Effective Ways to Improve the Security of Your Website

Effective Ways to Improve the Security of Your Website

If your business has a website, you likely use it as your business’s online “face.” While that’s great, if you don’t take steps to secure it, you may find your website is compromised, which can result in customers, clients, and even employees losing trust in your brand. While this is true, there are several steps you can take to help safeguard your website. While most digital marketing agencies and tactics stress the importance of security when a site is designed, things change, which means you must make changes, too. Keep reading to learn some of the most effective ways to safeguard your site, from using SSH (learn what is SSH here) to updating software and more.

Update Your Software Regularly 

You must keep all scripts you use and platforms installed updated. Modern hackers are constantly finding and targeting security flaws in popular software programs. However, software designers also constantly release patches and updates to ensure their program remains secure. The only way the patch can benefit you is if you update your software to the new version or with the patch provided. Also, this needs to be done with all software you use, not just the ones you think are most vulnerable to an attack.

Create and Mandate a Strong Password Policy Companywide

Everyone who has access to your website should have a strong password. This means they avoid using common phrases or sequences. Hackers have access to sophisticated software that uses things like brute force to crack various passwords. If you want to protect your site against this type of brute force, you need to ensure all passwords are complex and contain both upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. Passwords should also be a minimum of 10 characters long. To make things easier, you can recommend that your team use password generators, which help create strong, hard-to-guess passwords for them. Make sure to maintain this password policy and enforce it throughout your company for the best results.

Encrypt All Login Pages

Implement the use of SSL encryption for all website login pages. With SSL, sensitive information like social security numbers, login credentials, and credit card numbers are sent securely. All information that is entered on these pages will be encrypted. This means that any third party that may try to intercept the transmission won’t be able to read or access the data. With encryption, you can prevent hackers from gaining access to your private or sensitive information.

Find and Use the Services of a Secure Host

Selecting a reputable and secure company for web hosting is essential for website security. Be sure the host you choose understands the threats and that they are dedicated to making sure your website remains secure. It’s also smart to use a host that backs up all your data to remote servers. With this, it will be easy and fast to restore your site if you are ever hacked. Ongoing technical support is also needed, ensuring that you have someone to contact for assistance when problems arise.

Maintain a Clean Website

Every plugin, application, and database you add to your website is another potential point of entry for nefarious individuals. Be sure to delete applications, databases, and files off of your website that you no longer use or need. You should also maintain an organized file structure, which will help you track changes that are made. Organizing your website (and keeping it organized) will also make it much easier to delete old or outdated files.

Backup All Data

It’s imperative that you backup your website often. Be sure to keep backups of all website files in case your site is no longer accessible or if you lose your data. The web host provider you choose should offer backups through their servers, and this is great; however, you also need to backup files on your end. You can find some content management systems that include extensions or plugins that automatically backup your site data. Along with this, make sure you have a way to back up your content and databases, too manually. This will ensure that if your site is hacked, you can restore your information without any significant downtime or losses.

Evaluate and Scan Your Site for Potential Vulnerabilities

Website and server vulnerabilities can occur at any time. Because of this, you should regularly engage web security scans to see if any are detected. A web security scan should be done on a regular schedule. Along with doing these regularly, they should be conducted after adding or changing the existing web components in place. You can find several free tools online to help you see how secure your site is. Using these tools will provide you with a brief overview; however, they will not be foolproof or detect all potential security issues on your website. A better option is to hire professionals to handle the security scans on your website. This will give you an in-depth review and an explanation of your website vulnerabilities.

Consider Hiring a Security Professional

It’s not a bad idea to hire a firm or professional that offers security services. In fact, this is a smart move if you want to ensure your website is protected. While you may be able to take care of small issues on your own, there are many security measures that professionals should only handle. The companies that offer security services can scan your site regularly for potential vulnerabilities, perform comprehensive security audits, provide ongoing monitoring for possible malicious activity, and be available for help any time it is needed.

While you and your entire team must remain vigilant regarding website protection, you should also use these tips to protect your site. Doing this will pay off and help ensure you don’t encounter any problems with your site. While no method is foolproof, it’s a good idea to implement these tips to ensure that your site is set up for success and minimize potential issues. Being informed is the best way to protect your website now and in the future.