How Do You Ensure the Security Of Your Website?
Security is an important factor to consider if you own a website. Whether you run a small or big website, its security should be a key consideration. With the increased ease of website building through Content Management Systems (CMS), the use of websites has greatly increased. The site security is, however, left in your hands to manage.
Protecting the website means putting in measures to keep off bugs, hackers, and many more online threats. However, this is not the case as most people don't put little effort to ensure their websites are secure. This puts your data at risk of getting interfered with. As a result, the site could crash or get banned.
If you use your site for E-Commerce, you will risk losing money. Users of such sites also need to be assured of the confidentiality of their personal information, such as credit card numbers, to mention a few. E-commerce is broad, side from security Cinema8 teaches you remarkable benefits of utilizing video content for E-commerce and much more. Visit our site to learn more.
If you are worried about ensuring the security of your website, worry not. This article provides you with ways to ensure your site is secure and keep your data from unauthorized access.
Ways to Ensure the Security of Your Website
1. Install SSL and HTTPS
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate encrypts data passing between the site and the visitors. A site with an SSL certificate has a padlock on the address bar. One should use different types of SSL levels for different websites depending on the nature of details processed by the site.
If you conduct transactions using the site, or the site asks for login credentials, or it's used to transfer files, having an SSL is very important for you. This protects the data from being read by others while in transit.
To install SSL:
• Choose a website builder providing SSL.
• Choose the host that provides SSL
• Install the SSL
Most hosting providers offer free SSL, but you can buy an advanced SSL if you need higher-level security.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) prevents interruptions and interceptions of the content while it's in transit. It provides security while using the internet. HTTPS is very important for the website because:
• Increases the site rank on search engines
• Helps in building the customer trust
• Assist in protecting sensitive data
2. Use of Anti-malware Software
Having anti-malware software keeps your site protected, and therefore you don't have to worry. There are different types of anti-malware software. Some are free, while you must pay to use others. The services provided by anti-malware software include:
• Malware detection plus removal.
• Web scanning.
• PCI compliance.
• DDoS protection.
• Vulnerability patching.
• Web-application firewall.
A good website hosting provider or builder should ensure the high-end security of your site. Most of the providers have anti-malware software plans for free. When choosing a hosting provider, the features to look at are free SSL, hack protection, DDoS protection, offer SFTP (secure file transfer protocol), regular security upgrades and automatic backups.
3. Choose a Strong Password
A strong password is vital for the security of your site. However, most people will create one password for all their websites, programs, or databases. This makes your site vulnerable to hackers if one of the site's passwords gets revealed. Therefore, it would be best to change the passwords frequently and not share them with anyone.
Incorporate uppercase letters, lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers to create a strong password.
Make passwords long enough (between 12-14 digits). Don't use personal information as passwords (date of birth, ID number etc.). This is because that is the information hackers will try to guess to login into your site.
If you are a CMS manager or business owner, you should also ensure the employees frequently change their passwords. But, again, only authorized personnel should hold those passwords.
4. Keep the Website Updated
You should always ensure that your site software is up to date. If you are using a hosting provider, the process of keeping the software updated is left entirely onto them. Outdated website software is vulnerable to glitches, bugs, and hackers.
Making sure your site plugins are updated regularly will increase the site's security. While choosing plugins, ensure that you go for quality ones from trusted developers. Poor plugins may contain malicious code or bugs that can affect your site.
5. Backup the Website
Having a backup for your site is one of the best options to keep your site safe. This will ensure that you can recover your website after a security breach occurs. Never store the backups on-site. You should also ensure the backup and your website aren't on the same server.
There are different ways of backing up your website:
• Using the WordPress plugin: You can install your preferred plugin and manage your backup preferences if you are using WordPress.
• Using backup services: There are various backup services such as Code Guard, which you pay for and then use to back up your information.
• Using a website provider that incorporates a backup in their plan- most hosts provide built-in backup software or provide it as add-ons.
If you want to choose a reliable backup plan, some of the things to look at are:
• Automated backups: Forgetting to create a backup can make you pay a price of information loss if the website is damaged. You can, however, avoid this by automating that backup process. This will help reduce human error, which would have been brought up by forgetting to do the backup.
• Off-site backups: Backing your data in an off-site location keeps it from hackers. In case of hardware failure, the data is safe. Use hard drives to execute these back-ups.
• Regular backups: You should ensure that you undertake regular backup to ensure that you don't remain with an outdated backup version of the site.
• Redundant backup: This means that your web data is stored in multiple locations and not just in one location.
