Cyber Security: 5 Things To Keep In Mind In 2017

Cyber Security in 2017

Let’s start the year off on a secure foot

Cyber Security…we all know it people. It’s all over the news, it’s the topic on everyone’s brain and it’s the issue that no one knows exactly how to solve. The world wide web and our websites are at the frontline of this fight. We can’t prevent hacking from happening but there are some things we can do to help prevent security holes from occurring. These holes are, usually, caused by outdated extensions on our computers or plugins on our websites.

One of the other issues that comes up a lot is being hacked because we visit sites we really shouldn’t be visiting. I know I’ve personally gotten those emails or fallen into those traps. I mean how can you resist seeing “Dog sings Amazing Grace”?…I know I cannot. So I have to set up certain systems in place on my phone and computer to help keep me safe.

Hardware: To protect the tools we use.

Our computers and our mobile devices, yes our mobile devices, are automatically logged into pretty much everything we use.


LastPass is a Password Manager, Auto Form Filler, Random Password Generator & Secure Digital Wallet App. Basically it’s the Superman protector of your sensitive information. This is a 100% free resource that we use at RedTree and I also use personally on my mobile device. This saves us tons of time in security measures and organization. Here are a couple of things I love about this software:

  • It’s Free
  • We only have to remember 1 password
  • It has a mobile app (mobile security is becoming an issue)


Malwarebytes is a Free Anti-Malware & Internet Security Software download for Mac and PC. I originally found this software when I was trying to clean up a hacked website and knew some code got into my browser. I didn’t know how but I knew it was there, lurking, so I asked my IT guy if he had any free easy recommendations for me. I didn’t need anything big but something to scan and remove. That’s exactly what he gave me with Malwarebytes. Couple of other reason I’ve stuck with this software over the others:

  • Its Free…I’m seeing a trend here
  • It will scan my browsers as well as my computer
  • It will show me issues it found. For example, if there were a modification to an extension I use regularly.

Website: To protect our business

Our websites are the face of our business. Don’t lose potential customers because your website is down or hacked.

Update, Update and Update

If you’re on a WordPress platform, the plugins that help make your website operate beautifully need to be updated on a regular basis. It’s always a good rule of thumb to back up your website, see option below, before you update any plugins.

Install Security Plugins

(if you’re not hosted on WP Engine)

imgresThere are many different security plugins out there but we have found great success with Wordfence. Wordfence is one of the most popular WordPress security plugins, with one million downloads and a rating of 4.9/5. It covers login security, IP blocking, security scanning, and WordPress firewall and monitoring. Wordfence starts by checking if the site is already infected. It does a deep server scan of the site’s source code and compares it to the Official WordPress repository for core, themes and plugins.

Back Up Your Website

Again, thanks to the growing open source community that WordPress has there are several different options for a back-up plugin. Depending on what services you are looking for we have narrowed it down to these few:

  • BackUpWordpress: Allows for scheduled backups but doesn’t store them in the cloud or off server.
  • Duplicator: Creates a backup that is exported to your computer but it is not a scheduled process.
  • VaultPress: This is a paid subscription service but it really gives you everything you need from scheduled backup to cloud-based storage plus a ton more. (This plugin was created by the co-founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg.)

Let’s make a resolution

So let’s all make a resolution to be a little more secure in 2017.

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