9
May

What is malware? And, why should I care?

Malicious + software = malware.

Malware refers to any number of invasive code types (i.e: computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware and scareware), which appear as executable code, scripts, active content or other software.

Malware attacks may target large ecommerce sites, where money is at stake; corporations or political entities, where ideological attacks may be pointed; or even small, mom and pop shops where malware can be directed simply as a form of vandalism. In other words, anyone who has a Web site, runs email campaigns, interacts on social media or uses other digital media is at risk of a malware attack.

As the owner of a small business Web site, there are a number of practical steps one may employ to prevent hacker and malware attacks. Here, we will discuss a few of the simplest tactics:

PASSWORDS

  • Ensure logins are not words found in a dictionary. Do this by mixing upper/lower case letters with numbers and punctuation. To make an easy to remember password, take a word that is significant to you and replace the vowels with punctuation and numbers. For example Sweetheart might become: Sw33th3@rt.
  • Keep logins in an encrypted password program.
  • Update passwords frequently (i.e.: quarterly or monthly)
  • We at DigiVino recommend our clients update their passwords after we have launched their redesigns or new sites. This is a great way to begin a healthy Web routine and keep sites safe.

SITE SCANNER

  • Most hosting providers have some sort of malware protection and/or site scanner tool, which will send alerts in the case of suspicious activity. Get this and respond immediately if alerted.

BACKUPS

  • As a last ditch measure, and although you may have to pay your Web hosting company extra for the service, it will be well worth it to have a back up plan. Get routine site backups to enable easy reverting to pre-hacked states if the need ever arises

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