fix the flaw, which means your sites are potentially insecure at all times.
Why Security is Important
Most people know that keeping their site secure is important because they don’t want to lose access to their site, even for a time. There are many additional risks, however, that marketers need to be aware of, including the following:
- Malware – Many hackers don’t actually want to take over a site. They simply get into the back end of the page and inject malware into the code. This malware then gets passed to everyone who visits your page. This puts your customers at risk, and if they find that the problems came from your site, you will lose their trust.
- Link Saturation – Other hackers attempt to put in hidden links onto your page. This can help improve their SEO efforts, while damaging your own. In many cases, these links are invisible and can be in place without you even knowing they are there.
- General Mischief – Some hackers are essentially just doing it for fun and may ‘vandalize’ your site by putting up their own images, content or other things. This can cause your page to look very unprofessional.
Keeping Your Site Safe
While it is impossible to be 100% secure from all hackers, there is a lot you can do to put in some added levels of protection. Taking all the precautions you are able will help to ensure you don’t have any unnecessary downtime or other issues with your business. The following are some critical safety measures you should consider:
- Backing Up Your Site – Running backups of your site on a regular basis will allow you to restore your page quickly in the event of a disaster. Many hosting companies offer this service for free. Make sure, however, that the site is backed up at least weekly, if not more often.
- Updating Software – Keeping your site’s software up to date is also very important. Whenever a new version of WordPress or whatever CMS you’re using comes out, update it right away.
- Keep Info Updated with Hosting Company – In the event that your site is hacked, you may need your hosting company to provide you access. Keeping your personal information updated with them will make it easier for you to verify your identity so they can help you faster.
- Malware Detection – There are many plugins available for most types of content management systems. Make sure you have one installed and you use it to monitor for any unwanted software.
If you ignore the security of your site, you may quickly find yourself in a situation that is impacting your business. These types of problems often take a long time to fix, and can ‘scare’ away customers for life. You don’t want to wait until it is too late to take action. Start working to protect your site today.