In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the simplicity of website construction. These days, business owners can also serve as their own webmasters thanks to content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress and Joomla. You are now in charge of the security of the website, yet many site owners still need to acquire the knowledge necessary to keep their websites secure.
Customers who use an online credit card payment processor have a responsibility to ensure the security of their personal information. Visitors are concerned about the safety of their personal information and do not want it to be misused. Users anticipate a risk-free experience when interacting with your company online, regardless of the size of your company.
Even if more people are establishing websites, the majority of American adults still have a huge knowledge gap when it comes to the safety and security of their online activity, according to a survey published in 2019 by Google Registry and The Harris Poll. 70% of respondents got the question of what a safe URL should look like for a website wrong, despite the fact that 55% of respondents assigned themselves a grade of A or B for their own online safety. There are a lot of different ways that you, your staff, and your customers may be sure that your website is safe. The safety of a website does not have to be an exercise in guesswork. Ensure the continued safety of your website by taking the necessary precautions. Help keep sensitive information hidden from curious eyes.
There is no solution that can absolutely guarantee that your website will never again be vulnerable to hackers. Your site’s susceptibility to attack will be lessened if you make use of precautionary measures. The process of securing a website can be thought of as both straightforward and involved. There are at least 10 necessary steps that you may take in order to strengthen the security of your website before it is too late. Even in the digital realm, business owners have a duty to protect their customers’ personal information. Be sure to take all of the essential safeguards and investigate every possibility. If you own a website, you should always err on the side of caution rather than regret.
How to Improve the Security of Your Websites
Always use the most recent versions of software and plugins.
- Every day, tens of thousands of websites have their security compromised as a result of using outdated software. Sites are being scanned to find vulnerabilities that hackers and bots can exploit.
- Maintaining your website’s health and safety requires that you perform regular updates. Your website’s lack of security is directly correlated to the fact that its software and apps are not kept up to date.
- Consider all requests for software and plugin updates to be important.
- Enhancements to security and fixes for vulnerabilities are frequently included in updates. Check your website for updates or install a plugin that notifies you when updates are available. One more way to keep a website secure is to make use of the automatic upgrades that some platforms make possible.
- Your site’s level of security will deteriorate proportionately to the amount of time you wait. Make it a top priority to keep your website and all of its components up to date.
Add HTTPS and an SSL Certificate
You will require a secure URL in order to ensure the safety of your website. If users of your website volunteer to send you confidential information, you must use HTTPS to receive it rather than the more straightforward HTTP protocol.
What is HTTP?
A technology known as HTTPS, or Hypertext Transfer Technology Secure, is utilized to ensure data confidentiality and integrity across the internet. While the content is being transferred, HTTPS eliminates the possibility of it being intercepted or interrupted in any way. In order to establish a safe connection to the internet, you will also require an SSL Certificate for your website. You need to encrypt your connection if your website requires users to register, sign up, or engage in any form of financial transaction in order to use it.
What is SSL?
SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is yet another protocol that must be used on the site. This moves the personally identifiable information that visitors have provided between your website and your database. SSL encrypts data in order to protect it from being read by unauthorized parties while it is in transit. In addition, it prevents access to the data for anyone who does not have the required level of authorization. One example of an SSL certificate that is compatible with the majority of websites is GlobalSign.
Choose a Smart Password:
It is difficult to keep track of everything when there are so many different websites, databases, and apps that require passwords. In order to keep track of their login credentials, a lot of people wind up using the exact same password everywhere they go. Nevertheless, this is a severe breach of security.
Make sure that each new login has a password that is completely unique. Create passwords that are tough to guess because they are random, complicated, and a combination of the two. Then, save them in a location that is not the website’s directory. As a password, you might, for instance, choose to make use of a 14-digit combination of letters and numbers. The password (or passwords) could then be stored in a file that is not connected to the internet, on a mobile device, or on a different computer. Your content management system (CMS) will ask you to log in, and you are required to select a secure password. In addition, you should avoid using any personal information in your password in any way. Do not use your birthday or the name of your pet; instead, make it as difficult as possible to guess. Your password should be changed to a new one every three months or whenever you feel it’s necessary. Strong passwords are lengthy and always require a minimum of twelve characters to be entered each time. Your password needs to be a mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters. Make sure to switch between capital and lowercase letters at regular intervals.
Never use the same password twice, and never tell anyone else your password. If you are the owner of a company or the manager of a CMS, you should make sure that all of your employees periodically update their passwords.
