Protect Your Website With This Simple Website Security Guide
We all regularly see news headlines about the websites of major global companies like Google and Microsoft being hacked and brought to a complete standstill. Often the personal data of their customers get compromised in the process. Is there an easy and affordable way to protect your website against cyber-attacks? Fortunately, the answer is yes. Just keep on reading.
Table of Contents
1. Make Regular Backups
This is the most basic yet most often-overlooked part of a website security strategy. Making regular backups of all your website data and storing these on a secure offline device will enable you to get everything restored within a relatively short time – even if your whole website is wiped out by hackers.
2. Protect Your Website With HTTPS and SSL
Make sure your web hosting provider activates HTTPS on all folders of your website that contain sensitive data. Then contact your domain name provider and buy an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate and have the hosting company install it on your website.
This certificate encrypts all communication between the user’s web browser and the server on which your website is stored. That is why the majority of browsers immediately flag a website that e.g. asks for sensitive data such as credit card info as ‘not secure’ if it does not have an SSL certificate. Google also loves sites that have an SSL certificate installed and ranks them higher than sites without this feature.
3. Change Your Login Details Regularly
This is so basic yet so important that I feel it has to be repeated: change your website login details every few weeks. The day a hacker decides he or she wants access to whatever information you store there, he or she will relentlessly keep trying to gain access until they succeed. And don’t use your spouse’s name or your birthday because it’s easy to remember. Make it impossible for a hacker to guess your website login details by using a mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters.
4. Only Grant Access To A Limited Number Of Users
The more people that have access to your website data, the bigger the chances of a security breach. Only grant access to those individuals who really need it to do their work. And don’t give one password to multiple people. Make sure everyone has their own login details that only provide them access to the very minimum they need to do their job. Once that person leaves the company, close that loophole. When it comes to compromising sensitive data, disgruntled ex-employees are among the biggest threats.
5. Regularly Update Website Software
Cyber attacks are often automated, with hackers using bots to look for vulnerable websites. That’s why you should always use the latest versions of software such as CMS, plugins, WordPress, etc.
6. Choose The Right Web Hosting Company
Your website security is only as good as your web hosting company. Trying to save $2 a month by signing up with a small web hosting firm from a country you’ve never heard of before is not the best option if your website contains any sensitive data whatsoever. You have to be able to trust your hosting provider that it will protect your website and all its data.
Also, take into account that the vast majority of cheaper hosting plans are on a shared server. That means your website will share a server with hundreds of other websites. And if even one of those sites is compromised, it can help the hacker to gain access to all the others. Of course, a dedicated server is going to be more expensive, but it will immeasurably boost your website security.