Your businesses’ and your website’s security goes far beyond protecting vital information beyond a firewall. Hackers, cybercrime, online crime, and data theft are rapidly increasing in number, attacking numerous sites and business systems no matter how large or small. These can cause bothersome disruptions to expensive takedowns like ransomware hacks wherein you’re locked out of your account until you pay a ransom.
Luckily, there are ways wherein you can protect your valuable information and online assets from these modern-day thieves. By incorporating the right security choices, you’ll be able to protect your business, your site, and all your data from such attacks.
Why Securing Your Website is Important
Whether you run a business or a personal website, making sure that your website is secure is vital for many reasons:
- It prevents malware and other viruses from being uploaded to your site.
- It blocks phishing emails from being sent to your site.
- It assures site visitors that your site is safe and secured.
- You’ll improve your overall rankings in Google.
- Prevents your business from getting hacked by protecting it from losing critical data.
Your website acts as a primary channel when interacting with your customers. Therefore, creating a secure website gives your customers a sense of trust and credibility each time they browse your site. Meanwhile, having an unsecured connection will always present as a threat in all of your business relationships.
Ways to Securing Your Website
So how do you keep your website more secure? To help you out, we’ve compiled five simple, yet practical ways to protect it:
1. Avoid Weak Usernames and Passwords
Don’t use the same passwords for multiple accounts as these are predictable patterns for potential hackers. Chances are, these online thieves are just too smart these days. That’s why, you need to come up with strong passwords, and a two-factor authentication so that you can protect your data as well as your customer’s accounts.
The good thing is that most network software, operating system, and web platforms have strong password requirements. Some even require you to change passwords on a regular basis as they’ve set password expirations. While this might come off as a bit irritating at first, you can actually use this to your advantage. It’s an excellent way to increase your security (especially for employee log-ins.)
Secure your business websites and blogs even more by integrating Google’s two-factor authentication. Ideally, all employees, admins, and contributors must input the following to gain access to your site:
- Their user ID
- Google Authentication number
The authentication number is usually a one time code that gives users access when they log-in. It gives your site an extra layer of protection aside from using a simple username and password combination.
Take note that having strong passwords and two-factor authentication are crucial log-in elements to protect your site. Remember, a weak password gives cybercriminals way to hack your entire website. Gaining full control over it again will always be an exhausting and costly process.
2. Prevent File Upload from Users
Every single person who updates your website should have their own log-in details. Since you’re the owner of the site, you’re entitled to impose different levels of access upon every log-in.
Remember that a careless freelancer or employee can cause severe damage if they’re given free access to your site. That’s why you need to limit their access only to the specific parts of your site that they need to work on. Doing so avoids exposing your site to various threats online.
3. Keep Your Site Up to Date
Keep in mind that manufacturers update their security safeguards every so often. You can sign up to these security updates that install various security patches since cybercriminals are always on the lookout for systems that don’t have the latest safeguards.
Aside from that, also check if your anti-virus program has automatic updates. This software should be in the right place to block out potential spam, as well as to detect various spyware.
Updating your software on a regular basis helps your stay ahead of hackers. Therefore, mandatory update policies are a must.
4. Use SSL Connection Sitewide
Having a secure sockets layer (SSL certificate) isn’t just a feel-good element for your site users. The truth is, it secures the online connection between your users and your site. All the information that passes through your browsers and servers is securely encrypted and transmitted. As a result, it prevents hackers from taking or accessing any data that passes between the web servers and your user’s browsers.
What an SSL does is that it encrypts all your content and publishing it securely under the sitewide https, as compared to the more unsecured HTTP in the address bar of your browser.
5. Install Security Plugins/Software Carefully
If you have outdated software, you’re more vulnerable to attacks. So, just like it’s crucial to update your computer operating system, you also need to update your plug-ins and other add-ons.
Moreover, when choosing which ones to download, check the ratings first as well as the number of downloads. Find out when was the last time the developer updated the software. If the plug-in or the add on hasn’t been updated for a long time already, then there’s a high chance that it will introduce risks to your site.
Is Your Website Safe?
Your site is an excellent place wherein you can sell your products and services, and present your company and brand to potential customers. When it comes to creating and maintain your website, you need to ensure that security should be your top priority.
Surprisingly, not many website users value the safety and security of their site, but Google ranks more secure websites higher so that they can give their users the best possible experience.
Kenneth Sytian is the CEO of Sytian Productions a website development company in Manila. He has been designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade. He is considered one of the top influencers in web design and development in the Philippines.