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8 Tips to Get Your Website Ready for the Holidays   no comments

Posted at Oct 30, 2019 @ 9:00am Holidays,Web hosting

holiday-ready

As the holiday season draws near, it’s time to start thinking about updating your website to capitalize on the increased traffic that often accompanies this time of year. Satisfied customers and a successful holiday season will make any business owner smile, and your website can play a big role in making that happen. Taking extra time to prepare now is a good way to avoid technical problems and other issues during the holidays.

 

1. Optimize for Mobile Devices

Thanks to the growth of smartphones and other mobile digital devices, online shoppers don’t have to be chained to their computer desks to check off purchases from their holiday shopping lists. Developing a simple and functional theme specifically for your mobile users can increase your potential customer base. The easiest way to do this is to make use of responsive designs. With a responsive design, your website will modify itself automatically to create the optimal layout for the customer’s mobile device; these designs can accommodate both smartphones and tablets. Due to the smaller screen size typical of mobile devices you probably won’t be able to maintain the exact same design from your desktop version, but you can still use the same branding and color scheme.

 

2. Improve Your Website’s Loading Time

You may want a website with all the latest bells and whistles, but consider your website’s performance before you load it up with high-resolution graphics and elaborate scripts. Sluggish loading times on your website frustrate your customers and may encourage them to shop elsewhere. Before the holidays start, have your technical support team run tests on your website to see how fast each page loads for the average user. Changes to your design, such as reducing large images and eliminating complex coding scripts, can help your website perform better. You can also opt for a better cloud solution or web hosting server for your website to see even more improvement in loading speeds.

 

3. Secure Customer Data

Shopping online is always risky; some websites don’t safeguard customers’ data properly, putting these individuals at risk for identity theft and other issues. Investing in robust security software is a good way to protect your customers’ important data. Your technical support staff should keep apprised of the latest developments in online security to help your customers stay safe. To help alleviate your customers’ concerns, you can include information on your website about the security protocols that you use and offer tips on how your customers can shop online safely.

 

4. Offer Friendly Customer Support

Browser problems, incorrect stock levels and missing orders are just some of the common customer issues your staff will need to work through. Having enough staff on hand is an essential ingredient to helping your website survive the holidays. If possible, offer a live chat support option to those who are currently browsing your website. Keep an eye on your social media profiles in case a customer tries to reach you through those networks. Some customers may prefer to use email to get in touch with you; using a ticket system to handle incoming customer emails is a good way to keep track of issues. Help your staff to cultivate a customer-centric attitude, and try to anticipate common problems so that you can develop solutions ahead of time.

 

5. Boost Your Search Engine Presence

Improving your search engine rankings before the holidays begin can help fuel your success during the holiday rush. There are many ways to help boost your search engine rankings, starting with updating older pages on your website; offering fresh information to your visitors is a good way to impress search engines and show that your website is active. Adding special features, such as a blog, can also help. If your blog content is particularly noteworthy, you can expect more traffic to head your way. Your blog content should offer something useful to readers, such as tips for using your products.

 

6. Prepare a Festive Look

A festive design for your website encourages your customers to start thinking about the holidays. You don’t need to spend excessive money on a festive look; changing some pictures and making some cosmetic changes, such as altering the font color, can help dress up your website. Your holiday look should also include banners displaying any specials you plan to run, including discount codes.

 

7. Brush Up Your Social Media Presence

Social media networks offer an excellent way to connect with individual customers, generate buzz about your products and direct traffic to your website. Don’t let your social media networks sit unused with only a link to your website; update them frequently and interact with your customers. Make sure your profile on each platform matches so that you have cohesive branding. As the holidays draw near, using social media to announce your specials will help you get more interest from potential customers.

 

8. Beef Up Your Website’s Server

If your website is unable to handle massive amounts of traffic at once, a crowd of shoppers on big sales days could lead to sluggish performance or an outright crash. Major server problems are not something to be taken lightly; investing in the right server infrastructure for your expected traffic is a good way to avoid these issues. If your customer base is larger, you might need a dedicated server to keep your website afloat during the holidays. Dedicated Servers may cost more than basic shared or cloud hosting, but your website won’t be at the mercy of problems caused by other websites/users on the server.

Examining every aspect of your website before the holidays arrive can help you prepare a strategy to improve customer satisfaction and your own business success. A good website requires many things, including fast loading times, quality customer service and security. Working on these elements early can ensure that your website is ready long before your customers even start to think about tackling their holiday shopping lists with your business.

 

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Written by David Maurer on October 30th, 2019

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How to Build a Trusted Website   no comments

Posted at Oct 8, 2019 @ 9:00am Web hosting

How to Build a Trusted Website

If you are like other business owners and managers, you are looking for a way to grow your business and expand your reach to the next level. While you can use many methods to obtain your goal, having a high-quality, trusted website is one of the top ways to achieve impressive results. Your customers will instantly view you as an expert if you have the proper elements on your site, and they will feel excited to buy your products or services as a result. Building a website that has a positive impact on your audience will take some time and effort, but you will enjoy the rewards for years to come as long as you follow the right process. You can track your progress to see the difference that a compelling website can have on your bottom line, and the following guide will point you down the correct path.

