The ease with which websites can be created has increased in recent years. Business owners are now webmasters thanks to content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Joomla.
Although you now have responsibility for website security, many website owners are unaware of how to make their sites secure.
Customers need to know that their data is secure when they utilize an online credit card payment processor. Visitors are concerned about their personal information falling into the wrong hands.
Users demand a secure online experience regardless of whether you own a small business or a large corporation.
Even though more people are establishing websites, according to a 2019 analysis by Google Registry and The Harris Poll, the majority of Americans have a huge knowledge gap in terms of online security safety.
While 55 percent of respondents assigned themselves an A or B for internet safety, 70 percent misidentified what a safe URL for a website should look like.
There are numerous ways to ensure that your website is secure for yourself, your staff, and your consumers. It doesn't have to be a guessing game when it comes to website security.
Take important actions to improve the security of your website. Assist in keeping data safe from prying eyes.
No approach can ensure that your site will remain "hacker-free" indefinitely. The usage of preventative measures will lessen the susceptibility of your website.
The process of securing a website can be both simple and complex. Before it's too late, there are at least ten key steps you can do to increase website security.
Even in the digital era, business owners must protect client information. Take all required precautions and don't leave anything to chance.
It is always preferable to be safe than sorry if you have a website.
How to Make Your Websites More Secure?
Update Your Software And Plugins
Every day, outdated software compromises a large number of websites. Sites are being scanned for potential hackers and bots to attack.
Your website's health and security depend on regular updates. Your site is not secure if its software or applications are out of date.
Take all requests for software and plugin updates seriously.
Security enhancements and vulnerability fixes are frequently included in updates. Check for updates on your website or install an update notification plugin. Automatic updates are another solution for ensuring website security on some platforms.
Your site will become less secure the longer you wait. Prioritize updating your website and its components.
Add an SSL Certificate and HTTPS.
A secure URL is required to keep your website safe. If visitors to your site offer to provide personal information, you must use HTTPS rather than HTTP to convey it.
What exactly is HTTPS?
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a protocol for ensuring Internet security. While the content is in transit, HTTPS prevents interceptions and disruptions.
Your website will also require an SSL Certificate in order to establish a secure online connection. You must encrypt your connection if your website requires visitors to register, sign up, or make any type of transaction.
What exactly is SSL?
Another important site protocol is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). This transfers personal information from website visitors to your database. SSL encrypts data to prevent others from accessing it while it is in transit.
It also prevents individuals without proper authority from accessing the data. An SSL certificate from GlobalSign that works with most websites is an example.
Select a Secure Password
It's difficult to keep track of all the websites, databases, and apps that require passwords. To remember their login credentials, many consumers use the same password across multiple sites.
However, this is a severe security flaw.
For each each login request, create a new password. Create passwords that are complex, unpredictable, and tough to guess. Then save them somewhere other than the website directory.
As an example, your password may be a 14-digit combination of letters and numbers. The password(s) could then be saved to an offline file, a smartphone, or a separate computer.
Your CMS will ask for a login, and you'll need to create a strong password. Also, avoid including any personal information in your password. Make it entirely unguessable by not using your birthday or pet's name.
Change your password to a new one after three months or sooner, then repeat. Smart passwords are long and always contain at least twelve characters. Your password must be a mix of numbers and symbols. Always switch between uppercase and lowercase letters.
Never reuse a password or share it with anyone else.
If you're a business owner or CMS administrator, make sure all of your employees' passwords are changed on a regular basis.
Make use of a safe web host.
Consider the domain name of your website as a street address. Consider the web host as the "real estate" on which your website is located.
You should explore potential web hosts in the same way you would research a plot of land to build a house.
Many providers offer server security tools that help protect the data you upload to your website. When picking a host, there are a few things to look for.
Is SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) available from the web host? SFTP.
Is Unknown User FTP Use disabled?
Is a Rootkit Scanner used?
Is there a file backup service?
How well do they stay current with security updates?
Make sure your web host, whether it's SiteGround or WP Engine, has everything you need to keep your site secure.
Keep track of who has administrative and user access.
Initially, you may feel comfortable granting access to your website to several senior employees. You give them administrative rights in the hopes that they will utilize their sites responsibly. This is the ideal circumstance, although it does not always exist.
