As a site owner or even just as an Internet user, you may have heard whispers about SSL lately. A tech-savvy friend might have stressed the importance of using “secure sites”, or you may have seen an article announcing Google’s new favouritism for SSL. Maybe you read about the Heartbleed incident a few years back.
You may have brushed those mentions off. After all, what does some vague technical acronym have anything to do with you?
But the truth is this: SSL keeps your business safe.
How? It is an Internet security protocol that is used to encrypt information as it travels between the website server and your customers’ computers. This prevents mischief-makers from intercepting, reading, or changing that information as it travels.
SSL (which stands for Secure Sockets Layer; you can read more about it here) isn’t a new thing — it’s an established and reliable technology that’s been around for decades. It gets adopted more widely every year as the Internet gets bigger and more threats — from minor Internet vandals to malicious hackers —arrive to take a slice.
The sooner it’s on your website, the sooner your customers — and you— can reap the benefits.
There’s been a lot of news lately about the Heartbleed website security breach, which has been leaking large amounts of sensitive online information from websites around the world. There are even comics about it. But what exactly is Heartbleed, and why is it so serious? What can you do to protect yourself from it?
We’re going to do our best to explain it.
What is Heartbleed?
To understand what Heartbleed is, first you need to know about SSL/TLS. SSL and TLS are the two most common kinds of connections that web servers form with your computer to keep information exchanged over the internet secure and private. SSL and TLS are known as cryptographic protocols, which is a fancy way of saying that they each use a list of security reinforcements—such as encryption and authentication—to protect your data. Continue reading
Recently, we were approached by an organization that had their website hacked. A few years ago, this organization hired a small web developer related to one of the principals to make their website. To make things easy and cheap, it was done with a WordPress theme and they were given limited administrative access to make their own changes. Major changes were left to the web developer. To reduce ongoing costs, a discount hosting company was enlisted to keep the monthly fees low. Continue reading