 

Reputation

Your reputation is one of the most important factors when it comes to attracting and retaining loyal customers. Before you try to impress people with your accomplishments, get to know your audience and the factors to which they are the most likely to respond. If your company has been serving customers for many years, including that fact in your sales page can increase your reputation in no time. Having a large number of followers on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites will also play a role in the amount of trust that you can earn from your potential customers. When people see that others are interested in you and what you have to offer, they will not hesitate to buy from you.

 

Testimonials

Advertisers from around the world place ads online, on the side of the road, in newspapers, on television and on the radio. No matter where you go or what you do, you will find someone trying to sell a product or service, so you will need a way to make your business stand out from the rest. Anyone can promise that their product or service will solve problems and make people’s lives a little easier, but adding testimonials to your website will grab attention and inspire people to believe in your product or service. Sprinkle your testimonials throughout your sales page if you want to get a positive response from your prospects. If you would like to enhance your results, try including a picture of your customers in their testimonials.

 

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

If you would like to make your website as trustworthy as possible, overlooking the importance of the Better Business Bureau, or BBB, is a mistake that you won’t want to repeat. The BBB is a trusted company that helps connect consumers with businesses that adhere to certain leadership and customer service standards. If a company registers with the BBB and follows the code of conduct, it can place the BBB badge on its website or sales page. Becoming a member of the BBB and displaying the badge on your content will add a touch of credibility. Businesses that maintain the highest standards will be eligible to receive awards that will help them leave a lasting impression on their web visitors.

 

Secure Your Content

Stories of cybercrime are becoming increasingly common, and your customers want to know that they are in good hands. When a criminal gains access to the personal data of your customers, the criminal can steal their identity and make their lives much more difficult. When you send information over the internet, it’s easier than you would think for criminals to intercept it, and not having a secure website will turn a lot of potential customers away. Overcoming that issue is simple when you use secured sockets layers, or SSL, to safeguard your website. When you do so, the software will encrypt every piece of information that people submit to your site, making it impossible for criminals to read.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

People do not always trust advertisements that they see online because they know that the marketers are trying to obtain their money. Although the right ad campaign can improve your profitability, using search engine optimization will increase your effectiveness. People know that Google wants to provide relevant and useful content to its users, so they will be much more likely to trust content that appears on the organic search results. When you use SEO to rank your content on the No. 1 page of Google, you will be surprised by the outcome.

 

Free Trials

If you have followed the other steps in this guide, you are already moving in the right direction, but testimonials and BBB awards can only get you so far. If you would like to get the most from your effort, consider the benefits of offering free trials. As long as you remain dedicated to quality, those who use your free trials will want to buy the full version of your product or service. Since people will judge the value of your other products on the reliability of your free trial, put your best foot forward.

 

Professionalism

Ensuring that your website is professional will work wonders when it comes to getting your prospects to like and trust you. A clean design, simple navigation and attractive layout are just a few of the components of a professional website. You will also want to use well-written content that engages your audience and is free of spelling errors. Using an optimized code that loads fast will also help you build a professional image with your website, and you will impress your prospects along the way. When you have a professional and captivating website, your potential customers will know that you care about your business and reputation.

 

The look and feel of your website will determine how much trust and respect you can build with your prospects, and you can’t afford to cut corners. Each step that you take to inspire people to view you in a positive light can enhance your conversion rate and help you increase your earning potential. When you put these tips into action and see what they can do for your business, you will know that you have made a smart choice.

 

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Written by David Maurer on October 8th, 2019

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10 Essential WordPress Security Tips   no comments

Posted at Aug 27, 2019 @ 9:00am Web hosting

wordpress security

Failing to protect your WordPress site from potential hackers could leave years of work vulnerable to attack. Malicious users know how to exploit vulnerabilities in unprotected sites, hijack files and plugins for their own use and sabotage functionality.

If you’re not doing all you can secure your site against attacks, it’s time to take action. Use these ten WordPress security tips as a starting point to lock out hackers and protect your web presence.

 

1. Obscure the Login Page

By default, WordPress users access their login pages via domain names followed by wp-login or wp-admin. Hackers know this and will immediately navigate to these pages when attempting to enter your site. Using a security plugin, you can change the URLs of login and user registration portals. Although this doesn’t prevent hackers from eventually finding these pages, it slows them down and may be frustrating enough to make them give up trying to access your site.

 

2. Choose Unique User Identification

Using “admin” as your administrator login name is like an open door for hackers. Your login should be distinct to your website and difficult to figure out. One way to ensure your login remains unique is to use the email associated with your WordPress installation instead of a username. Email addresses are harder to guess and offer better authentication for administrator logins.