6. Have a Web Application Firewall
WAF (Web Application Firewall) reads all the data passed across it, hence protecting your site. WAFs are mostly cloud-based and are plug-and-play services. It's a gateway to incoming traffic, therefore, blocking hacking attempts.
WAF filters unwanted traffic like malicious bots and spammers. This helps to increase the security of your site.
7. Tighten Up Network Security
When several employees access your website, it's important to ensure that the site is secure. You should ensure that the employees don't leave an open pathway to the website's server.
There are several ways to tighten up network security. They include:
• Ensuring that the employee passwords are changed every three months.
• Having the computer login period expire after some time of inactivity.
• Ensuring that all the devices accessing the network are always scanned for viruses every time they are connected.
When you put these measures into place, your network security is enhanced, increasing
8. Record Administrative Privileges and User Access
You may provide employees accessing the website server with administrative privilege. As a result, they may not use the site carefully as expected and may overlook certain security measures or make a mistake.
This is because they are more concerned about the task they are handling rather than the site's security. Unfortunately, this can lead to a significant security breach.
If you are giving employees website access, you need to find out if they understand the website security and know what they should look for to avoid a security breach. You should also find out their experience with the use of CMS.
Educate all your CMS users on the necessity of software updates and passwords. Consistent training on security measures goes a long way.
You should track who is accessing your CMS and their administrative privileges. Ensure you update this regularly to regulate who has access to the CMS. This will help prevent security breaches.
9. Manually Accepting On-site Comments
Comments on your site are proof that people have visited your website. The comments ensure you engage with the people, and they can also provide you with constructive feedback. To ensure that the posts on your website get more engagement, use Cinema8 to add more actions to your video content.
However, not all comments are good, as some will contain trolls, bots, fake accounts, or a spammy link. These may pose a security threat to your site. To prevent this, you need to change the site's settings to ensure that you manually approve the comments before they appear on the site. This gives you a chance to filter and delete the spam.
You can also reduce these dangerous links by:
• Asking those who visit the site to register so that they can comment.
• Using plugins and anti-spam software.
Use of the above tactics will ensure that your comment section is safe for you and the visitors. The key point is to have high-end protection from malicious malware and individuals.
10. Change the Default Settings of Your CMS
Most website attacks are automated, and the bots depend on the website's default settings. Changing the defaults immediately after you choose your CMS will help prevent most of these attacks from happening.
The CMS settings include permissions, user visibility, and comments control. You get to change the file permissions to restrict who and what they can do to a file. The permissions include read, write, or execute.
Customizing the users' (owner, group, and public) settings and their permissions can also help reduce the vulnerability to attacks.
11. Knowing Your Web-server Configuration Files
You can find your web-server configuration files in the root web directory. They allow you to dictate the server rules, including options to improve the website security. Different file types are used with different servers. You should know the one that you are using. They include:
• web.config used by Microsoft IIS servers.
• nginx.conf used by Nginx servers
• .htaccess file used by Apache web servers
If you don't know which web server you are using, you can run a website scanner to check the website. It checks for viruses, known malware, website errors, blacklisting status and more.
12. Don't Help Hackers
This sounds so obvious. How do you help hackers while keeping your website secure from them? Most people fall victim to scammers and hackers unknowingly by giving crucial personal information.
Research has shown that 92.4% of malware is delivered through e-mail. This makes it the most common method of attack. Make sure your site is safe by being on the lookout for suspicious e-mails, phone calls, or texts asking about personal information.
To ensure that your site is not open to unwanted visitors, some simple things to avoid include:
• Avoid open or public internet connections.
• Don't click on suspicious links in your email; instead, delete them. This is more important, especially if it's a professional email linked to your site.
• Trust only verified professionals to fix your site in case of malfunctioning. This is because most hackers will pose as tech professionals to access your site.
As much as this seems so general, much care should be taken. But, first, you shouldn't forget that almost 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error.
Research has shown that hacking has greatly increased over the years. Security maintenance is therefore so vital. You need to protect the customer's data and your data as well. Ensuring that data doesn't land in the wrong hands should be prioritized.
As we have seen, website security is a simple process and doesn't require a large amount of capital or tech expertise. Of course, no method can guarantee the maximum security of your website, but incorporating the above methods will increase your site security. This will, in turn, reduce your site's vulnerability to attacks.
If you own a website, check and apply the tips stated above to ensure that your site is safe. Suppose you want to start building your website; make sure you choose a quality web host or web builder and follow the security guidelines above.