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Keeping Your Website Safe

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Small business websites are some of the most vulnerable to hackers because those companies don’t have the resources to maintain a dedication security team. However, with a little attention to detail as you’re setting up and managing your site, you can eliminate most

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of the major security holes that are common to small business websites. This is important for protecting company and customer data, as well as maintaining your reputation.

1. Secure Your Code: Sloppy coding leaves you vulnerable to all sorts of attacks, so it’s critical to secure the code on your website. One of the types of hacks that small businesses may see comes when hackers add malicious code to your website through security loopholes. Therefore, you need to ensure that the code you use is tight, and if you don’t know how to create tight coding, it’s time to hire someone who does.

2. Use TLS or SSL to Encrypt Pages: Encryption is key whenever users are entering information on your website, so you should definitely at least be using SSL to encrypt all pages of your site that would include sensitive information. TLS is newer and even more secure and would be a better choice if you can get it on your site. Ensure that the login page is encrypted, not just the pages following it.

3. Use Secure Networks and Workstations: Anytime you connect administratively to update your website, you need to be doing so through a secure workstation and a secure network, which means the Wi-Fi at your favorite coffee shop is out. It’s also critical that your host secures their network so the website is safe on that end. Lots of cloud providers, like Rackspace hosting, are PCI-compliant and affordable for small businesses. In addition, you need to set up firewalls and use sophisticated virus protection on the computers you use to connect administratively to ensure that they don’t have keystroke loggers or other malicious software.

4. Maintain Secure Login Credentials: If your administrator password to get into the back-end of your business website is password, you have a problem. Create secure passwords for yourself and all other administrators. Your password should not be a word found in a dictionary, and it should contain a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. In addition, each administrator should have his own login credentials to reduce security risk.

5. Use Server-Side Data Validation: Although this one may sound basic if you know a lot about websites, it’s important to mention. You can’t rely just on client-side data validation on forms. Set up your site to take advantage of server-side data validation so hackers would need access to the server to get through that layer of security.

Although these aren’t guaranteed to protect you against the most sophisticated hackers, they will help make your website more secure and less vulnerable to automatic attacks. Once you have set up a secure website, you need to stay on top of security, checking it regularly for problems, changing passwords and adding new security features as they become available. With these tips, you can reduce your chances of being hacked.

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Main Benefits Of Updating Your Business Software

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Every business owner should update the business software from time to time – this is important because new features are added on a constant basis. Besides, freshly updated software is significantly stronger in front of viruses and hacker attacks. Here you will find some of the most important benefits of updating your business software, and why you should do it on a regular basis:

Increased Productivity

Old, outdated software can run very slowly, and this is anything but time-effective for a company. Moreover, these programs also freeze constantly and can affect the overall productivity of your business. Besides, as software becomes more and more efficient with every update, it also becomes easier to use in order to store and manage files. Moreover, software update is directly linked to employee productivity – if the software works perfectly and does not freeze all of a sudden, then employees are automatically more productive.

Improved Security

As stated above, one of the main reasons why developers update their software is to make them stronger against viruses and hacker attacks. Hackers are known for attacking large corporations and causing extensive damage. In addition to affecting a company from the financial point of view, an old software can also cause massive downtime and this can affect sales and the overall credibility of the company. Updates aim to “patch” the security holes that appear in old programs, and this decreases the security issues that may arise.

New Features

Generally speaking, whenever a software is updated, it receives several new features (or the already existing features are significantly improved). Having said that, a freshly updated software can provide essential customer feedback that the company can use in its best interest. Updated point of sale business software can analyze customer behavior, filter the information and provide data about what customers like or dislike, details that are absolutely essential for the success of future marketing campaigns.

Improved Inventory Management

Updating business software has another important benefits: it allows you, as a business owner, to better manage the inventory. In other words, by updating the business software you make sure that the customers will get their products or services right when they need them. In addition to improved services and better inventory management, you can even save some money by updating the software, since you do not have to bear the cost of stocking extra inventory.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Working with a software that is out of date is considerably more expensive than using a freshly updated software. Businesses have the tendency to grow, and software must keep up with the business, otherwise this can affect the overall productivity of the business. Old software fails more often than new software, and this can overload the help desk personnel and result in increased costs in the long run. By updating business software on a constant basis, you will face lower maintenance costs over the years.

To sum up, these are 5 of the most important reasons why every business owner should take software updating into account. Updated software ensures improved security and inventory management, increased productivity, improved services and lower maintenance costs.