 

3. Be a Password Juggler

There was a time when you could stick a few numbers on the end of your dog’s name and call it a reliable password, but in today’s volatile Internet landscape, you need much more than that. Use a password generator to create strong WordPress passwords, and change them on a regular basis. Good passwords include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols in various combinations. The more complex your passwords, the more secure your site will be.

 

4. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Many sites employ a two-step process to verify the identity of each user attempting to log in. Using the same method on your site means it will take a little longer for you to get to the dashboard, but it may prevent hackers from gaining access to your site. Two-factor authentication lets you choose a secret question or a special code to be after the initial password screen. Some methods use a one-time authentication message sent via text to ensure only authorized users can log in.

 

5. Install a Security “Watchdog”

Hackers need multiple attempts to get into your WordPress site, and plugins like WordFence alert you to this activity while locking down the site to prevent unauthorized access. Such security plugins act like gatekeepers, watching who tries to log in, sending alerts, checking for file changes and banning offending IP addresses. Reports of activity arrive in your inbox immediately and again in weekly summaries so that you can keep on top of any potential problems.

 

6. Control Other Accounts

Collaborative or corporate blogs require several user accounts, and this can pose a problem for security unless all users understand how to keep the site protected. Be selective when adding accounts, since every new login creates another potential point of vulnerability. Establish rules about password strength and how frequently passwords should be changed, and make sure each user has a distinct login name. Set individual user permissions at the lowest levels possible so that it’s difficult for hackers to do damage should additional accounts ever be compromised.

 

7. Use .htaccess to Hide Important Files

Editing the .htaccess file can change certain WordPress functions, including the level of security. With the right code, you can:

  • Disable directory listings to prevent unauthorized users from accessing file listings
  • Hide your wp-config file from malicious users
  • Set which IP addresses are granted administrative privleges
  • Block access to the PHP files for themes and plugins

Remember to back up the existing .htaccess file before making any changes.

 

8. Stay on Top of Updates

Themes, plugins and the WordPress core are updated regularly to fix known problems, including security issues. Before installing any plugin or theme, check the last time it was updated. Ensure the developers offer continued updates after installation, and stay away from pirated “free” versions of premium plugins.

Run updates as soon as you can to eliminate vulnerabilities. If you have trouble remembering to update or have a tendency to miss notifications, consider setting automatic updates to run on a routine basis.

 

9. Don’t Neglect “Spring Cleaning”

Make a habit of going through the plugins and themes stored on your WordPress site whenever you run updates. Delete anything you haven’t used in a while or have replaced with something more functional. You may be surprised how many plugins you’ve accumulated while building your site, and getting rid of unused ones eliminates vulnerabilities.

It’s also a good idea to clean up your database from time to time. Find a reliable database cleaning plugin and run it to remove old file versions and other outdated information. As a bonus, your site should load faster and run more smoothly without the extra files weighing it down.

 

10. Backup as Often as Possible

No matter how careful you are, there’s always a chance an enterprising hacker could break through your site’s defenses. Creating site backups safeguards all the information on your site, giving you a way to restore everything should your security measures ever fail.

Some hosting companies provide scheduled backups as part of their services, but it’s a good idea to also have your own plan in place. Use a backup plugin or make manual backups on a regular basis, and store the files in a secure place so that you know they’ll always be there if you need them.

WordPress site security isn’t a “set it and forget it” measure. After putting initial protections in place, it’s essential to continue monitoring activity and running updates. Keep an eye out for new, stronger security tools, and implement the best combination of plugins and code changes to prevent the majority of attacks.

 

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Written by David Maurer on August 27th, 2019

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5 Advantages of Cloud Hosting   1 comment

Posted at Aug 20, 2019 @ 9:00am cloud,Web hosting

Cloud Hosting

Choosing to host your company’s IT infrastructure and data in the cloud is no easy decision. However, the number of advantages that the cloud offers you and your business can make this change well worth it. The cloud is able to offer you many more features and guarantees for your data than you typically have in your own on-site or in-office server room. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages hosting in the cloud will provide.

 

1. Reduced Data Loss

This is one of the first things cloud vendors will tell you, and they’ll be right. Many laptops are not safely protecting data with the appropriate encryption. Data is sent here and there and it’s lost here and there. Cloud encryption protects transmitted data every time. And then there’s the obvious data loss issue. How many hard drives need to fail before we all recognize the incredible peace of mind cloud storage can provide? Cloud hosting varies in its security offerings, so look for a host that offers secure firewalls and robust backups.

 

2. Better Monitoring

Centralized storage makes it easier to monitor and control your data. Yes, this does mean you’re putting all of your data eggs in one basket, but as an IT professional I would much rather know where my data is and focus my security efforts on that location than spread my data all over the place and hope for the best. Besides, “all in one place” doesn’t have the same meaning for cloud servers. Cloud networks are mirrored so data is safe, regardless of what might happen to a single machine.

 

3. Responding to Problems

If a cloud server is compromised, it’s a matter of seconds to restore all of the lost data from backups. This means you have no downtime, ever. You can restore data remotely, from anywhere, and with your robust cloud monitoring, you’ll know the second a problem arises. With all of your data in one location, you can easily assess the problem and fix it.

