If you need more motivation to keep your website up to date, here’s some information that should spur you to action.
A recent article by web security company Wordfence describes “ransomware,” a dangerous and increasingly viral website invader: “Ransomware…encrypts everything on your workstation and then tells you to pay an attacker to decrypt your system and regain access to your information.”
Because WordFence specializes in securing sites based on WordPress web software, their article focuses on WordPress-specific issues — but keep in mind: ransomware threatens all vulnerable websites that are not regularly updated with the latest security patches. Bad enough, right? But it gets even worse.
Not Keeping Your Website Software Up to Date Puts Your Customers at Risk
Ransomware doesn’t attack just your site; it uses your site to launch attacks on the systems of visitors to your site.
As WordFence puts it: “If you don’t protect your…site from attackers, you risk infecting your site visitors with Ransomware, turning their machines into an attack platform, or worse.”
So, it’s a question of protecting not just your site, but also the sites of everyone you interact with over the Net. That means all of your associates, all of your customers, all of your potential customers. Even casual visitors could be invaded, infected, taken hostage, and recruited to invade and infect others. A potential digital pandemic.
Your Best Defense: Use Strong Website Security Software and Keep Your Website Software Updated
That’s the bad news. The good news is, the “good guys” at WordPress and elsewhere are busily devising and updating ways to block ransomware’s evil designs. But remember, the “bad guys” are constantly at work, too, finding new ways to crack your security.
If you don’t keep your website software and protection up to date, you’re exposed — and potentially exposing others.
3 Steps to Protect Your Website from Ransomware and
Common sense and good citizenship speak with one voice: “Stay up to date!”
Keep your core website software updated.
If your website uses WordPress or another content management software (CMS), it’s important to make sure you’re always running the most current version.
Keep third-party plugins/themes/software updated.
Make sure your website is running the most current versions of any third-party plugins, themes, and software you’re using to add features and functionality. Out-of-date plugins are a key pathway for hackers to access your website.
Add security software to your website.
Just like the Antivirus and firewall software on your computer that protects your company’s internal network, robust website security software keeps your website safe and secure.
Handpicked Additional Reading:
Secure Your WordPress Site with These 5 Steps
Remember — if you’re not sure whether you’re protected, chances are you’re not. Do you have someone on your staff or a hired consultant who makes sure your website software is up to date?
If you’re not sure — and especially if you know your site is out of date — it’s well worth the investment to have a professional evaluate your website security.