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Be Paranoid About Backups

Tip #7

Be Paranoid About Backups

Good backup policies are essential. Backups, just like server logs are your friends. Backups are excellent resources to have when your site is down, your server has crashed or you are moving your website to a new server. But there is another equally important reason to maintain original backups.

Properly maintained original backups allow you to do file comparisons with your existing website.

Compare the files on your web server against your original secured files. Notice any file differences? If you do it is possible your site or server has been hacked.

In tip #5, Be Paranoid About Your Website Traffic, we showed three separate malicious website queries. Each of these queries attempted to inject or display data stored and distributed from other websites. It is highly possible the webmasters or site owners have no idea the data even resides on their websites. How did it get there?

There are numerous methods to surreptitiously store data on third party websites. But the most important consideration is to make sure it doesn?t happen to yours.

Commercial and freeware file comparison software(s) can compare your original folders and files with those on your website and note specific differences. The differences may be as innocuous as the date of the last change or more serious such as new lines of code or additional files.

Being paranoid doesn?t mean they aren?t out to get you. Make sure the data on your website matches what is supposed to be there.

Next: Tip # 8 Be Paranoid About Your Email Addresses