 

4. Improved Logs

Logging is often overlooked, or it’s an afterthought and this means you may not have enough room allocated for your logs. With the cloud, you can index your logs for instant search results. This is true real-time view of your information. If your company is concerned with establishing a server audit trail, you can easily opt-in to allocate resources for extended logging.

 

5. Improved Security Software Performance

Security vendors are more accountable when their clients are more vigilant. The security concerns so many of us have surrounding the cloud have made many security software companies step up their game. They’re not only making their software more comprehensive and robust, they’re making it more efficient. Cloud clients are watching their billable CPU cycles. They know how much it’s costing them to run software. Visibility equals accountability.

In the end, if you’re concerned about the security of your data, cloud hosting is the best possible option. Best of all, it is designed with businesses in mind—providing the kind of security and accessibility that has never been available before. In addition to all that, it’s cheaper and more efficient than housing your own infrastructure in-house.

Need help choosing the right Cloud solution for your business? Contact TurnKey Internet today for a FREE consultation with our cloud hosting experts! Visit our website at turnkeyinternet.net or call us at 877-539-4638

 

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Written by David Maurer on August 20th, 2019

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How to Secure and Protect Your cPanel Server   no comments

Posted at Jul 16, 2019 @ 9:00am internet security,Web hosting

Secure and Protect cPanel

cPanel provides convenient server access and an intuitive, user-friendly interface for managing your website. However, like any server application or environment, it can be vulnerable to several potential security problems. As a responsible webmaster or server admin, it’s up to you to recognize these vulnerabilities and take steps to close any loopholes hackers could use to access your server or website. Lets take a look at some of the ways you can secure and protect your cPanel server.

 

Strong Passwords

From the main cPanel portal to individual email accounts, every login point needs a strong, secure password. Guidelines for length vary, and some sources suggest as many as 14 characters to ensure protection. Longer passwords allow for more complex combinations of numbers, symbols and upper- and lower-case letters. Use a different password for accessing cPanel, FTP, email management and other secure areas, making sure none of them contain obvious information such as phone numbers or birthdays.

If you have trouble coming up with enough different combinations, try an online password generator. A password manager is useful for keeping track of your login information for all of cPanel so that you don’t have to look up each password every time you sign on.

 

CSF Firewall

A firewall lets you access cPanel while keeping unauthorized users out. Think of it as a border patrol for your server, constantly checking to ensure only the right people get through. ConfigServer Security and Firewall (CSF) is a popular firewall application for cPanel designed to serve this purpose. It scans the system on a regular basis and checks authentication logs to keep your site safe from hackers at all times. CSF also provides feedback on how to make your server more secure overall. Since more is better when it comes to security, check these reports and make any necessary changes as soon as possible.

 

cPHulk

Although a firewall can prevent hackers from gaining access to your site, it won’t stop them from trying to log in. Brute force protection is a feature of cPanel used to block IP addresses after multiple failed login attempts. Found in the Security Center section, this option is easy to enable and customize. Use the IP Deny Manager to manually input IP addresses known to be malicious so that they’re never allowed to log on.

You can customize the brute force option, known as cPHulk, by setting how many minutes the tool monitors for repeated logins, the maximum number of failed logins allowed and how long each IP ban stays in place.

 

FTP Access

With anonymous FTP, anyone can log in to your site via FTP with only a username and a generic password. This may be useful for sharing files with a large number of people, but it’s like an open door to hackers. When all users can gain access to your server through such a simple process, every file becomes subject to tampering.

Set your FTP preferences to allow only for SSL logins, and require a password to be entered each time. The setting can be found under FTP Server Configuration in cPanel.

 

SSH Access

Secure shell (SSH) is a convenient way to access your site from a remote location. Unfortunately, it can also provide an entry point for hackers. Information sent through SSH is authenticated and encrypted to prevent outside manipulation, so malicious users can’t touch it unless they break through your security measures.

The default port of 22 is the most common setting for SSH access. Changing it to another available port and implementing a security key for logins minimizes the risk of being hacked. Switch the settings from SSH1 to SSH2 for additional protection.

 

Hotlink Protection

Hotlinking is the practice of linking an image or file on one server directly to a page on a remote website. Some people do this in ignorance, assuming the easiest way to embed an image is to use the original link, but it’s generally considered a bad practice. Hotlinked files use bandwidth from your site every time someone accesses them, and this has the potential to overload your servers if too many requests are made.

The Security section of cPanel offers hotlinking protection. Simply enable the setting to prevent third parties from linking to your files. Add an extra layer of security by specifying certain file extensions you don’t want to be hotlinked.

