Website security: Go beyond common sense to keep your website safe

Take these stats to the mat

Let’s just say that as you stumble into the office one Monday morning, you find that you can no longer log on to ANY of your computers. Everything is GONE. HACKED. A million things race through your head, like “How do I fix this? Is there a way I could have prevented this mess? Why did this happen?”

Findings from a National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) survey of more than 1,000 small- and mid-sized businesses suggest that an online security breach might be more plausible than you ever imagined.

The NCSA claims that 66 percent of the small business owners surveyed were concerned about an online threat, yet that same percentage of owners were personally handling their online security (as opposed to taking advantage of other available choices such as “passing it off to an IT knowledgeable employee” or “outside IT consultant.”)

With President Obama going on the record to say that online threats are “one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face,” these numbers are more than concerning. But there are many solid actions you can take to avoid becoming an unfortunate website security statistic.

One of the most important things you can do to protect your company is enforce proper password techniques.

It’s sort of unbelievable (to a security guy, at least) that 83 percent of survey responders said they don’t regularly require their employees to change their passwords. This is simply a bad practice. It’s important to use different passwords for different sites. It doesn’t do you any good to have an extra-strong password if you use it everywhere.

Other ways to fight back against hacks include using antivirus software, making regular updates, and enabling two-factor authentication. Being safe online takes more than good common sense these days.