Looking after your IT over Christmas

Looking after your IT over Christmas

Looking after your IT over Christmas

Christmas is coming and it will soon be time for holidays. But before you head off on that well-deserved break here are three important IT safety tips.

  1. Perform a backup and bring home a copy with you. Data is increasingly essential to businesses and you cannot afford the downtime associated with its loss. Backup all your data including files, email, settings and even your website. Make at least two copies and bring one home with you, so if something happens to your office while you are on holidays you have another copy.
  2. Unplug all non-essential equipment. Summer is storm season and the best way to protect against surges is ensure your equipment is not plugged in. Some ISPs recommend leaving your modem plugged in, but CyberGuru would suggest that you disconnect your server, computers and other devices connected to mains power. Ideally over summer you may also wish to consider an Uninterruptable Power Supply in case your power is distributed due to electrical or weather conditions.
  3. Undertake maintenance so your devices will be running optimally in 2019. Ensure you have a working backup by testing whether you can successfully restore a file, remove or archive old documents and photos from your computer, confirm all recent updates have been applied including website updates, tidy your email inbox and then set up your automatic reply so every knows you are out of the office!

Everyone loves Christmas, especially scammers. So whether you’re checking emails or taking advantage of the online sales, remember to stay safe online.

How can I protect my website from being hacked?

How can I protect my website from being hacked?

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Having a website is like having a virtual shop front to your business and provides the ability for your visitors to come and browse you and identify possible products and services they may like to buy. However, like a physical shop front, you should ensure you have security measures in place to protect the information that is stored on your website.

1.      Perform regular backups of your website.

Having a regular backup of your website providing you with the ability to have a copy of your website to restore if required. Whilst website hosting providers will often perform nightly backups, there is often a cost to restore these. We suggest at least taking a backup once a month to ensure you have a copy of it at a point in time to restore to if required.

2.      Remove any users no longer required and change passwords.

Depending on how your website was designed, you may have had a previous designer or developer or staff who have had access to your website to maintain it on your behalf. If these users no longer require access to do this, we suggest you remove or change the level of access to not allow them to make changes. Similarly, change your passwords on a regular basis. Passwords that have not been changed for some time may be likely to be compromised especially if they are simple.

3.      Install updates on a regular basis.

Most of the common website content management systems, including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, all require regular updates, along with any associated third-party plugins, themes and translations. These improve the features, performance and security of the website.

4.      Disable or remove unnecessary plugins.

You may have plugins for your website that you are not using. If you have upgraded your website in the past, you may have plugins installed that were from your older website, or are no longer in use. If you are not sure if you are using them, you may decide to disable these until you determine that they are not needed. However, if you are certain you are not using them, then you could remove these.

5.      Install a security plugin to report security issues.

There are various security plugins available that can notify you when an administrator logs on to your website, users have been blocked (through incorrect passwords when attempting to login or malicious attacks), when files are modified, and when updates are needed.

6.      Consider a website maintenance service.

You may wish to consider a website maintenance service, such as CyberGuru’s to perform the review and maintenance for you, including backups, updates and test your website on a monthly basis. For further details, please see the Website Mainternance Service page on the CyberGuru website.

If you would like to know more how you can protect your website from being hacked, please contact us today.

Five tips to spring clean your website

Five tips to spring clean your website

Five tips to spring clean your website

It is hard to believe we are now in September! Spring is here, and we suggest it is time to spring clean your website. We hear many organisations reflect on whether having a website is worth the effort when they aren’t getting as many visitors as they would like. Our top recommendation is that you need to regularly update your website and content. If you have a blog that hasn’t been updated in sometime, by posting new articles regularly, you are more likely to increase your interest in your business.

The following five tips will help you spring clean your website:

  1. Have you recently posted any new articles onto your website or social media platforms? Search engines are often crawling over your website, determining how often you are updating to determine its relevance in their searches. As mentioned above, by regularly refreshing content, search engines will visit your website more often and result in more visitors.
  2. Is the information on your website up-to-date? A review of your website content should take place on a regular basis. It is worthwhile to spend the time to refresh and go through all of the content on your pages to ensure it is updated. If it isn’t, then it is time to archive it so it is not referred to, or mark the content as under review or maintenance.
  3. Are the contact details you have on your social media and search directories accurate? We have seen a Google Business Page with an organisation’s address or phone details, but these are not their current details. Imagine if a client tried to visit you, referred to by Google to your location, and they discovered they weren’t there? They may think you are out of business!
  4. Are all your links working? Check to make sure all of the pages go to the correct locations, especially if you are referencing external or third party websites. As many websites are undergoing refresh or review, it may be worthwhile automating the link checking process this so you don’t have to keep checking if websites have changed.
  5. Are you maintaining your content management system and plugins to protecting your website against vulnerabilities? We have a number of clients who are taking advantage of our Website Maintenance Service, who for a monthly fee, get regular maintenance on their website, including full backup, installation the latest updates to the content management including plugins and translations and testing the website. If you aren’t doing it, is your website designer doing this?

If you haven’t already have a website, perhaps it is time to consider a new one, or if you do, redesigning your existing one if it has been online for some time. If you are considering getting a new website or having redesign your existing website, or need some assistance in taking advantage of some of the new developments, such as adding mailing lists, integration with social media platforms, our Design computer solution can help. We can also perform the Website Maintenance Service. Please contact us today for more information.