It’s an exciting day when we flip the switch on a new site for our clients. The culmination of their investment and hard work is always worth the celebration. With a retention of over 90%, we’re always happy to hear from our clients and continue to work with them in the future as their business thrives and prospers. What no one looks forward to, however, is calling us because their site has been hacked.

Site Maintenance Up to CodeThankfully, we’ve only had this happen twice within the last few years. The first time, we found it on our client’s behalf. While reviewing the site activity, we noticed a big spike in bandwidth: in one week, they went from a monthly usage of 20 megabytes to 2 gigabytes in ONE WEEK. The cause? A hacker had set up hundreds of sites on our client’s site, and used their hosting to sell fake Rolexes. The second time, the client contacted us with this screen shot, suspecting there was an error with the hosting. In this case, hackers had disabled and corrupted their whole operations.

It’s an unfortunate reality for small business websites. They’re a likely target for hackers because of the vulnerabilities in software. While there are many efforts we can make, and precautions that these businesses can take, to prevent the hack, there’s no way to make it completely preventable. It’s also a source of frequent confusion. People understand, for example, that they make their information vulnerable by opening a mysterious email, or clicking on a suspect link to give hackers permission for access. They don’t realize that when they take their site live, they’re creating an open door and access to their online information.

A useful analogy we use is a home alarm system. You buy one because you sleep safer knowing you have some protection for you and your family. And while it may act as a great deterrent, having an alarm system won’t prevent someone from breaking into your house. If they want access to your house, they’ll find a way in…. especially if they’re skilled in disarming home alarm systems.

A good maintenance plan acts like home insurance. It ensures that if the worst-case scenario happens, your stuff is protected and replaceable. For both of our clients, this meant that we were able to restore their site completely to a version that was backed up a few days before. We can even restore it to a specific date, in case an employee makes a mistake and wipes out or makes an irreversible error and no one catches it for a few days… or months.

Does your web designer handle your maintenance? If so, it’s important to get some critical details. Are backups stored on a secure server, or on a home computer? How often are they stored, and for how long? Is regular analysis and monitoring included to check for hacks, broken links and coding? We have a dedicated staff member that handles this daily operation, and we store our sites on Amazon S3 encrypted cloud server for 60 days, for example: one of the industry’s most secure servers. These are important questions that could affect your business’ reputation: make sure you’re in the know!

Contact us for a free conversation and amp up your website’s insurance plan today!

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