How to Create a Secure Website and Fend Off Cyber-Attacks
Your customers rely on you to keep their sensitive information safe. What’s more, anti-virus apps won’t allow new customers to enter your site. Website security is vital if you want your business to survive and thrive. Learn how to create a secure website and fend off cyber-attacks.
How secure is your website?
If you answered, “I think it’s pretty secure, but I’m not sure,” then you’re probably not making cybersecurity a top priority.
And it should be.
It is vital that you know how to create a secure website. Especially when there are so many ways your website can be attacked.
From malware, phishing and password attacks, to rogue software, malvertising and “drive-by downloads,” you’re almost constantly at risk.
All of this begs the question:
Do You Know How to Create a Secure Website?
If not, don’t worry.
We’ll take a look at some of the best ways to protect your valuable data and to prevent your website from being hacked.
1. Adjust/Change Your Passwords
It’s important to create strong passwords for your website. That means requiring passwords that are at least eight characters and have upper and lower case letters, as well as symbols and numbers.
The more characters and numbers there are, the more complicated it is for a hacker. With each new symbol, hacking programs have to recalculate thousands and then millions of possible variants to try to figure it out.
Also, be sure to change your website passwords regularly.
2. Swap out the Username for Email ID
Using an email ID instead of a username is more secure. That’s because usernames are far easier to predict than email IDs.
Some website building tools, such as WordPress, are created with an email address unique to you. This makes it a valid identifier for logging in right out of the box and requires no configuration at all.
Also, be sure to limit the number of users or administrators to keep your website more secure.
3. Use 2-Factor Authentication
Introducing the 2-factor authentication (2FA) on the login page is an effective way to add another layer of security.
With 2FA, the user has to provide login details for two different components. It can be a regular password followed by a secret question, code, symbol, or whatever you choose to ask.
The answer will be completely unique to the user.
4. Be Careful Where You Log in
When logging in to your website, avoid public WiFi hotspots in places like the airports, hotels and coffee shops if they are not secure. And only send your information through fully encrypted sites.
Keep in mind that any time you’re on a shared network, it means that anyone who is also on that network could get access to your information. This puts your website at higher risk for malware.
So stick with virtual private networks (VPNs).
And by all means, if you suspect something strange, report it to your web consultant immediately.
5. Change Your Standard URL
By changing out the username to an email ID, you’ve dodged some of the possibility of hacker brute forcing their way into your site.
But if hackers know the standard URL of your login page, they’ve still got a way in.
Simply changing the to an exact URL means only those with the exact URL can access the login page. Unauthorized entities are denied access.
6. Utilize HTTPS (SSL) Secure Hosting
HTTPS is the secure area of a website and can be identified by the padlock in your browser.
It has typically been used for sites where sensitive data (such as payments) is passed between a person’s computer and a website.
When you install an SSL Certificate on the web server for a particular domain, HTTPS is established. This allows for an encrypted link between the web server and the computer used for browsing the website.
Getting an SSL certificate is easy. For example, if you have WordPress, you can purchase one from certain dedicated companies.
You could also ask your hosting firm to provide one, as it’s often an option with their hosting packages.
Additionally, as Google continues to promote the importance of cybersecurity, HTTPS has become a ranking factor. In other words, Google ranks sites with SSL higher than those without it. This means more traffic for you.
7. Check That Your Content Management System (CMS) Is Up To Date
Website building tools like WordPress, Joomla or Magento are also known as Content Management Systems (CMS).
These tools are supported by their developers and are updated frequently to fix bugs and address vital security issues.
If you don’t regularly update your themes and plugins, you’re putting your site at risk. Hackers thrive on a CMS that hasn’t been updated. And more often than not, they’ll exploit bugs that have already been fixed.
So be sure to update your CMS regularly. This includes all themes, plugins, everything.
And for security purposes, always perform a full backup before updating or upgrading your CMS. That way, you can restore your site should any issues occur.
8. Perform Regular Automatic Backups
Along with performing a back up before engaging in any updates, regularly creating backups of all your data from apps and mobile devices is crucial. It ensures that your data is safely stored in case something is accidentally deleted or lost.
But even if you remember to do this, it could be a suck on your time.
If that’s your story, you could use a professional automated backup service that takes regular ‘snapshots’ of your data. That way, if you need to restore files from backup, you can manage it yourself.
And with professional automated backup, you’re able to restore from different points in time rather than having to resort to an old backup from too long ago.
9. Share and Store Passwords Safely
All browsers now have password management systems where passwords can be safely stored. These are referred to as password vaults.
In situations where you’re required to set up a password with friends or team members, you can incorporate various password managers to share, manage and organize those passwords.
Keeping Your Website Secure Is Crucial
Now that you know how to create a secure website, you’ll rest more easily knowing that your valuable data is safe.