There is a major security alert that is affecting the whole of the internet right now. Security researchers have called it one of the most severe vulnerabilities the world has ever seen.

If you haven’t heard much about it, don’t be surprised. Unlike most cyber security alerts, this vulnerability is not affecting the normal computers that you use in your business. Instead, it is affecting the servers that power much of the web.

There are some small security measures that you can take to keep you and your team safe online. We will come to those in a minute. We are writing this to give you a simple guide to what has happened and what it means, without any baffling tech speak.

Let’s start at the beginning. At the end of last week, a problem was noticed in the highly popular game Minecraft. It quickly became apparent that the impact was far larger than just affecting a game. In fact, it has affected millions of web applications, including Apple’s iCloud.

The problem is a security flaw in a piece of software called Log4j. This software is designed to keep a record of everything that has happened within applications. This record helps developers track down problems and fix them.

Log4j is what is known as open-source software. It was developed for free by coders in their spare time and anyone can use it. Rather than write their own logging software, millions of developers have used it as it is a very efficient way to create new applications.

Unfortunately, with Log4j being so widely used, it means that the security flaw, Log4Shell, is now affecting millions of pieces of software, running on millions of machines. So, while it is not affecting the normal computers you use in your business, it is affecting many of the services you use.

The flaw allows hackers to run any code they would like on affected servers. They could steal data, delete information, or run other software. Experts say this flaw makes it so easy to run malicious code, virtually anyone could do it.

So, what happens from here? Luckily, the fix to the problem was developed quickly. It was released in a patch – like a Band-Aid to fix the bug. The real issue is updating all the software that has been using Log4j. It is so widely used that it is likely to take several months for the patch to be universally applied. Experts even believe that there will be some web applications that, for whatever reason, are never updated.

This is where it starts to affect you more directly. Here are a few of the risks to watch for.

  1. We are likely to see a lot of website hacks happen over the next few months.
  2. Some ecommerce sites that didn’t apply the patch quickly may find hackers have stolen their customers’ card numbers or other details.
  3. The risk of identity theft shoots up.
  4. Other websites you visit may try to secretly download malware – malicious software – onto your computer.

Here are some basic security measures you can take to stay safe online:

  • Always use long, randomly generated passwords
  • Never use a password for more than one service
  • Use a password manager to remember passwords for you
  • Keep a closer watch on your card statements for the next few months
  • Make sure you keep your business’s computers up-to-date and apply all patches to software.

If we can help reassure you that your business is secure, especially as we approach the holidays, feel free to book a free, no obligation 15-minute consultation at


Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

If Your Business’s WordPress Website is Hosted with GoDaddy, You Must Take Action Now

Last week, GoDaddy announced a major breach in its security, involving more than a million customers. If your business could be affected, there are some urgent actions you must take now.

You’ve probably heard of GoDaddy. It’s been around since the late 1990s when it started as a place to build and host your website. Later, it became famous for selling domain names. These days, it’s a huge internet company with revenue over $3 billion.

One of the things GoDaddy does is host WordPress websites. WordPress is a very popular Content Management System (CMS) that powers a third of all websites.

It announced last week that a hacker got into one of its WordPress hosting systems in early September by using a compromised password. The hacker was kicked out mid-November, but not before gaining access to data from 1.2 million WordPress hosted customers. Specifically, the hacker could access email addresses, original WordPress admin passwords, and other usernames and passwords.

If your business hosts a WordPress website with GoDaddy, please don’t panic. You may not be affected as the company hosts 5 million websites in total. We have been told that the breached passwords have been reset and that everyone affected has been contacted.

However, we prefer playing it 100% safe. We believe there are two risks you must protect yourself against. The first is phishing. This is where a cyber-criminal sends an email pretending to be someone they’re not, such as a big supplier or your bank. They want you to click on a bad link to either give them access to your network, or accidentally download malicious software, known as malware.

Any time your email address is compromised, you are likely to be the target of more phishing emails. The way to mitigate this risk is to train your staff on what to look out for and what to do if they are targeted in a phishing attack.

The second and greater risk is that someone has already been able to log into your website. Even though GoDaddy has now reset the passwords, it seems the hacker enjoyed free access to all this data for up to two months. There’s a possibility they could have logged into your website, and hidden malicious files there.

To play it safe, we recommend these three urgent steps:

  1. Change all admin passwords on your website.
  2. Check that there are no new admins that you didn’t set up. If there are, remove them immediately.
  3. Run a thorough security scan on your website to look for backdoor access (a secret place where hackers can get in), trojans and malicious files.

If you need help with any of this, please contact us immediately. We can be reached at 905-231-1303 or


Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.