Thanks to a giant security breach that revealed hundreds of personal photos and documents this last week in Hollywood, there has now been a great deal of concern about the security of photographs, videos, and documents that millions of users store in popular Internet “cloud” accounts. Although Hollywood celebrities have longed been the subject of these personal data breaches, everyone online can fall victim to cyber-criminals at any given time.

Protecting all aspects of yourself and your business online is important, especially those parts that are meant to be private. Here are four cyber security best practices for ensuring that you’re protecting your online presence and the safety of your customers at all times on the web.

1. Change Your Passwords Regularly

The handful of passwords used to access your website’s CMS, FTP, social media accounts, and more should be updated on a frequent and regular basis. Even though insecure passwords are easy to remember, they are extremely vulnerable to security breaches if and when they happen. You should always include uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters in your passwords. Do not ever keep any password set to its default value as your current password. This is easily the most common mistake for businesses, but it’s one that can be easily corrected. If you don’t feel like being creative with your password creation, a password generator like can help.


2. Don’t Use the Same Username and Password

While it’s easier to keep track of passwords if it’s the same password across all your programs and devices, it’s not wise. Make sure you’re using a different password for every login so if in the case there is a breach, it won’t go very far. Keep passwords to accounts in a safe place and limit the access to sensitive information to those who absolutely need to see it. Some companies will even require an additional token to access ultra-sensitive information, especially by employees who may be working from a remote location. For example, adding a second password that’s changed regularly in addition to entering in a username and password can offer an extra blanket of security.


3. Add Anti-Virus Software to Your Computer and Website

Manufacturers and software developers recommend updating software often. Hackers will often look for websites and computers that do not have the latest safeguards. Consider installing an antivirus software that notifies or automatically installs software updates when available. Similarly, there are antivirus scanning security plans available through your website’s hosting provider that can scan your website for any malicious activity that may be happening on your website.

4. Buying a Auto-Backup Plan for Your Website

Perhaps the most important component we would highly recommend to every business, especially our clients is a auto-backup plan. These backup plans can be purchased again through your hosting provider and offer to automatically backup versions of your website on a regular basis. In case of a security breach that may compromise your entire website, these backup plans can restore your website back it it’s most recent version. This ends up saving hours of time and thousands of dollars. Every hosting provider has different security and backup plans so just ask! Sometimes hosting providers will even bundle the antivirus scanning software plans and backup plans together.