Making a website from scratch is challenging, but securing it is more of a headache. Nowadays, website security has become a critical aspect of online business. Hackers, malicious bots, and cybercriminals are always on the prowl, looking for ways to exploit website vulnerabilities and steal data.
There are around 50,000 websites on average that get hacked every day. As a website owner or developer, you must ensure your website is secured and protected against those potential threats. This guide will teach you how to secure a website and keep data safe through some basic steps.
What Is Website Security?
Website security refers to all the practices to protect a website from unauthorized access, data theft, hacking, and other cyber threats. It involves implementing measures and best practices that ensure privacy, accuracy, and accessibility of the website and its data.
A secured site helps prevent various forms of attacks, such as malware infections, SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and brute force attacks, which could result in data loss or damage to the website’s reputation. Website security is crucial, especially for businesses that collect and store sensitive data such as personal information, financial data, and intellectual property.
Website security includes a range of practices:
- Authentication and access control: Verifying the user’s identity and controlling access to specific parts of the site based on their roles.
- Data encryption: Converting data into a code to prevent unauthorized access or data editing while transmitted over the internet.
- Malware prevention: Malware can disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system. Malware protection involves installing software that detects and removes malware from a website.
- Web application security: Protecting a website against defects and threats like SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).
- Regular updates and backups: Keep updating a website with the latest security patches and software that can prevent vulnerabilities. Regular backups can reduce the chance of data loss in the event of cybersecurity attacks.
6 Easy Steps To Improve Your Website’s Safety
After making a highly visible website, you will need to go through 6 basic steps to set up and improve its security as follow:
Step 1: Install Security Plugins
If you utilize a content management system (CMS) for building websites, you can easily find available security plugins which can be free or paid options. Choose one and install it right away to protect your site.
Security plugins can actively prevent website hacking efforts and offer thorough security reports for your website. They protect your site against viruses, brute-force assaults, and hacking attempts.
For example, if you use WordPress, you can install some security plugins such as iThemes Security, Sucuri, and Wordfence. On the other hand, Amasty is one of the excellent security plugins for Magento CMS.
Step 2: Use HTTPS and Install SSL
Most URLs start with HTTPS. The “S” following HTTP means “secure” or SSL Security certificate. It indicates that critical information is encrypted, making it nearly impossible for online thieves to steal.
HTTPS and SSL provide an additional layer of security for your website by encrypting data transmitted between the website and its users. It ensures that sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and personal information, is protected from interception and theft by malicious actors.
So, using HTTPS that installs SSL will help your site get more trust from visitors. Below are 3 main ways to install SSL:
- Select a reputable website builder that offers free SSL.
- Select a hosting company that provides a free SSL with each package.
- Set up a free, essential SSL on your own.
If you need a higher level of security, you must pay for an advanced SSL certificate. You will find different price ranges from hosting companies or domain registrars.
Step 3: Keep Your Software And Platform Updates
Keeping your website’s software up-to-date is essential to prevent cybersecurity attacks. Software updates often contain security patches that address vulnerabilities and bugs that hackers could exploit to gain unauthorized access to your website.
You don’t need to worry about these issues if you use a website builder, because most builders oversee software updates and security. But with other platforms, like WordPress, you must keep everything updated. If not, it will be obsolete and prone to errors, malfunctions, and in the worst case, hackers using harmful code.
To avoid this issue, you should be able to set updates automatically in your dashboard and remember to keep an eye on it.
Step 4: Implement Strong Passwords
Using strong, unique passwords is important to have secured web pages. It would help if you used uppercase, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols at the same time instead of simple passwords. The password, such as “123456,” is easily crackable.
Here are some alternatives to consider.
- Use the combination of random and unrelated characters.
- Do not reuse passwords; store them all in a password manager.
- Create a lengthy password.
- Stop using your private information to create a password, as it is the first thing hackers will access.
Step 5: Backup Your Website Regularly
Even if you follow all the above steps, you are still at risk of website hacking, and the worst scenario for a website hack is losing everything. Having a backup is the most fantastic method to safeguard yourself. When you have a recent backup, recovery is significantly more straightforward.
You should make a habit of backing up your website daily or weekly. Regular backups can help you keep a copy of your website and its data in case of cybersecurity attacks, accidental deletion, or website crashes. Besides, you should store backups securely and test them regularly to ensure you can restore them.
If you worry about forgetting it, you can try to spend money on automatic backups or hiring website management services. However, it’s an inexpensive approach to getting security.
Step 6: Stay Alerts
If you’ve used the fixes mentioned above, you’ve already significantly decreased the attack surface that hackers can use to take over your website.
