Securing your website protects you from dangerous malware and hacking attacks, while giving consumers the confidence to share their personal data with you.
In this quick fire guide to website security we reveal the five steps to tackling the number one question you should have about your website in 2022: how can I make my website secure?
Why you need a secure website
As a business, you have a responsibility to safeguard the information customers share with you and to ensure that your website is safe to browse. Fail to comply and you could find yourself facing claims for compensation and fines for breaching data protection laws.
One key way you can protect yourself and your site’s visitors is by ensuring your website is secure. And, just like locking your front door at night, securing your website is an easy fix; you just need to follow these five steps:
Step 1: Keep your site up to date
Keeping your website’s software up to date is your first line of defence when it comes to security. Hackers routinely look to exploit outdated software as a means to gain access to sensitive info and to infect websites with corrosive viruses.
To protect against this, website developers regularly release new patches and software updates, specifically to target known security threats. Accepting these updates as they become available is a simple step you can take to ensure your security is up to scratch.
Step 2: Secure passwords
Password security is such a basic thing to get right, yet nearly four decades on from the internet’s invention businesses are still falling victim to crippling cyber security breaches because of password hacking.
When it comes to creating a secure password for your website it really isn’t rocket science. Stay away from easily guessable phrases (password and 123456 are both a big no-no), always choose a unique password (preferably a random combination of symbols, numerals, and characters) and never share your password with anyone else.
Step 3: Anti-malware software
Another way you can protect your website is with anti-malware software. This type of software scans your website to look for specific security threats such as spyware, ransomware, and other harmful viruses. If a file is detected, the software alienates it to prevent it from infiltrating your site, protecting you from harm. Many reputable CMS include anti-malware as standard, but the software can also be purchased independently.
Step 4: Install SSL certificate
Installing an SSL certificate on your website encrypts any data that’s shared with your site, making it more difficult for hackers to intercept. It’s an absolute necessity if your website handles sensitive data or processes financial transactions. Google also prioritises websites with an active SSL certificate as part of its search engine results order, so as well as strengthening your security it can also benefit your SEO.
Step 5: Install security plugins
You probably already use website plugins to improve the functionality of your website but security specific plugins can also help to protect against threats and viruses too. Search for available plugins from your website host or CMS provider. If not, you may be able to install these from a third party. Just do your homework first to ensure these are legit and, as with any plugins your website uses, be sure to keep the software updated.