Guest Blog | Website and Email Security: 2 Must-Haves – Do You?

Online internet secure payment and network safe communication and banking concept. Person pay in web via computer. Locks and padlocks on diagram.

As the internet continues to become more and more a part of everyday life, the need for better security grows as well.

We know you can find resources for DIY websites and IT tips all over cyberspace. However, in this day and age, is DIY the way to go? Although we could discuss the pros and cons, the quick answer is no.

Everyone knows the old saying “a year for humans is seven years for a dog.” Well, “web years” are very similar. Five years ago we would look at search engines, email platforms, and their security requirements maybe once every six months. The technology was still pretty new, and overall you could stay on top of it pretty easily by reading some tips from the pros and have a good handle on it. These days, not so much. Previously, where Google and other Search engines would roll out a new search algorithm once every few months, now they are making changes every few days.

So, you can imagine how much is changing now, compared to years ago. Today “web years” are about three years advancement to 1 human year. There is a lot to track. With these changes, your website requirements and updates need to be handled at the same speed. Additionally, email platform adjustments and security changes are occurring much more frequently, along with others. Although we could talk about the security of sites more in depth, let’s take a look at two essential items you should address immediately. These two items are vital to both website and email security.

Secure Your Site With SSL (HTTPS)

Securing your website with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protection these days is vital. In July 2018, Google announced they would begin marking all sites without an SSL certificate as “not secure.” This identifier allows website visitors to know whether or not their personal information is safe and secure while they’re browsing sites on the internet. When an SSL certificate is present on a site, the site’s URL will display as ‘HTTPS’ and you’ll see a lock icon next to the URL. HTTPS indicates that the site protects user data and ensures that the user is connected to an authentic site. Bottom line, Google wants a more secure web and is making HTTPS the standard for all websites going forward.

However, on top of this, there are different types of SSL certificates you can apply to your site. Different levels of security, to “insurance” plans that protect you in the case of a data encryption breach. For example, if you are running an eCommerce site, you will want to choose a certificate that is more secure but also may carry an insurance plan if your website were to be attacked and your data integrity compromised. Please consult your web developer or IT partner to further discuss these options. If you do not have either of these, we recommend consulting with a professional before choosing your route and type.

Choose Your Email Wisely

Everyone loves free, right? However, when it comes to email, free is only as good as its value. In recent months we have had a rise of calls with clients saying their email is not working. When these clients are speaking about their email, they mean Outlook. Just as websites are evolving, email is as well, and as website security is changing, email is beginning to hold the same requirements. With these changes, we recommend looking into moving away from free email for business use and migrating to either Office 365 or GSuite. Both systems are cloud-based and as these security changes are made, your platform updates automatically.

Which one is right for you? Just as with SSL certification for your website, please make sure to consult with your partners on which system is right for you. Choosing the right partner for these services should also help optimize other parts of your business as well. From Calendar integration to cloud storage, and even mileage tracking, many new benefits are now being built into these platforms.

These two significant changes in security for your business should be top of mind if you have not made the changes yet. Also, do keep in mind that these are only two pieces of the security puzzle. There are many more to watch out for, and some as crucial as the two we discussed today. If you have been living in the DIY world, we get it. However, before you get too far into your website build or hardware setup, be sure to consult a professional. If you would like to set up a free consultation, please contact Garner IT below. We would love to discuss these and other security protocols with you.

Click Here to Contact Garner IT or call (850) 250.3210

Chris Josten,
Founder and Principal
Curiosity Marketing Group


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