A couple of incidents recently have caused me to ask the question, How secure is your on-line brand? and it’s is one you should be asking too. In many cases you may find that it is not be as secure as it needs to be. In simple terms your on-line brand consists of 3 elements:
- Your domain name
- Your website
- You social media profile
There are a few things you need to check with all three:
YOUR DOMAIN NAME
This is arguably the most important factor as this IS your on-line brand. It is essential that it is secure. To confirm that it is, you need to check that the domain registered to you. If it is not, get it changed NOW. You can check this by doing a Whois lookup (here is a link to the one we use –www.dnsstuff.com) and check the Registrant Details. This should be you or your company. If it isn’t you need to get on to your domain supplier & ask them to change it. Domain names are typically registered for a number of years though you never actually ‘own’ it. It is important to make sure you renew registration otherwise you can lose the right to use a domain. Your domain registration service provider should send you reminders in good time but ideally, make sure that your domain is set to automatically renew so you won’t run the risk of forgetting it!
There are 3 questions here:
- Do I have an up-to date backup of my website files?
- Do I have an up to date back of any database(s) linked to my website
and if your site is based on a platforms such as WordPress, Joomla etc:
- Is my site up to date with the latest version of WordPress/Joomla etc?
“If you woke one morning to find you website had disappeared or, worse still, had been hacked and replaced with someone else’s content, what would you do?”
If you have back ups the answer is simple – restore the back up and you are sorted. If you have no backup, then the result could be an expensive rebuild from scratch – assuming you still have the core content! You should check with your web provider that your site is backed up regularly and what they would do in the case of a “disaster”. You should always have the server login and access codes so you are in a position to do your own backups should you wish. Keeping platform system files (WordPress, Joomla etc) up to date is the best way to keep your site secure and protected from hacking attacks. If you have any concerns that your web presence is not secure, feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to give you our input.
YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE
A slightly different angle here. Even if you don’t use a particular social media platform, it is a good idea to register a suitable account name. As more and more people start to use social media for marketing, available account names are disappearing. By registering an account on each of the main platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc) you establish your presence and protect the name you pick. Interestingly, the leading social media platforms offer no tools to backup your profile. Even so it can be a good idea to do so, even if you have to do it manually by copying and pasting content or downloading contacts. The main thing is to avoid using Social Media as a place to store content. You have no control over how the platforms might change in the future so don’t assume your content will be there for ever!