Out of Office Sept 14 – OCT 2, 2016
My wife and I will be taking our annual autumn vacation beginning on Sept 14th. (Sept 13 really!). During this time I will not always be near a wifi or cellular connection, but I will check email at firstname.lastname@example.org when possible. You may also text me as well. During these 2 weeks I will only be able to provide support for “site down” web-hosting issues.
This is a great time to remind everyone that if you have your website and your databases backed up regularly, you are pretty much always prepared to handle any issue that may come up. I recommend services such as VaultPress.com.
Sites Infected with Malware may be deleted.
It’s a new environment out there in the world of web hosting. Old school and unhardened websites are being hacked or injected with malware at incredible rates. While our Virtual Private Server is more secure, when a client hosted on our VPS IS infected or hacked, it can lead to ALL sites on that server being suspended. Of course this puts me in a bad position as I have to get the VPS up as fast as possible and also resolve the infected site issue as well.
When it comes to dormant, old and unsecured websites my best option is to simply delete the account. If you have a back up, we can then reinstall your site and have you back up in a matter of hours. Still, I will require you harden your website. I can help you with this. I should also say that we do have a new system rolling out this fall which will help quickly isolate infected sites on the server so we can be more proactive in finding a solution for the client.
Business Critical? Well, if you just “can’t” have your site go down. My suggestion is this;
- Move from our shared server to our independent IP or cloud service. Not only will you have faster, more robust service, but you won’t be affected by other sites on your shared server.
- Once moved you need to secure your site. Wordpress websites have a variety of options including services and plugins which can lock your site done pretty well. Plus there are some other “hardening” techniques and settings we can use to better secure your site.
- Lastly you need to backup your site regularly. YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR LAST BACK UP. You can back up your website directly from your Cpanel or WordPress clients can use VaultPress or another service to provide daily back ups.
Web-hosting these days isn’t anything like what it used to be….
It’s not just big businesses like JPMorgan Chase, Target and Home Depot that get hacked. Small companies suffer from intrusions into their computer systems, too.The costs associated with computer and website attacks can run well into the thousands and even millions of dollars for a small company. Many small businesses have been attacked ? 44%, according to a 2013 survey by the National Small Business Association, an advocacy group. Those companies had costs averaging $8,700. But while most small businesses understand the need for a comprehensive data security program, many still believe hackers are only interested in going after big companies, and therefore may not take all the precautions that they should. In fact, statistics compiled by the National Cyber Security Alliance paint a disturbing portrait of small business vulnerability:
Almost 50 percent of small businesses have experienced a cyber attack.
More than 70 percent of attacks target small businesses.
More than 75 percent of employees leave their computers unsecured.
As much as 60 percent of small and medium-sized businesses that experience a data breach go out of business after six months.
If you have questions just give me a call or email me at email@example.com
DOS, Phishing & MalWare
Over the last few days we have seen a massive up-tick in attacks on websites. In nearly every case these attacks have been on websites that have not had their wordpress installs & plugins kept up-to-date or clients who have used very simple passwords to access their websites. Believe me, I realize this sucks and can impact your business. That said, at one time or another we’ve probably talked about staying up-to-date and other security issues before.
So here’s the thing. As I see these malware & phishing attacks on a clients site. When I can, I’m fixing them as a courtesy when I get a report or see something happening on my end. There are times however, when I cannot do a quick fix and websites are suspended until we can come up with a solution. This is to protect our servers, our clients, and YOUR customers.
The best ways you can avoid downtime & expense is with some basic security.
- Use Strong passwords.
- Keep your wordpress Installs up-to-date
- Keep your plug-ins up-to-date
- Use security plugins like “WordFence” to help protect against certain attacks.
- Keep a Backup of your website or use a service like VaultPress to backup your website for you.
Remember, unless you have a maintenance plan with me, I do not update or maintain your websites. This is YOUR responsibility. Infected sites will be shut down by our host. Sites infected with Phishing code & content can be reported to various security firms and shut down as well.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Spam Control On The New Servers
On the new servers we use a service called Spam Assassin. You’ll have to turn it on through your Cpanel if it’s not already. The program tags all suspected spam email. You can either have the tagged mail deleted directly on the server or use the tag to sort the mail in your Outlook or other email program. For basic instructions on how to use Spam Assassin click here.
Goodbye Old Servers!
It’s been a long and involved process to get everyone over to our new servers, but the end is in sight. (And the crowd goes wild!!) Of course, there are still a couple of folks who need to make their DNS changes and we’ll be working with them.. maybe pestering a bit as well, to get change completed by early next week. On Friday, the 20th.. our old server accounts go down for good and we’ll be pushing forward with new adventures.
Remember, if you’re having any trouble making your name server (DNS) update, let me know. I’ll do what I can to help of course.. Just keep in mind that I can’t hold back the April 20th deadline.
I certainly hope you’ve seen the newsletter we sent out last week regarding our hosting server change. That process has begun in earnest now and we’re nearly halfway through the task of moving about 1oo websites over to your new servers. As I mentioned, our hosting clients will now have much more control of their own sites, through our new Cpanel. In Cpanel you can manage your email, check your stats, back up your website (Including database & email accounts), and much, much more. I’ve been so looking forward to getting these upgrades into your hands!
Of course, if you don’t work on the web every day, it’s not always easy to figure out how to use all the new features, or even to set up a new email account on your computer. Well, for that reason we’re happy to introduce our new “How To” section filled with video instruction on how to do just about everything from changing your DNS to setting up your email accounts, to even adding a new database! You can check that out here http://www.skilletcreekmedia.com/client-section/how-to-everything/.
Retail Business Owners Should Pay Attention
So.. are you prepared for shoppers standing in your store and comparing your prices with competitors by smart phone? – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704694004576019691769574496.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read
Email Newsletters, Newspapers, Television? Really?
Here’s some food for thought when figuring out your advertising budgets.. You know by now newspapers are struggling (and that’s being kind), but it seems broadcast television is not doing much better; http://bit.ly/bIyX1Q. The average broadcast TV watcher is now in their 50s.. And that’s on popular networks!! Now it seems email is just too slow for the next generation as well: http://bit.ly/aSd5UB . There is a dynamic shift in how we communicate going on right now. Are you being passed by?
WordPress 3.0 Updates
WordPress version 3.0 was just released which looks a lot like the last version but under the hood is a major upgrade. If you’re seeing the new yellow “upgraded now” bar in your wordpress admin screen I’m sure you’ll be wondering if you should “click” it. Well, yes… IF you are only a version or two behind AND you back up your website first including the mySQL database AND you know what to do if the site “blows up”. Bad auto upgrades can usually be fixed but you need to know what you’re doing and have good back ups. I can tell you that the upgrades I’ve done on our websites and servers have been pretty much flawless which is always a joy.
Hype? Sure. But Still…
Certainly, there is a lot of hype around social media. However, some of the facts in this video are worth paying attention to. …