Why Updates Are Important
Let’s just get right to the point – why aren’t you updating your websites? Don’t you know that updates are important and are recommended to help keep your online business, or blog safe from potential threats, hacks, and scams?
To paraphrase Heraclitus – Change is the only constant. Online, things change at the speed of light, especially online security, technologies, and how hackers attack websites and find vulnerabilities.
“Oh, well I’m a small business with a smaller website, why would ANY hacker even know about me, or my website?”
Good question! As it turns out, reports indicate that there’s a 60% chance that this one risk will destroy your business if you ignore it, Truth, even as far back as 2015 it was reported that 43% of cyber attacks actually target small businesses. Given those staggering statistics, security should be considered a top priority for every business and blog, regardless of size. Do you really want to take that risk?
Here are some reasons people give when asked why they DON’T update their sites
- I’m too busy
- I don’t need to update, I’m a small business
- I saw the notification, I thought I would go back to it but forgot
- I don’t know how to update the website
- Lost my password
- No one even knows about my blog
- We just didn’t know we had to update things once the site was built
… and all of those reasons contribute to why hackers love small business websites and blogs.
If you have a website, and it helps your business make money or is a marketing tool helping to establish your brand trust and authority in your industry, then you’d be a fool not to be concerned about it being hacked, or being vulnerable. Unchecked, a security breach or hack could potentially ruin the credibility of your business. People will stop visiting, web browsers like Chrome will inform people that your website is part of a phishing scam, and turn them away.
Traffic dies, purchases slow and you could potentially go out of business.
According to the previously noted WordPress blog: 60% of these small companies go out of business within six months of a hacking event or security breach.
SIXTY PERCENT! We’re not trying to scare you but, we this is scary stuff.
Not a great way to increase your brand awareness, is it?
Types of threats
Hackers could infect your website with malware and use your site to steal information from unsuspecting visitors. This includes sensitive information such as credit cards, addresses, and more. This type of attack could hijack your site and even crash it.
Here are some tips to help you keep your site secure:
- If you don’t have the time or knowledge to manage updates and security on your website, hire someone to take that over
- Choose a web hosting company that understands website security
- Use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password to manage your logins for each system and ensure passwords are complex
- Make sure the company/individual you hire to build your website also understands the importance of website security and doesn’t build a website that will break every time it’s updated
- Update themes and plugins as they may also provide hackers with vulnerabilities
- Login to your content management system, at least once per week to check for updates
- Backup your website often – in case you or your hosting company need to access a copy of your website
- Prep a Website security plan, noting who to call, eg. Hosting provider in the case they need to take the site down or back up from a previous copy
Does choosing the right hosting company help with security?
YES! Yes, it does. Choosing the right hosting company is very important as they are likely to know about potential vulnerabilities before you do. They will likely have a plan in place to protect your online properties against attacks, and depending on the company, if your site is attacked, they may be able to help you resolve any issues.
Talk to your potential hosting company before you purchase hosting from them. Ask them questions like:
- How often do you update the version of WordPress your site is running on?
- How often will you backup all the data on my website, or what options you have for backups?
Ideally, a hosting company should be updating their content management system versions once quarterly at a minimum (we update ours weekly). Depending on the frequency of changes to your site, you may want to look for a hosting company with a daily backup plan.
Hosting companies that offer these options may seem pricey, but we can assure you, the cost of losing the credibility of your business or blog is far more expensive.
Updates are important to the security of your online properties and to the success of your business. If you have questions about how to complete a security plan or have questions on Content Management Systems like WordPress, or just general security questions, we’d love to help.