Many businesses do not know how to keep their website safe. But customers expect that any data or information that they share with a business will be protected—no one wants their information to fall into the wrong hands! It’s a scary statistic, but thousands of websites are hacked each and every day.
So, what can you do to protect your business’ website?
There is no singular method to guarantee the security of your website. But rather, there are a series of steps that you can take to build security and reduce your vulnerability.
Take a few minutes to watch this video on “Website Security” for more insight into the importance of implementing security measures for your website.
Here are some preventative measures you can take to improve your website security:
1. Install Security Plugins
Bots and hackers scan the internet for weak points in websites, either for a bit of fun or more commonly to extract money from you. Security plugins can protect you from these cybercriminals. Plugins can create a protective barrier against attacks, and also “fight” malicious software, spam, or other threats.
In the same way that you would install a lock on your front door or put up security cameras at your home, plugins can protect your business from outside invaders. Some plugins may offer more protection or advanced features than others, but they all add a layer of protection. Security plugins are an essential part of protecting your website.
2. Know The Details Of Your Default Users
It’s important to know the details of your default users. This information should be supplied by your website provider, but if it’s not, you should ask for it. The default user is generally set up at the beginning of the development of your website.
Ensure that the details are not generic, like if your username was ‘Admin’ and your password was also ‘admin’. Bots crawl the internet looking for these generic combinations as they are easy to access and hack. It can cost your business a lot of money if you find yourself in this situation. And it’s avoidable! From a security perspective, make sure you have unique details for your default users.
3. Usernames And Passwords
Weak usernames and passwords can leave your website and customer data vulnerable to cyberattacks. They could result in your website being hacked and shut down or even lead to customer data being sold.
Hackers will consider the name of your business or any important dates when attempting to hack into your website. Avoid using personal information in your usernames or passwords. Also, do not repeat your usernames and passwords across different platforms—it’s like giving a hacker the master key to your life! Once a hacker has access to one site, they may have access to everything, such as your bank account or your investments.
Tips to create a strong password
- Use at least 16 characters
- Include symbols and numbers
- Use lowercase and uppercase letters
- Exclude similar characters, such as ‘0’ and ‘O’
- Avoid using common words/phrases, such as ‘password’ or ‘123456’
- Change your password regularly
It may be helpful to use a password manager to store all your passwords, which can become quite complex and difficult to remember!
4. Back Up Everything
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. It’s awful to think about the worst happening—that your website gets hacked and you lose everything. But, if something does go seriously wrong, it’s comforting to know that you have a backup prepared. You can get your business up and running much quicker and more smoothly with a backup than if you had to start your website again from scratch.
Store your back-ups in a different location to your computer, so if your computer gets hacked you still have a safe copy. Hosting companies offer the capability to back up your website, so make sure you are choosing a reliable hosting company that will support this. And remember to update your back-ups regularly to ensure you have the most up to date version—there is no point in having a backup of the 2015 version of your website if you need the most recent version!
5. Set Up An Anti-Spam System
There are automated ways to reduce or even block spam that is generated through the Contact Forms on your website. Bots crawl over the internet to look for vulnerable, non-secure forms. Once they find one, they will automatically fill out these forms and send emails to you or your customers with phishing links. This can impact your business and your reputation.
Anti-spam systems are therefore very important. Hosting platforms such as WordPress have inbuilt security measures, such as CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA will determine if the user filling out your contact form is human or not. This can help combat malicious bots or hackers, and protect your website and your business.
You cannot assume your website is secure. Always be vigilant and proactive by implementing security measures for your website. This will go a long way to preventing attacks!
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