 

Tweak Settings

While you’re taking care of the larger security issues in cPanel, make sure you don’t neglect less common settings. Open Tweak Settings under Server Configuration to access an entire list of other possible security measures. With this checklist, you can:

• Help prevent the sending of unauthorized emails, including spam
• Shut down potential email attacks
• Block malicious referrals or redirects from hijacking your site
• Stop the generation of proxy domains
• Require IP validation for cookies
• Set up an additional security token for cPanel access

Enabling these supplemental security settings helps address any remaining vulnerabilities and keep hackers at bay.

 

Automatic Updates

Your web host should have automatic cPanel updates in place. If not, go to Update Preferences in the Server Configuration area and enable the setting yourself. Old versions of software, including cPanel, may contain security vulnerabilities hackers can use to access your server. Automatic updates ensure you’re always running the latest version of cPanel with any associated security patches and bug fixes. Go back and check once and a while to confirm updates are running as they should. If not, update manually and contact your web host to find out why the setting isn’t working.

 

Security is one area of website management where you should never cut corners to save time or effort. The smartest thing you can do is implement proper security measures for cPanel as soon as your hosting account is set up. Don’t wait until disaster strikes or assume the security promised by your web host is enough. Take proactive measures to keep hackers out and stay in control of your cPanel environment.

 

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Written by David Maurer on July 16th, 2019

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5 Ways Colocation Can Help Your Business Succeed   no comments

Posted at May 21, 2019 @ 9:00am colocation,Web hosting

Colocation

While outsourcing non-core business functions to cloud-computing enterprises is a growing trend, many firms still prefer to keep a close eye on their most critical business functions and databases. IT professionals are well aware of the vast server farms that rent dedicated servers to website design firms, cloud hosts, and innumerable other commercial and non-commercial organizations, but colocation providers generally have worked quietly in the background. Still, they continue to offer invaluable services to businesses that wish to retain ownership of the servers that host their core business functions and intellectual property while also outsourcing hardware management and its associated concerns to industry professionals.

For many companies, offloading the care and handling of computer servers onto trained IT professionals at a colocation provider carries multiple advantages. Indeed, colocation services have steadily expanded year after year with leading industry experts expecting the global colocation market to exceed $60 billion by 2022. An in-depth examination shows that five major considerations lie behind the decision by CIOs and other corporate officials to rely on colocation services.

 

1. Connectivity

Colocated servers are only as good as the internet connectivity that allows them to cram immense flows of data up and down the line, and colocation providers typically subscribe to multiple high-level broadband providers such as Level 3 Communications to establish superior bandwidth redundancy and to encourage competition that results in cost savings for both the colocation provider and server owners. Quite apart from the sheer efficiency of sharing top-tier bandwidth access across innumerable servers, the climate-controlled environment keeps servers within a consistent temperature range to ensure that sensitive network equipment and server components don’t fail from extended exposure to excessive heat.

 

2. Stability

The impact on productivity from moving corporate offices, encountering a natural disaster or suffering through an extended interruption of electrical power can be disastrous. Even the most efficient company may experience a series of unfortunate events that repeatedly delay its return to full operational status. In the meantime, customers may be yelling about misplaced orders and bungled services, and employees may be left without real work as core business processes fail to function as expected.

More than a few CIOs and other upper-management staffers prefer instead to shield the company’s critical server operations from such potential chaos by entrusting them to an efficient colocation provider with multiple power backups and contingency plans for dealing with everything from earthquakes through cable-chewing squirrels.

 

3. Security

In an age of brazen corporate espionage by overseas agencies, ensuring physical data security can be a challenge. Even in the absence of foreign or domestic interest in valuable intellectual property held by a business, employee honesty and awareness of basic security precautions aren’t always guaranteed. Hard drives and other computer components sometimes have a habit of walking out the door, and allowing direct physical access to servers located inside open offices also increases the risk of malicious hacking attacks by criminal gangs through the agency of malware-laden USB sticks left lying around in company parking lots.

A well-equipped colocation provider likely will lock down its facilities with multiple security measures, including burglar-resistant, alarmed entry and exit doors; coded access procedures that track all physical access to hosted servers; strategically placed surveillance cameras; biometric scanners to prevent unauthorized access by intruders and even individually locked cages for each client’s servers. Spreading the cost of these high-security measures across hundreds or thousands of servers allows the colocation provider to efficiently offer economies of scale otherwise unavailable to the great majority of small to mid-size businesses.

 

4. Scalability

As a business expands or contracts in response to unpredictable economic swings and marketplace developments, its computing needs may similarly fluctuate. Managing human resources typically represents the largest expense for the great majority of firms, and the hiring and firing process is invariably expensive and painful. Instead of suffering through unpredictable demand cycles for in-house staff to manage IT hardware resources, business customers may purchase additional servers from the colocation provider or else instruct a responsible staffer to purchase additional custom equipment to be delivered to the colocation provider for installation.

 

5. Financial Predictability

Maintaining in-house data management facilities typically invites unexpected capital outlays that play havoc with limited quarterly budgets. Many firms prefer the predictability of a fixed monthly outlay that covers the great majority of expenses associated with managing critical IT hardware capability across all corporate functions. Strategic planning and corporate accounting become easier with fewer surprises for the unwary.

