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Do you know how secure your website really is?

Do you know how secure your website really is?

Since the introduction of GDPR the world of acquiring information has become slightly harder (only slightly), there are still plenty of people that do not understand or care about GDPR, which is a shame, as there are many media outlets such as The Independent (see their blog here) warning UK businesses about the dangers of cybercrime and that almost 50% of UK businesses have already been hacked, and they are right, cybercrime or hacking is a very profitable business, and it is one that could potentially destroy your own business overnight, but did you realise that hacking and GDPR also applies to your website?

With pretty much every business advertising or trading online now it has become more important than ever to keep yourself safe. Many of you may have a web designer or developer that looks after your website for you, but do you know what they are doing for you?

It remains your responsibility to ensure your website is kept up to date and as secure as possible so that your users and their data is always protected. There are many great web designers and developers out there that keep security and updates at the forefront of their mind and assist their customers in staying safe. However, we have seen all too often “pop-up” designers that build a website and then hand it over to the customer to maintain, giving them no form of training or advice on how to keep it up to date and safe, then when something goes wrong they are nowhere to be found.

This year there have been a couple of major software vendors that have made big changes to their software, JAVA being one of them, in 2019 JAVA will start charging for their software. While a lot of users seem to think JAVA is some sort of virus, it is actually one of the most widely used software platforms in use today, from tablets and mobile phones to PCs and laptops, most devices use JAVA and keeping it up to date is very important, your business needs to be aware of what you use JAVA for and how much will the introduction of charges affect you.

The second major announcement this year is from PHP, who will be ending support for several of their software packages. At this point, you are probably asking yourself what the hell is PHP, some sort of drug? Sadly not, PHP is a coding language that most websites are written in,

I can already hear the why should I care?

PHP can be one of the most vulnerable parts of a website, with new weaknesses being reported and fixed every day. Once the support ends so do the updates, meaning an outdated website becomes a hacker’s dream. So if you have a web designer or developer ask them what PHP version you have on your website, every version up to 7.0 will be going end of life by December 31st 2018, with 7.0 itself going end of life on Dec 1st. if you manage your own website then you may need to get a little help to ensure you are up to date in time. There are many hosting companies that still do not support PHP version 7.1 or 7.2, so it is best to check with them what they can support, if they do not support it then it is definitely time to jump ship to another host, some may be able to help you with upgrading.

Sadly, there is an issue that may hinder the self-hosted upgrades, with platforms such as WordPress and Drupal, many users have themes and plugins that are outdated and not maintained by the original creators, these may not be able to handle the PHP upgrade. In reality, using software that is outdated or unsupported is dangerous in itself, we would always advise you to seek out a competent developer that can advise you properly and help to install safe apps and plugins where possible.

If you have any questions about this or need help finding out what version of PHP your using speak to our expert simon@iccreative.co.uk and he will be happy to help support you or point you in the direction to get the information. 

All of our hosted websites have already been upgraded, as we ensure a smooth service for our clients. If you have any problems with your hosting or not sure if it’s hosted in the UK we can help secure your business’s digital footprint. 

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