Browsing: Security

How to back up your website?

Website Back Up

Even in the offline world, people back up their paperwork preventing a possible data loss. With computers, we learned the importance of backing up regularly in case of a hardware or software failure, a virus, or other threat.

The same logic should operate for websites. You should have security copies of it. This can save you in case something goes wrong, but also in other common situations.

Why is it important to back up your website?

Prevent data loss. Besides the website’s data, more information is added from your users’ purchases, comments, visits, etc. 

Malware or/and hacking attack. If your security defenses are defeated, a backup of your website is key to get back on track faster and easier than to build it from zero. Down-time means income loss.  

Compatibility problems. Lack of compatibility while installing software to improve website’s functionality can produce problems. If it goes too bad, a backup will allow you to get back fast to the beginning. 

Update’s issues. To update is a responsible and regular practice, but sometimes the process can cause conflict among the different software components. Have a copy of your website to restore it quickly.

Migration to a different web hosting provider. This process requires transferring the complete database and files of your website to a new server. You need an updated copy.

Original website’s development vs. updated backup. Websites get more developed with time and new additions. What you need is a copy of the latest website’s version. 

How to back up your website?

Back up manually. This is the hardest method. It takes time, effort, but it works. A website has many files to back up, especially big ones. Be very focused not to miss a single one because the smallest loss can cause problems. Check every downloaded file, organize to avoid confusion, and remember to back up regularly. A good practice is to create an archive file with the complete directory instead of downloading file-by-file. Have more than only a copy on different hard drives.

Back up with rsync. Remote sync is a remote but also a local tool for transferring and synchronizing files. Through an algorithm, it can detect the segments of the files that have been modified to save them. It reduces the amount of data that has to be copied, takes less bandwidth and time. It works between a computer and an external hard drive and across servers. 

Back up directly from your cPanel. Click the backup icon and go on clicking until the process is finished. It’s really important to save the backup on a computer or an offline destination too. A common mistake is to back up without choosing the destination for the copy to be saved. Then, by default, it gets stored in the server. If it fails or shuts down, you simply don’t have a backup.

Back up using the cloud. This is an easy solution. Everything (database, content, themes, plugins…) will be safely backed up and available when you need it. There are different services for you to choose from. 

Back up through automated tools. There is software, free and paid. You can configure to make a copy of your website as frequent as you set it up, manually or automated, etc. Some of these tools have to be installed. Others are web-based. In general, they download backups via FTP. Every file and the database will be downloaded and even scanned to be sure they are free of malware. There are many choices. They add specific features to compete with others.

Conclusion

Backing up is a self-defense practice. Choose the choice that best suits your website’s needs and your budget. Redundant backups are essential. Don’t store only a copy. Save in more than one server or offline safe location. Guarantee you can immediately restore your website and don’t leave this task for tomorrow!

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What is two-factor authentication, and how does it work?

two-factor authentication

One of the most basic security methods is the creation of strong passwords. The problem is after time, we all need to create not one password but plenty of them. For the personal and job e-mail, banking, taxation, social networks, video streaming service, shopping, etc.

This is bait for hackers. By cracking passwords, they can access all possible sensitive data from people. Besides, many people use the same password for different accounts, they don’t change them regularly, and they use really predictable information. This makes the job really easy for the shady guys.

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an authentication method in which users must prove their identities through two different ways to access their accounts. If they don’t provide the correct two factors, access will be denied.

2FA strengthens security by adding a layer of protection. It stops unauthorized people from accessing your sensitive information. Even if they get your user and password, they won’t access directly to your account. An extra factor still is needed.

How does the two-factor authentication (2FA) work? 

2FA adds a step to the regular log-in process. Besides, enter regular credentials (user and password), the users’ fingerprint can be required, or a code that the user will receive via mobile. That involves a separated device from the one you are trying to access, either a scanner or a mobile phone, meaning fewer risks. Regularly such codes are built with at least six numbers. The fewer numbers a code has, the easier it is for hackers to try combinations until they get the right one. This code is generated every time a user attempts to log in (user and password). It is called a verification code, passcode, or authenticator. That way, the identity will be double-checked to prevent hackers.

Without the second factor/step, logging in won’t be possible.

2FA uses several factors. The most common categories are the following.

  • Biological factors. It includes biological aspects like humans’ voices, eye retina, or fingerprints. 
  • Possession factors. A piece of information that can be physically possessed. A USB drive or a plastic card you have to insert on a specific spot to access. 
  • Software factors. Proves of identity supplied by software (applications, cryptographic key, etc.).
  • Knowledge factors. Specific, confidential information to access an account. A particular keystroke, the answer to a question, a code sent to your mobile, etc. 

Types of two-factor authentication (2FA)

There are different technologies available on the market. As you will see, the different factors can be combined to offer you stronger security.

  • Location authentication. Some accounts can require a second step to check the user’s location. When the user logs in with regular credentials (step one), this action triggers the verification of the location based on IP address or GPS coordinates. If your business has permanent regions, countries, or areas of operation, this can be a choice for you.  
  • Biometrics. This technology has become very popular, and it already offers a wide menu of choices. To prove your identity, you have to pass a recognition test. From fingerprint, hand geometry, voice, iris, retina, or face recognition, to gait (walking style), typing style, odour, and much more. 
  • Audio messages or SMS. Codes can be sent to users via SMS or voice message. 
  • Software tokens. They are applications that users install to generate and/or receive the necessary code they need as a second factor for accessing an account.
  • Hardware tokens. These are physical tokens that generate codes or the extra piece of information necessary for users to have access. 

Conclusion

Don’t take security for granted! To crack simple credentials is a piece of cake for hackers. Protect your online accounts and sensitive data with two-factor authentication (2FA).

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