Now more than ever, it’s essential that you take proactive measures to keep your website secure. However, neglecting website security is one of the biggest mistakes—and a common one—that business owners make in the digital age. These 5 Tips for Keeping Your Business Website Safe and Secure will be helpful in your business website.
While it might seem easy to shake off the worry, thinking “what are the chances that it would happen to your business?”—the risk is much larger than it might seem. In 2019 alone, there were 188 million ransomware attacks worldwide. And, according to PurpleSec, another business falls victim to a ransomware attack every 14 seconds.
A data breach can be both expensive and damaging to your business’s reputation. When sensitive customer data or company information is accessed by the wrong individuals, it can spell big trouble.
To help you protect your website, start with these 5 tips for keeping your site safe and secure from cyber-attacks.
Tip #1: Choose a Difficult Password
First, let’s cover the most basic web security best practice—choosing a difficult password. If cybercriminals can easily gain access to your website by guessing your password, it makes you vulnerable to ransom. They can hold your domain hostage until you pay them.
Fortunately, choosing a complex password can help reduce your risk of unwanted parties breaking into your website. When creating your password, try to use a combination of letters (both uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and symbols. You don’t want it to be something that would be easy to guess, like “CompanyName123”, founding date, mascot name, etc.
An even better route to go is to use a password manager that will create a random password that’s meant to be as secure as possible. And with the password manager installed on your device, you don’t have to worry about memorizing it.
Tip #2: Use HTTPS
HTTP is no longer sufficiently secure for sites in this day and age. If you haven’t already, you need to switch to using HTTPS.
If you’re the business owner and aren’t sure about all the backend aspects of your website, one easy way to ensure your site is using HTTPS is to check the URL. The website should have “https://” at the beginning of the URL, which you’ll be able to see if you expand it and it should have a lock symbol next to the URL in the search bar.
See the example below from Trust & Will:
Source: Trust & Will
As you can see, this site uses HTTPS to keep its customers safe. How so? Using HTTPS on your site encrypts data and ensures customers that they are using the correct site and that no one can intercept the connection. This protects them from being redirected to a fake site that’s mimicking yours in order to steal information or having a hacker use them to access the site and access information they shouldn’t.
While it’s especially beneficial on pages where sensitive information like credit card numbers, passwords, etc. is used, it’s highly recommended that you use HTTPS across your entire site. Not only is HTTPS the best standard for website security, but it’s also a factor taken into consideration by Google when ranking pages.
Using HTTPS is a win-win for both you and your website users.
Tip #3: Update Your Software on Time
Nobody likes taking the time to update software, it’s inconvenient and slows down your workflow. However, in the long run, it’s essential and keeps things working as they should, including your website.
When you neglect to update your software when it’s ready, you also open yourself up to a host of problems—from a malfunctioning website to security weak spots. Seasoned hackers are aware of these security risks and that many people fail to update their software on time, so they take advantage of it and are constantly on the hunt for vulnerable sites to infiltrate.
Don’t let your website become an easy target. Instead, keep an eye on software update recommendations and take the time to complete them ASAP. That way there’s one less thing to worry about when it comes to your website security.
Tip #4: Add a Firewall Application
Firewalls are nothing new, but they’re essential for every website to maintain top-level security. More or less, a firewall creates a layer of protection around your site, keeping many hacking attempts at bay.
What is a website firewall? It’s a basic security measure that creates a set of rules for traffic coming in and out of your website. With a web-based firewall application, you can keep out unwanted site traffic, protect against cross-site scripting, defend against SQL encryption, and more.
When used with these other security measures, you can significantly increase your website safety.
Tip #5:Test Your Website Security
Setting up these security measures (among others) isn’t something you just do once and forget. Website security is an ongoing task that must be maintained. Whether you have a professional hosting company doing the hands-on work, have hired an independent website manager, or are in the process of figuring it out, it’s your responsibility as the business owner to ensure that your site is up to par.
In order to keep up with the best security standards to protect both your business and your website users, you should make sure that you not only track security updates but also test your website’s current measures. Performing penetration tests can help you find vulnerabilities in your current website security, ideally before anyone else does.
Make Maintaining Website Security a Top Priority
It’s understandable that you may not always know what’s going on with your website—after all, you are juggling a lot of different responsibilities. However, with the increase in cyberattacks over the last decade, it’s increasingly important to prioritize website security. According to Cabinet, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses, so you’re not in the free and clear just because hackers don’t know your name. If you don’t have the time or knowledge to adequately keep up on your website security, it’s essential that you bring someone on board who does. Luckily, there are plenty of service providers who can help you maintain a safe and secure website affordably—and it’s well worth the cost for both you and your customers.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of what you need to do to follow cybersecurity best practices, it’s a good move in the right direction.