 

Only robust discussion among company principals can determine the ultimate wisdom of outsourcing IT hardware management functions to a dedicated third party. However, the cost savings, significantly improved operational stability and peace of mind offered by the colocation option have proven to be compelling value propositions for an expanding number of commercial enterprises, as well as SMBs and other organizations.

 

Why Colocate With TurnKey Internet?

TurnKey Colocation is the ideal solution for companies, service providers, small businesses and IT resellers who want a stable environment in which to completely control their assets.

When utilizing our state of the art colocation facility you are able to control your hardware, software and networking to your needs without worrying about the supporting infrastructure. In doing so, you will immediately recognize tremendous savings while also getting peace of mind that your equipment is hosted in a 100% sustainable, green and SSAE-18 audited, secure facility.

Traditionally, customers would create their own localized infrastructure which is costly and inefficient making colocation with TurnKey Internet the ideal solution. By colocating in our facility you are able to focus on your business and not on office networking, power or server issues that plague localized installations and office infrastructure. We provide redundant networking, power and cooling to ensure your services remain online and accessible at all time.

Our facility is redundantly networked with several TIER-1 peers allowing us to offer several connectivity options allowing our customers to reach theirs as quickly as possible and without worry of network downtime, which is completely SLA protected.

All colocation customers have 24/7 hour access to their equipment and also receive network reboots per-port or per-strip at no additional charge. Whether you purchase a single U, multiple racks or an entire cold containment POD, we include rebootable PDU’s or PDU ports with EVERY colocation purchase.

At TurnKey Internet we are available 24/7 to assist you with all your needs. For more information regarding colocation as well as a FREE consultation, visit: https://turnkeyinternet.net/offers/new-york-colocation

 

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Written by David Maurer on May 21st, 2019

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Email Phishing: Is Your Inbox Safe?   no comments

Posted at Apr 9, 2019 @ 9:00am Web hosting

phishing

When responding to an email or clicking a link, most people don’t think twice. Sending emails has become so common that users rarely consider the danger of phishing and other fraudulent activity. But those who are unaware of the threat are at an even greater risk, and it will likely be too late for them to take action by the time that they notice the problem. The key to avoiding this trap is to educate yourself and to remain vigilant at all times. Although disregarding safety for convenience is becoming common, it’s a pitfall that can have a lasting impact on anyone’s future.

Phishing is the process of posing as another person or as a company to deceive people into giving their personal information away, and criminals have been known to use emails as a way to reach their goals. Knowing about the threat is not always enough when your task is to keep yourself and your bank account safe, and the attack can occur at any time.

A user will be checking their email as they would on any other day. Suddenly, the user spots an email from the bank that asks the user to log in to the account to confirm a recent transaction. But the email was not from the bank, and the user’s information is now in the hands of an identity thief. If you don’t want to encounter this situation, then the following information will help.

 

Don’t Share Sensitive Information Through Email

In a common phishing attack, a criminal will pretend to be someone whom you trust to steal sensitive data. The email could appear as though it had been sent by a friend, boss or business contact, and you might be asked for your account information or pin number. But no credible business will request sensitive data in an email, so the request should be your first red flag.

Rather than sending personal details in an email, pick up your phone and call the company or the individual who requested the information. Although this step might seem a little time-consuming, it can save you from a lot of trouble.

 

Manually Navigate to Web Addresses

Long before sending you a fraudulent email, experienced criminals will put in the effort to clone the website of a bank or business. They will then send an email posing as your bank or another trusted entity, and you will be encouraged to click a link that will take you to a malicious website.

Although the content, logo and other details might appear identical to the real thing, any information that you send will be exposed. Avoiding this type of attack is not difficult. Simply open a separate web browser and manually navigate to the website that you intend to visit.

 

Look for Spelling Errors

Keep in mind that phishing attacks can come from any location on the planet, so a lot of fake emails are sent by those who don’t speak English as their first language. When someone from another country sends a fraudulent email, the message will often contain obvious spelling errors. Some people dismiss the spelling errors that they find, but they will likely have their personal information stolen as a result. Customer service agents can make mistakes, but using caution is the best way to avoid becoming a victim.

Also, even criminals who speak English fluently can make mistakes when typing an email. If you notice anything that seems odd, call the company or person from whom the email appears to originate and ask for verification. If the email is not legitimate, report it as spam and block the domain.

 

Don’t Trust Attachments

Downloading and running email attachments is a good way to get a virus or to have other malicious software installed on your device. In the past, hackers would use screen savers and free games to infect their victims, but hackers can even use Word and Excel documents to inflict damage. After a computer is infected, the malicious code will sometimes automatically email itself to everyone in the victim’s address book. If you want to avoid this problem, never download an attachment that you were not expecting.