Employees, unfortunately, do not consider website security when logging into the CMS. Instead, they're focused on the job at hand.
A severe security concern can arise if they make a mistake or overlook an issue.
It's critical to thoroughly evaluate your staff before granting them access to your website. Check to see whether they've used your CMS before and if they know what to look for to avoid a security breach.
Every CMS user should be informed about the importance of passwords and software updates. Inform them of all the ways they can contribute to the website's security.
Make a record and update it frequently to keep track of who has access to your CMS and their administrative settings.
Employees arrive and depart. Keeping a tangible record of who does what with your website is one of the greatest strategies to avoid security risks.
When it comes to user access, be cautious.
Change the default CMS settings
The most prevalent website attacks are completely automated. Many attack bots rely on users leaving their CMS settings set to default.
Change your default settings as soon as you've decided on a CMS. Changes aid in the prevention of a huge number of attacks.
Control comments, user visibility, and permissions can all be adjusted in the CMS settings.
'File permissions' is an excellent example of a default configuration adjustment you should make. You can alter the permissions of a file to control who has access to it.
Each file has three permissions, each of which is represented by a number:
'Read'(4) displays the contents of the file.
'Write'(2): Modify the contents of the file.
(1) 'Execute': Runs the application or script.
To explain, if you wish to allow multiple permissions, multiply the numbers. You might set the user permission to 6 to allow read (4) and write (2).
There are three sorts of users, in addition to the basic file permission settings:
Owner — Usually the file's creator, however ownership can be changed. At any given time, only one user can be the owner.
Each file is assigned to one of several groups. Users who are members of that group will have access to the group's permissions.
Everyone else is classified as public.
Personalize users and their permissions. If you leave the default settings alone, you will eventually run into website security difficulties.
Your Website's Backup
Having a robust backup solution is one of the greatest ways to keep your site safe. You should have multiples. Each is essential for restoring your website after a significant security breach.
There are various options for recovering files that have been damaged or lost.
Keep information from your website off-site. Backups should not be stored on the same server as your website; they are as vulnerable to attacks.
Keep a backup of your website on your personal computer or hard disk. Find a safe, off-site location to store your data and keep it safe from hardware failures, hacking, and viruses.
Another alternative is to make a cloud backup of your website. It facilitates data storage and provides access to information from any location.
You should consider automating your website backups in addition to deciding where to store them. Use a backup system that allows you to schedule backups. You should also make sure that your solution has a solid recovery system.
Make your backup process redundant by backing up your backup.
This allows you to recover files from any point prior to the breach or virus.
The Files That Make Up Your Web Server Configuration
Learn about the configuration files on your web server. They are located in the root web directory. You can manage server rules using web server configuration files. This provides security instructions for your website.
Every server makes use of different file types. Get to know the one you're using.
The.htaccess file is used by Apache web servers.
nginx.conf is used by Nginx servers.
Web.config is used by Microsoft IIS servers.
Not every webmaster is aware of their web server. If you're one of them, verify your website with a website scanner like Sitecheck. It checks for malware, viruses, blacklisting, website problems, and other issues.
The more you know about your website's current security posture, the better. It provides you time to remedy it before it causes any damage.
Fill out an application for a Web Application Firewall.
Make that you submit an application for a web application firewall (WAF). It connects your website server to your data connection. To defend your site, the goal is to read every bit of data that comes through it.
Most WAFs today are cloud-based and plug-and-play services. The cloud service acts as a filter for all incoming traffic, preventing any hacking efforts. Other sorts of undesirable traffic, such as spammers and harmful bots, are also blocked.
Increase network security.
When you think your website is safe, you should check the security of your network.
Employees using office laptops may unintentionally create a dangerous path to your website.
Consider the following at your company to prevent them from gaining access to your website's server:
Allow computer logins to expire after a certain amount of time.
Make sure your system notifies users of password changes every three months.
Ensure that every time a device is connected to the network, it is inspected for malware.
You can't just build up a website and forget about it as a business owner or webmaster. Even though it is now easier than ever to create a website, security maintenance is still required.
When it comes to securing your company's and customers' data, always be proactive. Whether your site accepts online payments or personal information, the information users provide must reach the correct people.