Welcome to 2015!

Now before you get too wrapped up in the full swing of the brand New Year, it’s really important that you take a couple, very worthwhile, minutes to do a few simple online housekeeping tasks that could potentially keep you out of virtual ”hot water” and keep your business running smoothly in 2015. Start 2015 the right way by putting your best foot forward!
Here are the top 3 easy but very necessary housekeeping tips that you should do to keep all of your online accounts running smoothly:

1. Change Your Passwords.

I recommend doing this at least quarterly. My guess is that some you may not have changed your passwords in quite some time…if not EVER. (Don’t worry; I have been guilty of this in the past too) In this age of hackers, stolen identities and other cyber-crimes a good password is an essential tool of protection. Gone are the good ole days of four or five letter passwords that are simply the name of your child, pet or spouse. Most passwords must now be at least 8 characters in length, must include upper and lower case letters, numbers and a symbol and should not contain a complete word (Could it get any more confusing?). See Microsoft’s tips to create a password here. I know it can be confusing and difficult to not only come up with passwords but also to keep track of them. In fact you’re probably right now thinking “Great Heather…thanks…one more thing to keep track of!” But I assure you it’s important and well worth avoiding the headache that would come with a cyber-attack.
A fun tip to create really strong passwords and infuse yourself some positive affirmations at the same time is to come up with a couple different variations of what you want to welcome into your life or how you want to be. For example L1fesgr8! (Life’s great) or Im@bund@nt (I am abundant). Soon you will be logging in and creating a positive vibe for yourself at the same time!

A simple way of keeping track of all your passwords and a system that works really well for me is too set up a password protected Excel Spread Sheet on your computer with your Account, Username and Password for each account that you use. You can copy this and then save it in a couple of different folders on your computer, just in case. You won’t have to worry about losing the file because you are backing up…right?
This brings us to housekeeping tip number 2.

2. Back – Up Jack… to Start off 2015

Back-up, back-up, back-up!!!!! We all know that your time is way too precious to work on something and then to have to go back and work on that SAME something over again because you just lost your file due to a computer crash or some other unfortunate event. Please just take a couple of minutes to back everything up…trust me on this one…to lose everything is DEVASTATING.
You can buy a 1TB portable hard drive for about $60 now…money well spent or you can subscribe to one of the many online backup services like Carbonite , Backblaze or CrashPlan which also offer affordable solutions.  If you are at all like me and really concerned about losing all your hard work you could back up on both a hard drive and online service. Whichever option you choose please just make sure you back up on a consistent basis.

3. Know Where You Live

Number three sounds silly I know…of course everybody knows where they live physically but I am talking virtually, where you live on the web.
It never ceases to amaze me how many small business owners that I consult with have no idea who hosts their website, what it is built in and how to get into the back end or who their domain is registered with. This is VITAL information!
You may think “I don’t manage my website or do anything with it. I have someone who handles that for me so what do I need that info for?” Well I am here to tell you that it’s great that you have someone to manage your website for you but unless it’s a huge corporation (which would be extremely cost prohibitive) that has been around for years and is not going anywhere, anything could happen to your “web person” and they could suddenly shut their business down or fall off the face of the earth.
What would you do then?
You need to have all of your website info (logins, domain registration renewal, hosting) in order for someone else to be able to takeover managing the website for you. Believe me when I tell you it is not just as easy as “breaking into” your site to figure it out, that’s what hackers do, and that’s why there are so many safeguards built to protect us from them.
So, no matter who is managing your site for you, get them to forward you the emails with your hosting info, domain registration and logins to the back-end of your website and then do yourself a favor and forward those emails to another one of your email addresses (most of us have more than one now) and save a copy somewhere on your computer too. It only takes a couple emails and a few minutes to have this really important information that will make everyone’s life so much easier in the event of a change.

If you have found these 3 Simple Online Housekeeping tips useful then please share this post with your friends and leave your comments below…I would love to hear about any of your online housekeeping success stories and issues too!

Don’t forget that I am here to help YOU with all of your website and social media needs, just get in touch with me now to set up your free consultation.


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Happy New Year,