 

Having your identity stolen can destroy your credit score, and some people are forced to wait years before they can reverse the damage. Nobody should overlook the threat of phishing, and you can never eliminate the risk entirely. But you can significantly reduce the odds of having your personal information exposed by keeping safety at the front of your mind. Protecting yourself will require some time and effort, but safeguarding your information is always easier than trying to pick up the pieces after an incident occurs. Those who focus on security when communicating online will follow these tips, but they will also use common sense to detect the signs of suspicious activity.

 

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Written by David Maurer on April 9th, 2019

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Simple Steps to Secure Your Website   no comments

Posted at Mar 26, 2019 @ 9:00am Web hosting

Secure Website

If you run a personal or business website then it’s vital you take steps to secure your website and protect it from hackers. Criminals have many reasons for wanting to gain unauthorized access to your content, and all of them will impact you and your business in a negative way. By following the steps below, you will not only keep your website and data safe, but also your business.

 

Renaming Directories

When hackers want to take control of your website and to cause damage, they will search for your administration directories. If they can locate them, then the hackers can steal your login details or give themselves access. Many programs are available that will scan websites to find administrative credentials, and you can protect yourself by renaming your directories.

Although this step might seem small, don’t get tempted to overlook it because you must do everything that you can to stay safe. The name that you give your directories is not important as long as you know how to access them when you need to make changes.

 

Complex Passwords

Hackers will sometimes use brute force software to access your administration panel, and they can do anything they want from there. The brute force software works by repeatedly entering different numbers and letters into the username and password fields until it finds the correct combination. You can protect yourself from such attacks by using strong passwords that contain letters, numbers and special characters.

Although it’s still possible for hackers to use brute force software to break into your website, they are not likely to succeed. A complex password can resist a brute force attack for several thousand years before the correct combination is discovered. Unless your website contains extremely sensitive data, the hackers will likely move on to an easier target.

 

Encrypt Your Important Files

Many people store files on their website as plain text, and that makes it easy for hackers to steal and read the information. The problem becomes that much worse when the data contains the credit card numbers of your customers. You can add an extra layer of safety by encrypting your files so that they become all but impossible to read.

An encryption program works by scrambling a file until it’s unreadable, and only the person with the correct decryption key can reverse the process. If your important files are encrypted, hackers will not be able to see them even if they gain access to your website.

 

Update

One of the ways that hackers gain access to a website is by looking for software vulnerabilities. They will reverse engineer software and scripts to find methods to take control of your content and to view your files. To combat that problem, software developers consistently release updates for their programs, which address known weaknesses.

But some webmasters are still reluctant to update their sites because they don’t want to experience any downtime. When you choose not to install recent updates, you are inviting criminals to exploit you and your users. Ensure that you are always using the latest scripts when your goal is to safeguard your website.

 

Backup

When protecting your website data is your No. 1 goal, utilizing a backup solution is a must. However, If all of your files and backups are stored on the same server, you risk losing everything if that server gets destroyed or compromised. The good news is that you can combat this problem by utilizing a Cloud Backup solution. This option involves uploading the data that you want to protect to ‘The Cloud’ – a cluster of servers located in a remote, secure data center.

 

Running a business can be very demanding and it may not leave you with enough spare time to regularly maintain your website’s security. If this scenario sounds familiar, your best bet may be to switch to a Managed web hosting solution. TurnKey Internet offers a complete all-inclusive fully managed service that lets you focus on your customers while running your business – leave the infrastructure, software updates, security, backups, and uptime to us.

We provide a turnkey solution that employs a unique combination of Application and Network Engineers, deep-level performance monitoring and on-going guidance to maintain and optimize your cloud-based hosted infrastructure. You get all-access to our support and network engineers – far more cost-efficient than hiring, on-boarding, and building your own team of tech gurus. As technology changes daily, we’ll keep your systems secure and up-to-date, while you focus on your business. For more information, visit turnkeyinternet.net

 

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Written by David Maurer on March 26th, 2019

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Effective Security Measures For Your Server   no comments

Posted at Feb 26, 2019 @ 9:00am Web hosting

If you run a server, especially for your business or organization, security should be a top priority. Whether the server exists to host files for a website or is networking computers for an office, it needs to be protected from malicious software, exploits and hackers. Failing to secure a server can lead to lost or corrupted data, damage to devices connected to the network and unauthorized individuals getting access to sensitive data. Below are various security measures that you can employ on your server that are extremely effective.

 

Review & Modify Default Settings

Programs running on your server, such as control panels (cPanel, Plesk), CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc.) and even the operating system, contain various default settings  that need to be reviewed and if necessary modified. They include everything from preset usernames and passwords for admin access to default connection ports. Anything that is left as set up by the software manufacturer may be used as a way to gain easier access to a system. Even leaving the URL for admin access to a server or programs on the server can make it easier for hackers to get in. There are hacking tools that specifically scan websites and servers for default URLs and folders, so changing default login locations is important. On this same basis, it’s a good idea to make sure that directories are protected so that people cannot see their contents.

