Asset Protection: Is Your Website Covered? Thumbnail

This is a member post from Timothy at The Wealth Artisan. visit us to read about dividends, and starting a business! 

Entrepreneurs have a lot that we must handle:

  • Ensuring the day-to day operations continue
  • Providing our products
  • Consistency in service
  • Managing the business finances
  • and, protecting our assets

But for entrepreneurs, and small businesses, protecting our assets seems to be a tough task, especially when our assets are primarily digital. We “protect” things all the time that aren’t tangible such as our lives with insurance, but how can we protect our websites?

People even purchase fantasy football insurance! Now, I’m not trying to knock those people, but if they are protecting themselves on fantasy football, why aren’t we protecting our websites?

Website Insurance?

As entrepreneurs, we must protect our assets.  In this case, our assets are our websites.  No, I’m not hocking website insurance, but there are many steps that you can take to protect your website. For some people, their website is their livelihood, and it should be cared for with that level of respect.

All of us can attest to the time and effort we’ve invested in our websites, and this isn’t just limited to writing content. What about the time you’ve invested in:

  • The layout
  • The images
  • The post formatting
  • The plug-in research
  • The comment response you’ve labored over
  • The tools you use to research
  • The massive lists of favorites and contacts

Your website’s success isn’t just tied to your web-host, it spans over to your computer as well! This leads us to our next point, what are we protecting our websites from?

Website Predators, They’re Out There

Our websites face a lot of adversity everyday. A minor but annoying example are Spammers. We’ve got relatively good protection in place for them, but what about:

  • Hackers
  • Viruses
  • Natural Disasters
  • Hardware and software failures
  • Internal compromise

I’m sure there are many other threats out there, but these will probably cover many of the issues. Any one, or a combination, of these could destroy the years of work that we put in.

These threats can be addressed relatively easily.

Protecting your investment & income

How can we address the numerous threats out there? This really goes back to the basics of any protection. I’m providing a few ideas below, but I’m sure you can come up with plenty (be sure to include them in the comments)!

1. The Website “Package”

I should patent this one, but the idea is probably too close to tape-drive back-ups. This is basically the equivalent of your “Nuclear Football.” It is an external hard-drive that you backup your entire website to. Export a WordPress backup file to it, then create a backup file from your web-host, and save them to this drive. Then, save a backup of all local files and programs (preferably their install packages) that you use to make your website successful, especially your passwords database.

Ideally, this should be able to re-install your website to a new server, setup a new computer and everything should be identical on the website and your new computer as it was before you had to do the backup. This is a fairly manual process, so you may want to do it on a weekly or monthly schedule. You would experience some data loss (unless you implement some of my next ideas), but you would ultimately remain operational.

Once backed up, keep your drive in a safe place like a fire and waterproof safe.

2. Email backups

Use a backup software such as WP DB Backup to email a backup of your WordPress database daily. With a backup, you should be able to put the site back online quite quickly. At the very most, you might experience about a 23-24 hour data loss. There is a drawback however, email is generally not secure. If your database contains sensitive information, I would advise against this method.

This method is also nice because you’re left with a running cache of backups (unless you delete them). If a problem happens and you miss it for a few days, you can install backups, in a reverse-sequential order until your back to a day that didn’t have problems. Database backups won’t help if the issue exists in your WordPress scripts. In that case, you better have a web host backup!

3. Web host backups

Many web-hosts offer a backup option. Some even allow automated backups. This is nice as they will back it up to the server and you can download it over a secure SSL or SFTP (if they offer it) connection. The downside is that if you don’t retrieve your backup, and your host goes down, then you can’t get the backup.

This will provide a backup of your actual WordPress installation, which is great if your actual web-host was compromised. You’ll need to ensure these backups also include your databases, or you’ll need to ensure that you’re getting database backups somehow (either by a similar method as this, or using the methods outlined in section #2).

4. Use secure passwords

Answer these questions:

  • Are your passwords all lower or uppercase?
  • Do they start with or contain only a single common word?
  • Does it contain only letters and 1 number?
  • Do you use the same password across multiple platforms?
  • Do you increment the number at the end of your passwords?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re vulnerable to password theft. Create hard to remember passwords. Mix upper and lower case letters, put numbers in the middle of your words, and use special characters!

How do I remember these passwords, you ask? Use a password safe! There are plenty of free ones out there, and many provide useful information like the relative strength of the passwords you’re using.

These work by storing your passwords within them, then you just need one password to access them with. Please use a difficult password to access them with, or else it will mostly defeat the purpose.

You can even keep the password written on a post-it in your wallet (security experts are beginning to accept that wallets are a secure places to store a password).

Generally, I don’t advise people to write passwords down, but if you get robbed, chances are the person won’t care about a random combination of letters and numbers written on a piece of paper.

After using it enough, you’ll have it memorized and then you can shred the piece of paper.

Security & the back of your mind

Sometimes we never have our website’s security in mind, and that can be the thing that makes or breaks us. It should always be in the back of our minds.  Entrepreneurs have a lot on our plates, but if we don’t lock our doors, it could all be for nought.

Sound Off:

  • What are some tips that you’ve learned over time?
  • Do you think security has cost you money or saved you money?
  • Has a compromise, or issue cost you money with your website?



Manage Your Finances In One Place: The best way to become financially independent and protect yourself is to get a handle on your finances by signing up with Personal Capital. They are a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts in one place so you can see where you can optimize. Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 25+ difference accounts (brokerage, multiple banks, 401K, etc) to manage my finances. Now, I can just log into Personal Capital to see how my stock accounts are doing and how my net worth is progressing. I can also see how much I’m spending every month.

The best tool is their Portfolio Fee Analyzer which runs your investment portfolio through its software to see what you are paying. I found out I was paying $1,700 a year in portfolio fees I had no idea I was paying! There is no better financial tool online that has helped me more to achieve financial freedom.

It’s 2015 and the bull market continues. Make a decision to be wealthy by taking control of your finances!