I know it’s been a while since I wrote- it’s been really hectic, which is part of the reason I haven’t had much time to blog, but the other reason was much more sinister.
My website had been hacked with some redirection type errors which, as far as I understand it, tried to install viruses whenever anyone visited my site. This was pointed out to me a few weeks ago, but has taken more than a month to fix. In that time, Google had been blocking some pages of my site from access, which, as you can imagine, caused all kinds of problems.
So, in light of this story, it’s not surprising, perhaps, that my first post back is related to managing your business technology. I suspect that part of the problem on my site was an outdated WordPress install; which, unfortunately, was just the beginning of the problem. It kind of spiralled from there. Here are three tips for managing your business technology more effectively:
1) Stay up to date with all new security releases. I tend to have an unwritten rule that says I won’t upgrade immediately after a new release. The reason for this, primarily, is because new releases of software are often buggy- and I don’t want to spend a lot of time troubleshooting. This strategy works well, except when there are any security holes or flaws in your currently installed software version. So this strategy has been adapted to stay up to date with all new security releases.
One tip for managing these: I now have a list of all the technology I use in my business and what version it is. Once per month, I will have one of my assistants go through the list and find out of any security updates are needed. This is especially relevant if you use open source software such as WordPress, Joomla, and other content management systems, but might also apply to other kinds of software as well.
2) Backup regularly. Luckily, I had this part in control. 🙂 I had an earlier version of my site ready and available in case it was needed to restore my site to full access. So the message here is to keep backups and backup regularly. This should be done at least once per week, more often if you are heavily creating something new.
3) Be patient. For most of us, technology is glitchy and sometimes frustrating. The best thing we can do when faced with a technological problem is take steps to solve it (or find someone who can) and then be patient in the meantime. Though I had the desire to frequently kick the process along, I did manage to restrain myself, which was useful in the long run. Ultimately, my tech guys didn’t find anything remaining on my site, and it appears that the danger has passed.
Using these strategies will help you manage your business technology and at least reduce, if not avoid completely, any unfortunate incidents which can tarnish your brand, business, or reputation.
and p.s.: If your server uses Direct Admin, turn off recursive DNS caching.