Use a Secure Web Host:
Imagine the domain name of your website to be the same as a physical street address. Now, picture the web host as the piece of “real estate” online where your website is located. You should investigate potential web hosts in the same way that you would investigate a piece of land on which to build a house in order to choose the one that is best for you. There are a lot of hosts out there, and many of them provide server security measures that better protect the data you publish to your website. When selecting a host, it is important to look for specific things in their establishment.
- Does the web host provide an SFTP, also known as a secure file transfer protocol? SFTP.
- Is there a way to disable FTP use by an unknown user?
- Is a Rootkit Scanner utilized in its operation?
- Does it provide services for backing up files?
- How well do they keep up with the latest advances in security technology?
- Whether you choose Webhostingworld or Dollar2host as your web host, you should verify that the service provides the features essential to maintaining the safety of your website.
Record User Access and Administrative Privileges:
In the beginning, you might not have any reservations about allowing a few high-level staff access to your website. You decide to give each of them administrative privileges in the hopes that they will utilize their respective sites responsibly. Even while this is the best-case scenario, it does not usually play out this way. When employees connect to the CMS, unfortunately, they do not give any thought to the website’s level of safety. Instead, they are concentrating on the task that is in front of them. It is possible that a big security breach will occur as a result of their error or their failure to notice a problem.
It is essential to conduct background checks on your staff members before granting them website access. Find out whether they have previous experience working with your content management system (CMS) and if they are aware of what to look out for to prevent a security breach. Every CMS user should be made aware of the significance of strong passwords and regular software updates. Inform them of all the different ways they can contribute to the continued safety of the website. Be a record of who has access to your content management system (CMS) and what administrative settings they have, and be sure you update it frequently. Staff members frequently come and go. Maintaining a tangible record of who performs what on your website is one of the most effective ways to protect against potential security breaches.
Change Your CMS Default Settings
The vast majority of attacks launched against websites are carried out entirely by automated software. The majority of attack bots count on users of content management systems having their settings left in their default state. Immediately after deciding on a CMS, you should alter the settings that it comes with. The implementation of these changes helps to thwart a significant number of attacks. In the settings of a CMS, you may be able to alter parameters like control comments, user visibility, and permissions. One excellent example of a default setting that ought to be modified by you is the “file permissions” settings. You are able to adjust the permissions to a file in order to designate who is allowed to do what to the file. Each file has a set of three permissions and a number that corresponds to each permission: read, write, and execute.
“Read” (4) means to examine the contents of the file.
(2) To edit the contents of the file, select “Write.”
(1) To execute a program or script, run its associated file.
To elaborate, simply adding the numbers together will do the trick if you want to enable a great deal of permissions. For example, if you want the user to be able to read (4) and write (2), you would set the user permission to 6. In addition to the standard permission settings for files, there are three other sorts of users:
- The owner is often the person who initially created the file; however, ownership can be altered at any time. One and only one person can hold the “owner” role at any given moment.
- Group: Each file has its own unique group that it belongs to. Users who are members of that particular group will be able to access the permissions that are associated with the group.
- The members of the general populace.
Personalize users and the permissions they have access to. Do not leave the settings in their default state, doing so will lead to website security difficulties at some point in the future.
Backup Your Website:
Having a reliable backup solution is one of the most effective ways to maintain the safety of your website. You really ought to have more than one of these. After a significant breach of security has occurred on your website, each is essential to restoring it. You have access to a wide variety of alternative options that can assist you in recovering lost or corrupted files. Keep the information about your website off-site. It is not a good idea to keep your backups on the same server as your website because that makes them just as susceptible to attacks. You can choose to store backups of your website on a personal computer or external hard disk. Find a location away from your primary location to store your data and to safeguard it from being lost due to malfunctioning hardware, hacked, or infected with a virus. Creating a backup of your website in the cloud is an additional choice. It simplifies the process of storing data and enables information to be accessed from any location.
In addition to deciding where to store backups of your website, you should also think about automating the process. Make use of a system that allows you to schedule backups of your website. You also need to make certain that your solution comes equipped with a dependable recovery system. In the process of backing up, you should be sure you back up your backups.
If you follow these steps, you will be able to recover files from any point in time before the hack or virus took place.
You can’t just throw up a website and walk away from it if you run a company and manage the website at the same time. The development of websites may be simpler than it has ever been; nevertheless, this does not negate the requirement for ongoing website security upkeep. When it comes to securing the data of your organization and your customers, you should always take the initiative. The data that site visitors enter into your website must end up in the appropriate hands, regardless of whether or not your website accepts online payments or collects personal information.