 

Active Monitoring

A critical requirement to properly managing a server is knowing what is happening with it at all times. Even the best security software cannot prevent all intrusions, and hackers are constantly figuring out new ways to exploit and circumvent security systems. Therefore, it’s important that activity on a server is always being monitored. Things that normally indicate a problem include incredibly high data transfer or processing power use as well as multiple failed login attempts. Brute force hacking involves trying to login to a system over and over again with different login and password combinations. In addition to draining system resources, it can also eventually allow a hacker to find a combination that lets them into your system. Real-time monitoring can help detect these issues and alert the appropriate people, and it can also shut down brute force login attempts.

 

Passwords & Permissions

Another important server security measure is to ensure that all passwords, especially the root and/or Admin passwords, are complex and that people are only given access to areas that they need to do their job. Aside from malice, giving an intern administrative access to databases could lead to major problems through simple error. It’s also recommended to change your passwords on a regular basis, even if they are robust.

There are a number of ways to tackle the issue of making sure passwords are complex enough, including using computer generated passwords or using passphrases. Computer generated passwords normally require certain characters, length and require a combination of upper and lower case letters; passphrases are combinations of words, and they tend to be easier to remember and more secure than passwords. There should also be a set time that passwords expire, which will require users on the network to change them on a regular basis.

Along with ensuring that people are only given access to parts of a server that they need to have, it’s important that permissions are updated when people leave a job or move to a different part of the company. This can be done with proper database management and doing occasional audits to ensure that access levels are appropriate.

 

Updates

One way that hackers get into many servers is by going through weak points that developers did not notice when creating an application or an operating system. This is why both computers and mobile devices need regular updates. Along with offering new options, updates close off back doors and holes in the security of software. Therefore, it’s important that all software hosted on your server is kept up to date. For web hosting servers, that means content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, and the plug-ins the CMS uses must be kept current. Many operating systems and software applications can be set up to update automatically, but if you’re not comfortable with that, it’s important that you have some way of being notified when important changes are available.

 

For those of you who feel there’s just not enough time in your day to employ these server security measures, or if you just prefer someone else does it for you, at TurnKey Internet we got your back. We offer Fully Managed solutions, such as our Best cPanel Dedicated Server, that include Server Hardening. We’ll take care of securing and protecting your server so you can focus on running your business. For more information, visit https://turnkeyinternet.net/managed/

 

 

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Written by David Maurer on February 26th, 2019

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WordPress, Joomla, Drupal – Which CMS is best?   no comments

Posted at Feb 12, 2019 @ 9:00am Web hosting

CMS

In the world of Content Management Systems (CMS) there are 3 major contenders: WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. If you are creating a new website, you may be asking yourself which one is best. All three have their own pros and cons, and all three are free to use, open-source software. Let’s take a brief look at each one to see which CMS is right for you.

 

WordPress

Created back in 2003 and currently running on more than 70 million websites, WordPress is by far the most popular CMS out there. It started out as just a simple blogging tool, but has evolved into a full, feature-rich, content management system. With it’s extremely easy to use interface, you can create a website in only a matter of minutes. Plus, with the endless amount of free themes and plugins available for WordPress, it’s easy to make your website look great. However, popularity does have it’s drawbacks. For instance, WordPress is one of the biggest targets for hackers. It is critical you keep it up-to-date to prevent attacks on your website. Regardless, with it’s intuitive design and countless number of free customizations, this easy to manage CMS demonstrates why it’s a popular choice.

 

Joomla

Considered the second most popular CMS out there, Joomla is also easy to use, but is a bit more complex and requires a higher skill level than WordPress. It has less free customizations when compared to WordPress, however when it comes to E-Commerce sites, Joomla excels and tends to be a favorite choice. It is also considered to have one of the strongest developer communities. Joomla is based on PHP and MySQL, giving more advanced developers the ability to create a powerful web application. With a minor amount of effort into learning Joomla’s terminology and structure, you can go on to create a fairly complex website. If you are looking for something still fairly easy, but with more flexibility than WordPress, Joomla might be the one for you.

 

Drupal

Drupal is ranked as the third most popular CMS in the world. It is regarded as the most complex, with the highest learning curve of the three. Drupal has a greater amount of free customizations and themes available when compared to Joomla, but less than WordPress. It is considered to be one of the most versatile and robust content management systems available today. When it comes to websites that contain a large amount of complex data with heavy visitor traffic, Drupal is an excellent choice due to the speed and strength from its advanced structure. However, all of this comes at the cost of needing more experience and expertise to truly utilize this powerful, developer friendly CMS. If you are looking for an enterprise-ready CMS that will scale with your growing business, look no further than Drupal.

 

Whether you are a beginner looking to start a blog, an expert developer creating a complex, versatile site, or somewhere in between, one of these three CMS applications will definitely get the job done. Best of all, they are free to use and support simple one-click installations. So if you are currently hosted on TurnKey Internet’s shared cloud platform or have a cPanel dedicated server, getting started couldn’t be any easier! The question then becomes not which one is best, but instead, which one is best for you.

 

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Written by David Maurer on February 12th, 2019

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