December 11, 2013 | Emily Winsauer

Holiday Website Health Check: Run Your Updates to Avoid Hacking

Avoid Hacking this Holiday Season

If your website has ever been hacked, you know what a nightmare it can be. If you haven’t experienced that, thank your lucky stars and go run your updates right now! (Don’t worry, we’ll remind you how).

Though simply keeping your website updated can't prevent every cyber attack, failure to update is the biggest reason that websites get hacked, and small business are being targeted more than ever.

The holidays are a great time to get back on track with your updates. You’ll likely be spending more time with your loved ones than on website maintenance, but hackers don’t take a Christmas vacation! This holiday season, avoid hacking by taking a few minutes to run your updates so you can be free to relax with your family.

*** If you are a VIEO client and you do have a website issue during the holidays, please note our holiday schedule – we will be closed 12/24/13 to 1/1/14, but we will be monitoring and answering support tickets during that time.***

Why do I need to run updates?

The people behind content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Joomla consistently fix problems, improve functionality, and make changes to keep websites more secure and prevent hacking. The coders who write the plugins or extensions that you add to your website through the CMS do the same thing.

When you don’t run available updates, you’re turning down those improvements, and that can leave “holes” in your website’s security for hackers to slip through.

Running your updates regularly really is a “stitch in time” – it’s much easier to avoid hacking than it is to fix the damage it can do. Prevent the hacker havoc by logging in to your website’s dashboard or control panel and checking for updates about once a week.

How do I run WordPress updates?

First, we always suggest backing up your website before running any major updates. To check for updates, log in to WordPress. You’ll see prompts for updates in 3 places – first, in the gray bar across the top of the page, you’ll see this icon:

Wordpress Updates Symbol

Secondly, near the upper left-hand corner of your screen, you’ll see the “Updates” tab in the sidebar under "Home":

Wordpress Updates

Finally, you’ll see a circle with the number of updates available next to any tab in the sidebar that needs to be updated:

Wordpress Updates

Just click on any one of these three and follow the prompts! For more information on updating WordPress, check out this article.

How do I run Joomla updates?

First, back up your website. When you're ready to update, log in to your control panel. You’ll find a button for Joomla updates and a button for updates to extensions – be sure to check for both kinds and download all applicable updates. Because Joomla is open source software, the forums are a great resource if you're having trouble - start here.

Can’t you just do it for me?

Yes we can! We run weekly software security updates for all of our Gold Support Plan clients. Click here to see all the benefits of all of our support plans.

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Emily Winsauer

Emily Winsauer

As VIEO's content director, Emily Winsauer is responsible for content strategy for VIEO and our clients. She works with the content team to create a wide range of compelling content designed to help our clients better connect with their customers.

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