This information is intended to help TWPP clients understand the necessary basic minimum precautions for protecting your website and local computer.
Your internet browser is a window to the world wide web. It can also be an open door allowing malicious access to your computer. — W. Mercier, TWPP
Protecting Your Local Computer
Protecting your local computer is the first step in protecting your website. There are several aspects required to help keep your computer safe from viruses, malware, trojans, and other security exploits:
- Strong Unique Passwords
- Anitvirus Software
- Network Firewall
- Secure Network
- Trusted Software
Strong Unique Passwords: The use of weak and non-unique passwords is one of the top causes of computer and website security breaches. The consequences of a compromised password can be severe. Always use a strong and unique password for each and every login you require. This is especially true when it comes to the login for your email account – do not skimp on security here. Keep your passwords safe. Do not share them. If you think one of your passwords has been compromised, change it ASAP. Consider using one of the password management tools listed in the free resource section below.
Anitvirus Software: A computer without actively running and up-to-date antivirus software is just a problem waiting to happen. If your computer connects to any network, it is a must have item. Make sure your antivirus software is current and active. All of the trusted antivirus applications will provide software and definition updates on a regular basis. Check your settings to verify you have the latest versions. Many antivirus applications will run automated regularly scheduled scans and updates.
Network Firewall: Your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device should come with a preconfigured software-based firewall that is preinstalled and active by default. A firewall protects against threats from the internet and from any other infected computers on your network. Check your computer’s settings and verify that the firewall is active. There is no good reason to disable your computer’s firewall – even if your network router has one of its own.
Secure Network: Always use a secure network when you login to your website. If you have a wireless network at home make sure it is setup with WPA2 secure access. An open, public, unencrypted wireless network in your home makes all of your internet activity susceptible to unwanted intrusion and monitoring.
Trusted Software: Only use “trusted” software. There is no established list of trusted software – mostly this is a matter of common sense. Most of the software that comes preloaded on computers is from reputable providers and is deemed safe and trusted, as is software from well established vendors like Microsoft, Apple, Symantec, etc. If you need to download and install software from the internet, only do so from recognized safe download websites.
Whenever you install new software be careful to only install the software you want – do not select or agree to install any extras that may be offered (ex: free toolbar, special search tool, etc.). All of these extras are highly suspect and often result in undesired complications and possible file infections. Just say no to extras.
The caution to use only trusted software also applies to your browser. Only install those browser add-ons or extensions that are offered by reliable sources. Limit the number of add-ons you install and use. Also, when using your browser, always use caution and common sense if you ever encounter a webpage alert or message that asks you to download software, or allow access to your computer.
Protecting Your Website
The computer you use to login to your website administration area needs to be trusted and secure. The security and the integrity of your website depends on it. A compromised website login could lead to unauthorized access to your website. Accessing your website from a computer infected with a virus or malware could infect your website, and in turn, infect the computers of visitors to your website.
You should never login to your website from a public computer (like at a library), or via a “Free WiFi Hotspot” – or other public wireless networks such as those often found at places like Starbucks, Panera Bread, your local cafe, etc. Note that publicly accessible wireless networks which provide WPA2 secure access are generally considered safe. Here is simple WiFi secure access rule of thumb: If you do not have to enter a password to access the wireless network, then do not use it to login to your website (or for that matter, your bank, etc.).
Reporting and Fixing Issues
If you should ever have any problem with your website please contact TWPP as soon as possible to report the issue. Trouble could include not being able to login, a forgotten password, issues with browsing your website, failed email delivery to your domain email address, or anything that does not seem right. Early detection and reporting of issues is important in order to provide the best support.
AVG Free Antivirus – Free, robust automatic antivirus protection software for PCs. Free version includes the ability to schedule automatic scans.
AVAST Free Antivirus Free, robust automatic antivirus protection software for Macs and PCs.
LastPass – Free, multi-platform browser integrated password manager with online and offline access to your passwords. Very easy to use. You only have to remember one password.
KeePass Password Safe – Free, multi-platform offline password manager (can also integrate with KeeFox browser add-on). Very secure. Mostly used by computer geeks/nerds. You only have to remember one password.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free – Free anti-malware software for PCs. Detects and removes malware including worms, trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware and more.
Bitdefender Virus Scanner – Free malware detection software for Macs. Finds Mac malware as well as Windows viruses.