Secure websites for businesses are crucial to maintain the integrity of the business and protect business data from cyber threats. With the increasing number of threats online daily, businesses should make sure they have the best protection installed on their website.
Website is a great place for businesses of any industry to show their expertise through creating content or selling their products and services. However, it is also where most cybercriminals try to target as it contains the most vital information. Furthermore, it’s where customers are most vulnerable as they input their credit card information and other details.
The protection of data should be the responsibility of both the website owner and the customer. By creating a secure website and your customers having knowledge on how to protect their data, it is possible to remain safe from online threats.
If you are planning to start a website for your small business, here are tips you can use to create a secure website.
Why Secure Website Matters?
- It is expensive to do a website cleanup. Some website owners try to do the cleanup on their own but eventually, they will end up hiring a professional to do the job. Asking a professional to clean up your website from an attack will get rid of all threats and address vulnerabilities.
- An unsecured website can be blacklisted by Google. If this happens it can affect your website’s traffic because Google warns their clients of the threat in your site, so visitors will not continue on to your site.
- Google and search engines penalize websites that aren’t secure and don’t follow the basic security procedure such as using an SSL certification on a website. If you lack security, it would be difficult for your website to rank on search engines. It is crucial to rank on top of search engines as most people use search engines to research information about a product they want. Here is a read on How Website Security Can Affect Your SEO Ranking.
- It also protects your physical equipment. When a virus or malware is present on your website, it can also impact your devices as viruses can spread to your equipment. Aside from resolving issues on your site, you’ll need to fix the damages it caused on your device, which can be expensive.
- You need to protect your customers’ data as they trust in you and the services you provide. If you lack security on your website, your customers may lose trust and move to another website.
- If hackers discovered your website is unsecured they can access proprietary information that shouldn’t be available to the public. It’s expensive to lose and retrieve such data once hackers get their hands on it.
So before you lose your peace of mind and spend a lot, here are ways you can follow to create a secure website for your business and your customers.
How to Create a Secure Website?
Choose a Safe and Secure Hosting Provider
You can start your website by using a website builder, hiring a professional web developer, or coding your own website. Whichever path you choose; you need to make sure you pick a reputable hosting option. You have to get to know each provider and see how they can provide security features like Web Application Firewall (WAF) or DDoS Protection to name a few.
The use of WAF can help protect your business from SQL injection and cross-site scripting attacks.
Remember that choosing the cheapest or most expensive hosting has nothing to do with protection. You have to carefully check on the security features they offer.
Get an SSL Certificate
You must have a safe connection between your website and your customer’s device if you want your customers to register on your website or make transactions. Your consumers are vulnerable to data theft and computer infections due to an insecure connection. It’s not a position your small business wants to be in if anything like this turns out badly for your customers. You and your customers will feel more comfortable knowing the website has a secure website with an SSL certificate.
SSL encrypts the data being transferred between a website and a customer. Furthermore, having HTTPS on your website informs Google about the security of your website, and people visiting your website can immediately know they are entering a secure site.
Use Strong Passwords
When running your website, you have to make sure that you use strong passwords. If you secure your account with complex passwords it keeps your accounts safe from hackers. It is also vital to inform your employees to keep their accounts safe by using a strong password.
A complex password should have the following:
- 12 or more characters long
- Combination of upper and lower cases
- Numbers and symbols
- Should not be a word found in a dictionary
- Do not recycle passwords
- Different passwords for different accounts
You can also implement that your customers create accounts with strong passwords.
Since brute force attack is one of the most common techniques used by hackers, those who use easy passwords can lose their accounts in a few minutes.
Invest in an Automatic Backup
Backups are critical for businesses with websites. You need to consider that threats are not the only reason you need to start backing up your data. Servers and physical disasters are other reasons why businesses need to back up their work.
There are backup systems that can help store all of the company’s data. In addition, it backs up files automatically and provides the latest version.
To protect your content from potential risks, store it in a secure area, such as the central server. Backups of your website’s information and layout can save you from having to start over.
Update Software, Plugins, and Host Provider
Updating your device’s software, host provider, plugins, and CMS can help secure your website from hackers. Cybercriminals like to use outdated software or plugins as a gateway to inject malicious code into a system.
Zero-day attacks occur where hackers exploit any software weakness that the vendors and developers aren’t aware of. So, make sure to check for the latest updates on your software, if none is provided by the developer, it’s time to change it.
Use a Website Scanner
Scanning your website with a website scanner helps in detecting vulnerabilities at an early time. There are plenty of website scanners available online, but make sure to choose a professional tool. You can also choose a website scanner that not only scans for threats but checks on XSS and SQL injection on website logins and contact forms.
Choose a Plugin and Add-on That’s Secure
Before you install a plugin on your website, make sure to read about it. You can check on the features offered and when it was last updated. Plugins are one way hackers use to enter a website and steal information, like mobile apps, you need to be careful with the plugins you install.
When you run a website, it’s not only you who gets to work or access the content. Sometimes, you might hire someone to take care of some aspects. It could be a freelancer or remote employee. You can secure your company’s data by restricting or limiting access to users. You can give admin access only to those who require it and those you trust.
The design and user experience of a new website take a lot of time and consideration. Although these are crucial components of your website, they should not take precedence over security. Between the completion of a website and its debut, a skilled developer will provide plenty of time to test and improve security features. Trial and error testing aids in the correction of your website that you may not have seen the first time around.
Use a Web Application Firewall (WAF)
A web application firewall is similar to a PC firewall; they protect the information being transmitted between the server. However, WAF can detect threats like cross-site scripting, cross-site forgeries, and SQL injections.
Modern WAFs are the best choice of firewalls as they quickly adjust and adapt to new vulnerabilities that arise.
Choose a Secure Payment Platform
Keeping every part of your website secure is crucial and this includes the payment of your customers. There are plenty of platforms that offer acceptance of payment but be careful when choosing one. You have to make sure that the payment platform must comply with standards.
Here is an article on how you can secure your online payment on your website.
You have to continue protecting your website by being proactive. You can use security software with AI that can continue scanning your website at all times and your firewall on always.
Website security should always be a top priority whether you are providing expert content or selling a physical or digital product.
You’ll be in a far better position to secure your and your customers’ data if you follow the above measures and stay educated on the newest trends and news in cybersecurity than if you try to save a few dollars by disregarding the possibilities and risks.
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