However, to maintain a secure site, you must regularly review your website and any external content you post there, such as adverts.
Work with reputable ad networks, for instance, and scan and test each ad creative before it is published on your website to prevent malvertising.
6 Tips To Make Your Website More Secure
Besides all the basic steps, we suggest some more tips for you to make your website more secure as below:
Use A Secure Web Host
One of the best tips you can do for your company is to ensure your hosting is safe and secure. In addition to defending your website against malware and hacker attacks, this ensures that your website is constantly monitored and that downtime is minimal. It will safeguard you against revenue loss and improve your search engine rankings.
You can use an independent hosting firm or get a host from the business that designs your website.
Consider Using the Email Captchas
Mail captchas are an excellent way to go through all the junk you receive through your site and separate the legitimate inquiries.
They’re also an excellent method to block hackers, make online buying safer, and stop spamming blog comments, which can turn off potential buyers.
There are numerous options for email captchas. Ask your web developer for guidance and add the captcha to your website, or look for instructions on implementing it yourself.
Limit Access To Your Website
One of the useful ways to keep secured web pages is by granting access to your website only to those who need it. Moreover, you need to limit access to your admin panel, control panel, and a hosting account. You also need to ensure all user accounts have strong passwords and are kept up-to-date.
Monitor Strange Site Behavior Via Google Analytics
Google Analytics is not only a tool for counting website visitors. You can also use it to spot unusual behavior. For instance, a significant amount of traffic coming from unknown sources or keywords other than your own could be worrying.
Your file structure may contain a phishing site that increases traffic to an unidentified page. In this case, you need to scan files and modifications regularly. Bad practices may cause your site to perform poorly in search engines if they are not monitored.
Apply Multi-Factor Authentication
Verifying the user’s identity and controlling access to specific parts of the site based on their roles is also a useful suggestion. Multi-factor authentication can add an extra layer to site security by requiring users to enter a unique code sent to their phone or email in addition to their password.
Use Security Tools
Security plugins and tools, such as web application firewalls (WAF) and antivirus software, can support detecting and preventing attacks by monitoring website traffic and blocking suspicious activity. A WAF is an additional layer of security that can help in protecting a website from common attacks like cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection (SQLi).
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need Security For My Website?
Apparently, it would be best if you had security for your website. Website security is essential because it protects sensitive information, such as personal information, login credentials, and financial data, from being stolen or compromised. A secure website helps build trust with customers and ensures business continuity.
Besides, if your website is secured, you will have more chances to appear at the top of search engine results. In contrast, Google and other search engines will put your website on the blocklist. As a result, customers could not find you easily on the search engine result pages. In addition, Google even warns customers and restricts them from entering your website.
Are Website Builders Secure?
Typically, website builders are safe. The platforms usually keep abreast of all current security requirements. They are committed to using cutting-edge technology to secure their clients’ websites. A website builder typically has greater capacity and authority to respond quickly and address threats.
In addition, you don’t have to worry about website backups while utilizing a site-building platform because the platform does it for you.
What Might Be The Security Risks For A Website?
There are many types of security risks for a website. Here we can list some main risks as follow:
- Ransomware: This harmful software blocks access to your website until you pay the attacker a “ransom” fee. 73% of businesses considered Ransomware the worst web security risk involving system intrusion.
- Malware: Malware is another more prevalent web security issue. It is dangerous software designed to harm or take down computers and websites. Search engines can detect websites with malware issues.
- Phishing: Phishing is the criminal act of sending phony emails on behalf of legitimate businesses to deceive recipients into disclosing personal information, including credit card details, passwords, and identity numbers.
- Data Breaches: Data breaches are yet another one of the most significant security risks to websites. These can occur whenever hackers have accessed your company’s servers or apps. Private customer information, including phone numbers, mailing addresses, and social security numbers, is frequently stolen and obtained by thieves in data breaches.
- Employee Sabotage: You could become the next victim of dissatisfied workers’ threats to web security. A simple outdated login and password are all it takes for a disgruntled employee or former employee to shut down your website and steal sensitive company information.
- DDoS Attacks: A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack occurs when bots overwhelm the internet connection of a targeted website server, obstructing access to any website by legitimate users.
In conclusion, protecting website security is essential to a successful online business. By following all the mentioned steps and tips on how to secure a website, you can significantly improve your website security and protect it against potential threats. While no security measures are foolproof, implementing these essential steps can go a long way in keeping your website and data safe from cybercriminals.
Besides, you can also reach our advanced website development services to have your website highly protected and secured from the beginning.