Retain your visitors and stop hackers in their tracks – your customers rely on you to keep your site secure. As of June 2021, there are over 1.86 billion websites online. With the vast number of people accessing the internet, website owners must ensure that their sites are secure. Unfortunately, cybersecurity is a growing concern, and with over 30,000 websites being attacked every day, it is becoming more and more challenging to ensure website security.
More often than not, the websites that get attacked are not actually targeted for the data they hold. Instead, the attacks are performed via automated tools, taking advantage of security flaws on the website, such as vulnerabilities with plugins, configuration issues, and a lack of maintenance and updates, which is why every website owner needs to have a solid security practice in place.
What is website security?
Website security is a multilayered shield that keeps your website safe from malware attacks and data breaches. If you are a website owner, you are a target for hackers, period. No website is exempt from becoming a target, regardless of its niche or size. If your site gets hacked, it can be taken offline and lead to a decline in traffic, a suspension of your site, and even data loss. Therefore, website security is paramount for all websites. Whether you have a personal blog site or a large e-commerce site, you have to protect it.
Are website builders secure?
Millions of people use mainstream website builders, but exactly how secure are these platforms? Some website builders offer SSL certificates and some other basic security measures, but most of them lack sufficient security features. Besides, they often fail to provide website owners with detailed information on keeping their websites secure. Therefore, for comprehensive website security, you should always use a trusted vendor to ensure your site is adequately protected.
What you can do to secure your website
Choose a secure host
Hosting is needed to set up a website, and it’s what your site is built on. It’s definitely not a place to skip corners. All websites are made up of files, and those files are full of code which is a form of instruction that gets delivered to the browser. All those site files need to physically ‘live’ somewhere, just like the photos from your vacation are likely stored on your smartphone. Your website files are stored on a server. When you pick a website host, you choose a space for your files on a server (together with any additional support the host may offer).
Keep your software up to date
To ensure that your site is protected from hackers, always ensure that your plugins, content management system, apps, and scripts you have installed are up to date. Many website attacks take advantage of vulnerabilities in out-of-date software. Updates often contain security upgrades and repairs, which is another reason to take updates seriously.
Get SSL certificates
An SSL certificate is a code that creates encryption on all the files and information that make up your website. When the files are sent from the server to a browser, a process similar to a handshake takes place to confirm that all the data is encrypted. A hacker who is not aware of this handshake will not be able to access the data, which is important for making sure that sensitive information such as credit cards and personal information is protected. If someone sends their name and mail address through a contact form, that data will be covered. You can think of it like sealing an envelope before sending it in the mail – anyone who encounters the letter while it travels to its destination won’t be able to read it.
Just as you already have regular computer backups in place, you need the same thing for your website. A website backup is essentially a copy of all your website data. If the unfortunate were to occur and you lost everything, you wouldn’t have to start over with a retrievable backup. The best way to protect your site is to ensure that you always have a recent backup.
Use strong passwords
As a website owner, an essential aspect of website protection is a strong password. Make an effort to apply a secure password, ensuring that you mix special characters, numbers, and letters and make it long. You also need to make sure that everyone else who has access to your website has strong and unique passwords.
Taking care of your website is not a one-time process. Instead, it’s an ongoing sequence of proactive steps to protect your biggest asset – your web presence.
If you are looking for assistance with your website security or looking for a new web hosting provider, get in touch with the Millennium Group team.