Website Security - What Are the Core Features You Need?
Protecting your business’ website from cyberattacks is critical, regardless of the size of the business - even the smallest businesses are as much at risk as large corporations. Hackers and cyber-thieves are everywhere, they’re on the rise and they’re getting smarter. They're stealing or changing sensitive information and doing real damage.
A hacker can gain access to your website in a number of ways. They can use phishing scams, spam emails and fake websites to deliver and install malicious software to people’s computers. They can install a keylogger that is used to capture all the usernames and passwords typed on the keyboard, which can then be used to login to access personal information such as bank accounts.
Once they are in, they are able to steal data and personal information, retrieve usernames and passwords, get bank account and credit card details, make purchases and even watch your online activity. Also, they can seriously slow down the load times of your website or they can run unapproved advertisements which pop up on your website. Whatever the result, it is not good!
While cyberattacks are often targeted, be aware that there are also hacking tools like phishing malware that spread on their own via links and attachments - so your system can be compromised without a hacker specifically targeting you. It is estimated that 56% of all internet traffic is from an automated source, like hacking tools, spammers and bots (1) - are you wondering whether your website is safe from these tools?
Hacked websites can also target your customers as they can now access their details. This can easily make them lose trust in your company and potentially affect your reputation.
The good news is that the cost of website security is less than fixing a hacked site and it is best to have that done by a professional. You can be impacted at any time, so it’s not a task that should be put off until tomorrow!
Improve Your Website Security
Website security can be quite confusing, especially if you are starting out, so here are some things to consider for your business. There are a few simple things you can look at to begin with.
Update Your Software Regularly
Hackers target any flaws they can find in popular software and therefore the software is updated to patch security holes. Keeping your software up to date minimizes the risk of hackers getting through these holes. Ensuring your updates occur automatically makes it easy to manage - and don’t forget about add-ons like plugins as they are susceptible to hackers too.
Use Strong Passwords
Sophisticated software is used by hackers to crack passwords so using complex passwords can help lessen the chance of someone breaking into your website. Have a policy of only using passwords that are at least 10 characters long and use a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. The more complex the better.
Backup and Clean Up
It is so important to back up your website regularly in case your files or data are lost. It’s free and simple to store site files to the Cloud or use backup systems such as Dropbox or Google Drive to store data. It is much easier to recover a hacked system if you can access your files elsewhere straight away.
Also, a clean website means that there are fewer possible entry sites for hackers. Delete any files, apps or databases you no longer require.
Other Website Security Measures
Use and SSL Certificate
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption allows sensitive information such as login in details and credit card numbers to be securely transmitted. The information is encrypted so it appears meaningless to anyone who is trying to intercept it. Adding an SSL certificate to your website also improves your search engine ranking as Google prioritizes websites that have SSL encryption. More and more websites are using SSL certificates; you can see a padlock in the address bar of the browser, and they show as HTTPS rather than HTTP (the S standing for ‘security’).
Use a Secure Website Host
Website hosting in Australia ensures easy local communication, support and potentially a faster website. Our complete CMS package using our Continuum Content Management System, is a platform that includes everything to build a comprehensive website and has a strong focus on website security. We are proudly fully backed-up with the highest possible 99.95% uptime guarantee and provide ongoing upgrades and a friendly support team.
Malware is software that is designed to cause damage to a computer, server or network. Therefore, setting up malware scanning of your website on a regular basis is essential to detect it and remove it before it infects your system.
Install a Firewall
A firewall intercepts all data requests from your server and analyses them, so anything suspicious is turned away before it reaches your website. It is automated so you don’t need to monitor it.
Time to improve your website security? If you would like to take the hassle out of it and use a web hosting company, don’t hesitate to speak with a specialist consultant at Web Force 5 for a free no obligation chat and work out together how best to protect your website.