CitrusKiwi's Web Design, Internet & Marketing blog

Get hints and tips about web design, SEO, and things internet. We also discuss online security issues, showcase new client websites and offer hints on marketing and networking.

Backup or die!

This week I got a very timely reminder about the value of backups, and being on top of your internet security.  Despite the best efforts and intentions, if you don't know, don't assume!  When one buys space of a reputable, respectable and established host, it's reasonable, but very dangerous, to assume they would have put into place all the necessary security measures, right?  Wrong!

This week - well it came to a head this week; the actual damage had been done around Valentines Day - our server got hacked.  Not as badly as it could have been, but enough to be more headaches than a mild irritation.  Obviously I've seriously tightened up security - things which I foolishly assumed would have automatically been put in place already.  That was my mistake, and I am grateful only 1 client suffered anything (2 days without a site) due to my mistake.

The great thing was I did have backups of everything, so it was just a time thing to restore the sites that were badly damaged, and then go through and scan, and clean, all the junk that the hacker or hackers had dropped in there.  Yep, we changed logins and passwords too.  So we were lucky in the overall scheme of it.  Despite the, now closed, security holes, regular, automated backups saved the day.

Now, if you're thinking, "I don't have anything valuable." think again.  If I took your computer and wiped out ALL your data - letters, spreadsheets, images, mucis files, videos - would you shrug and say, "That doesn't matter!" or would you feel that cold shiver run through your body?  If it's the latter, then you should have a regular backup routine - automated preferably.  And get some copies off site - by that I mean to the cloud - SugarSync, Dropbox, etc.  I back up to 3 different places given the importance of the data I have.  

Bottom line:  Hackers are VERY active.  They don't care about the misery they cause.  Don't think you're not worth hacking - everyone is worth it, just to be malicious.  Do an ostrich and stick your head in the sand if you must, but this will not go away - but your data could!

Font size: +