10 Tips to Improve the Security of your Website

We’re amidst a revolution of online security. Websites of all shapes and sizes are becoming the target of online attackers, and your data and users are at risk. It seems like every day there’s a new report about a security breach from a big-name company. Once damaged, it’s hard to repair your reputation with your […]

website security

10 Tips to Improve the Security of your Website

Posted on Dec, 16, 2019 I Elise

We’re amidst a revolution of online security. Websites of all shapes and sizes are becoming the target of online attackers, and your data and users are at risk. It seems like every day there’s a new report about a security breach from a big-name company. Once damaged, it’s hard to repair your reputation with your customers.

Why is cybercrime on the rise? To put it short, cybercrime is big business. Believe it or not, the cybercrime economy is at least worth $1.5 trillion in profits every year. Selling personal information and data is a huge market that attracts criminals from all over the world.

Big-name companies aren’t the only targets. In fact, small businesses are increasingly targeted by cybercriminals looking for an easy attack. Small to medium-sized businesses are targeted 43% of the time. That means nobody’s safe, and it’s time to take steps to improve the security of your website.

1. Update Your Computer

The first way to protect yourself is also the simplest. Just make sure your computer is always up-to-date. Nobody likes to deal with the consistent pop-up reminders about how your system needs to be updated, but they actually serve a purpose. When your computer isn’t up-to-date, you’re more susceptible to security problems.

2. Update Your Software

Another important step is similar to the first. Your website software needs to always be up-to-date. Every update includes patches to your website’s security, so make sure you’re taking these seriously. If possible, set up automatic alerts for any updates so you never miss them, even for smaller things like plugins.

3. Use a Strong Password

How strong is your password in reality? There’s a lot of confusion over what makes a password “good” or “bad.” The best thing to do is use a sophisticated password that can’t be cracked with brute force. Using complex passwords with a mixture of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters is key. Finally, make sure you change your password regularly.

4. Password Manager

If you’re unable to remember your complex password, a secure password manager like LastPass can do this for you. Not only will you not have to memorize anything, but you’ll be sure to avoid using any common words or identifiers that people can guess or break with brute force.

5. Encrypt Your Website

All websites should be encrypted with an SSL certificate, and this is especially true for ecommerce websites. Either way, if you’re collecting any data with your website, you need to make sure your users’ information is secure. If you need help with this process, contact your host or get the best WooCommerce support from an expert.

6. Check Your Host

How reliable is your web hosting company? If you don’t choose a secure and reliable hosting company, you could run into security problems. If possible, check the security history of your current host and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask if your host has a current strategy for data breaches and what services they provide to customers when it comes to data protection.

7. Backup Your Data

Even if you follow all of these tips perfectly, things can go wrong. Having a backup to restore from will give you a lot of peace of mind. If your data is lost, do you have a backup prepared? Sometimes, after a breach of security, your website data is lost for good or because inaccessible.

You can’t afford not to have backups. Luckily many content management systems are equipped with backup plugins that will back up your website automatically. Otherwise, you can back up your databases and content manually on your own local device or server.

8. Scan Your Website

Another important step is to regularly scan your website and your server to check for problems. The sooner you can detect flaws or problems, the less likely they’ll escalate. Being proactive is always the smartest approach. You can find a lot of security tools on the internet or using your content management system. From there, create a system for regularly scanning your website for programs. There’s no such thing as being too proactive.

9. Avoid Cross-Contamination

If you’re hosting multiple websites on the same server, this might seem like a great way to save money. It could be fine in moderation, but you’re increasing your risk of what’s known as “cross-contamination.”

When you host multiple sites in the same location, you’re creating a large attack surface. If one of your sites is negatively harmed, it could affect all of your neighboring sites. You don’t want to make it easy for your “infections” to spread to other sides. Localizing the issue is the only way to restore your website safely.

10. Educate Your Users

Finally, one of the most important things you can do to protect your website security is to simply educate yourself and other users who have access to your website. There are a lot of misunderstandings about how online security works and best practices, so the more you know, the better your website will be.

Educate your users about the importance of due diligence when installing new plugins, themes, or code, as well as protecting their own computers. This should extend to online security in general, like knowing how to safely use email and avoid malware. All of these small steps add up to big security.

Conclusion

These steps above aren’t complicated. You don’t need any advanced development or coding skills to protect your website. It’s always about being proactive and not reactive. Don’t wait until your website is already a target before you take action to protect yourself.

It mostly comes down to understanding the risks and making smart choices. As long as you have a plan, you’re already making yourself a difficult target for attackers. The more you understand these issues, the smarter you’ll be when it comes to cybersecurity. While you’ll never be 100% risk-free, these relatively simple steps above will make you a better website owner.

Dec 16 2016

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