Recently, it has become easier than ever before for anyone to build a website. However, many people forget that building your own website means that you are responsible for the safety and security of your own site. This is especially important to remember if people are taking payments or handling any kind of sensitive data on their website, such as customer payment details, addresses or anything else.
Customers expect websites to be safe and secure, so you should make sure you are taking steps all the time to build and maintain an extremely secure and reliable website. Of course, it is not always possible to avoid hacking attempts, so website security also encompasses the safe storage and backup of data as well as installing software and systems to keep malware at bay as much as possible.
To help you to secure your website, we’ve put together a guide on some of the best ways to improve your secure website’s security so that you can run a website stress-free.
Keep everything up to date
One of the biggest security risks when it comes to websites is not keeping them up to date. Because of the high rate at which technology is always advancing, there are constantly new security threats emerging that hackers can use to compromise your website. Hackers are known to target websites that are out of date as they are much easier to breach and often are missing major security measures.
Keep an eye on all of the available updates for your website and the software you use and do everything you can to keep everything up to date and as secure as possible.
Updates often come with new enhancements to security and repairs for any aspects of your site that have been identified as vulnerable. Either allow your platform to update automatically or set up notification alerts to let you know when there are new updates available to install.
Use HTTPS and an SSL Certificate
A secure URL is essential for keeping your website secure. If your website will be handling customer data that is sensitive in any way, you need to make sure that your site has HTTPS rather than HTTP. HTTPS (or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is used to keep your website secure on the internet by stopping any interruptions or interceptions of data that is being transferred.
As well as this, you should be sure to get an SSL certificate for your site. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is used to encrypt all information that is traveling between your website and your server to stop it from being intercepted or read while it is traveling. It means that only those with the right authority are able to access the data at any stage.
Use strong passwords
It might sound like a very basic point to include in a list like this, but when it comes to security a strong password is absolutely essential. Although you might use the same password for most other things you access, your website should have its own extremely secure password. Each new log-in request should come with a new, complicated password, and you should implement strong password requirements including a mix of upper-case letters, lower-case letters, numbers and symbols to give the least chance of the password being guessed or hacked.
You can then store this password in a separate location so that you can access it when you need to. Keep all personal information out of your password, and be sure to change your password regularly, around every three months or more. Never use the same password twice, and make sure that your employees are changing their passwords regularly too.
Backup regularly and reliably
If you are trying to create a safe and secure website, you should make sure you implement a great backup solution. Keep multiple backups of your data and your website so that you can recover it easily and reliably in the event of a security breach. Keep these backups separate from each other and separate from your website so that they are not all vulnerable to the same attacks. Store a backup on a hard drive in a different location to your main server and also make use of cloud security to store a backup. Cloud storage will allow you to access your information anywhere you are and it is a simple way to store data.
As well as manually backing up your website, you should consider setting up automated backups. This will allow you to schedule regular site backups to keep all of your data safe and secure.
Use a secure web hosting platform
If you want your website to be secure, you need to be certain that the location you are hosting your website is secure too. Be sure to use a secure web hosting platform when setting up your website and take time to do proper research into the best platforms to use. Look for a good selection of security features that will work hard to protect all of your website data such as a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), use of a Rootkit Scanner, backup services for your files and regular updates to name just a few. There are many options out there for secure and reliable web hosting platforms, but whatever you choose be sure to check that it has all the right features to properly protect your website and do everything that you need it to.
Use a Web Application Firewall
To add another layer of protection between your site and any potential hackers or security threats, it is recommended that you apply for a Web Application Firewall (WAF). This is designed to sit as extra protection between your data connection and your server and read everything that comes through it to keep your site safe and reject anything that poses any kind of security threat to your site. It stops everything from scam attempts, malicious bots and unwanted traffic as well as hacking attempts. Most WAFs nowadays are cloud-based and operate on a plug-and-play system.