Having your own server gives you tremendous power and flexibility.  It also calls for you to handle all the grueling security tasks.  Today, security risks range from hackers and malicious software to unexpected instances such as hard drive failures and data corruption.  By using this checklist, you can make yourself familiar with key mechanisms that will assure better security for your server and websites.

Change Passwords

Upon receiving a new dedicated server account, the host may set up default passwords or perhaps email your password in plaintext.  In any event, you want to change the password for your sensitive administrative areas immediately.  To make your password harder for potential hackers to figure out, use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.

Malware Protection

Servers are a major target of malware writers.  Malware includes malicious software such as viruses, worms and Trojans.  These programs have the power to inflict serious damage on your network and completely cripple your server.  To reduce the risks, lock your system down with a reliable scanner that has the ability to detect and eradicate the latest known threats.

Install a Firewall

A firewall could be a hardware appliance or software package.  Its purpose is to control the ports on your server that are accessible to the internet.  Because a firewall can prevent intrusion, installing one on your server is a must.

Update Your Systems

Many hackers are able to pull off security breaches through vulnerabilities found in software.  You can minimize such threats by keeping your operating system, software applications and security products frequently updated.

Back It Up

After ensuring the security of your server, you need to consider other methods of data loss.  It might not be a virus or hacker that compromises you.  To make sure you can bounce back after a power failure or natural disaster, perform regular backups of your server data and store it in an offsite location.