I know, I know…. Passwords are a pain in the ass. It’s easier to use the same password for everything, and you probably use your dog’s name, and dealing with this is not something you have time for. I get it. I’m right there with you. I hate airport security as much as the next person.
Security Reality Check: Updating your passwords every 6 months will make it very hard for anyone to access your information, which would really really suck if it were to happen to you.
Online security is a hot topic right now. Big companies that we thought of as uber secure have sent out notification after notification recently that our private data has been “potentially” exposed.
Rather than freak out, let’s be proactive and educate ourselves about a few simple things we can do to avoid hackers and spam, starting with the very simplest of admin items.
As Marie Forleo, founder of B-School, would say, “Put on your Big Pants,” and be responsible for your business, because no one else can do this for you.
Fact is… the internet is here to stay, and as is true with all other things, the bigger the party, the higher the chance of something gettin’ broke.
Plus, it feels good to take action and do things right!
Here are 3 simple action steps you can do right now to update your password security:
1. Change Your Website Admin Password
Log into your website admin and change your password for your user account. For WordPress, this will be under — USERS in the left-hand menu of the dashboard. Click — USERS > EDIT (under your name) > NEW PASSWORD > UPDATE — USER.
2. Write It Down Someplace Safe
This does not mean a post-it or scrap of toilet paper… Write down this password in a PROPER place, ideally with all of your other passwords. Password management is the #1 issue most of my clients have. I highly recommend having ONE password location for everything related to your website. My favorite Password Manager is 1 Password. This online system syncs with all of my devices, and makes my life easy-peasy.
3. Call Your Hosting Company For SSL Certificate Status
This step is ONLY if you have an SSL Certificate. If you don’t, still wouldn’t hurt to see how your hosting company is managing security these days. But, if you DO have an SSL Cert, it is very important that you call your hosting company now to see how they are addressing the Heartbleed Bug.
While this bug has been around for over 2 years, it is now the top priority for large companies. Chances are, they are updating your SSL Cert for you as we speak. To quickly learn about this bug, like I did from Yoast.com, “…the website heartbleed.com has a lot of good info on the issue but it might be a bit techy, XKCD has an awesomely simple explanation. If you run an https website, be sure to read up on it and make sure your websiteâ€™s safe.”
None of this stuff is reason to freak out; rather, to be calm and proactive.
You are a smart business owner, and you don’t shy away from taking care of your online shop. Just as you might put up an extra surveillance camera by the back door of your store, by updating your passwords regularly you will be taking a simple admin action to keep your website running smoothly and productively.
Nice job gettin’ it done!
Bonus: Tricks For Choosing A Strong Password
Here’s a cool infographic demonstrating how adding a number or character dramatically increases your security. It really does matter!
Did you find this article helpful? Do you have other Password Managers you would recommend to readers? Have any stories to share about protecting your website from annoying spammers and hackers? I’d love to hear how you handled the situation in comments below!