One of the biggest threats to website owners and businesses is cybercrime. Hardly a day goes by where we don’t hear about a hacked site or a new data breach. In fact, a 2019 website threat research study stated that a hacker attack occurs every 39 seconds. Therefore, for every minute, your website is online, you are vulnerable to an attack. For this reason, you need to take appropriate measures to make sure your site is safe from cyber-attacks.
Here are five ways to improve your website’s security:
HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. It is an advanced and secure version of HTTP, which is used to transfer data from a web server to a website. For your site to use HTTPS, you have to install an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. You will also have to add SSL to WordPress. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t come pre-installed.
It is especially important to have an SSL certificate if you accept payments through your site or collect other user data like emails. This certificate ensures that your online transactions are secure and protects your customers from phishing and data tampering. It’s sort of like a protective wall, keeping cybercriminals from accessing sensitive information. Without an SSL certificate, your site is vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Furthermore, Google now marks all HTTP sites as insecure, so this will affect your traffic. As a result, if you don’t use HTTPS, your SEO can be negatively affected. This is because Google’s algorithm gives more weight to HTTPS sites over HTTP sites.
Select a Reliable and Secure Hosting Provider
A good web host will help protect your site from hacking. At the most basic, they should provide security for their physical servers and help stop online attacks through document DDoS protection. They should offer features like advanced technologies, quality software and hardware, and a robust data center. It also needs to provide site backups, dedicated VPS servers, and reliable customer support if there is an issue.
It’s important to note that not all hosting providers offer reliable security. Since there are many host options out there, you must choose one that guarantees your protection. Make sure to do your research by reading customer reviews and going over the host’s features carefully.
Create Security Layers
Just as you would lock your windows and doors and set an alarm system before leaving the house, so too should your site have a central system that protects it from external attacks.
A WAF (web application firewall) is this centralized system. It protects your site from cookie poisoning, brute force attacks, SQL injections, cross-site scripting (XSS), and other OWASP web application security risks.
WAF works by monitoring, purging, and blocking bad HTTP/HTTPS traffic from invading your site. It also uses a set of rules or policies designed to protect your site against vulnerabilities, as mentioned above.
WAF technologies are available in an application-level firewall and a server-level firewall. The application-level WAF can only protect your site. The server-level WAF protects both your server and your site traffic.
Keep Up with Updates
Keeping your website up-to-date can be tedious, but it’s crucial to your site’s security. Some site builders, like Wix, don’t require you to update your site manually. Instead, the Wix technical team handles all updates, deploying them automatically. On the other hand, sites like WordPress require you to update the core software, themes, plugins, extensions, shopping carts, applications, and templates. If you don’t install the required updates, you leave yourself vulnerable to security glitches or bugs.
A lot of times, cybercriminals employ automated bots to look for vulnerable websites. For this reason, you need to be extremely vigilant and make sure to update regularly. Luckily, in the case of WordPress, it is possible to set things up so that updates show automatically on your dashboard.
Employ Strong Passwords
A password is like a key. It keeps unauthorized people out of your site just like a key keeps unwanted people out of your home. Unfortunately, brute force attacks are getting more frequent, so it’s necessary to rethink how to keep hackers at bay.
To begin with, you want to create a strong password. This means using long passwords with a mix of characters and avoiding sequential keyword paths (QWERTY) or usual substitutions (H3770).
Additionally, you should enable two-step verification, change your passwords regularly, and ensure that if your users have passwords, they are kept in an encrypted form.
A breach in your website’s security could be detrimental to your business. This is why you must implement the above measures diligently to protect your site from bots and hackers. Let’s review these measures one last time:
- Convert your site to an HTTPS by installing an SSL certificate.
- Choose a web host that can offer security and reliability for your site.
- Utilize WAFs.
- Update your site regularly.
- Make sure your passwords are strong.
Do all these things, and you will have significantly increased your site’s security.