More and more entrepreneurs are using digital assets (websites, social media) to grow and security is a rising concern at all levels. Your business, like your customers, is essential to you. It is, therefore, imperative to take the necessary measures to secure these assets.
Here are seven necessary steps that can enhance the security of your website. These steps will also assist you to intensify the protection of your social media profiles and email accounts. If you are unfamiliar with technology, have your site administrator, IT manager, or IT / Web partner. Read this article so that they can take steps to protect your website security measures.
1. Schedule backups at regular intervals
The first question that most people ask themselves regarding website backups is how often to do them. To answer it, you have to ask yourself: How often do I update my website? If it’s daily, then you should make a daily backup and keep at least copies of the past 30 days.
If your website setup is complicated, ideally, ask an IT professional to do the backups (if, for example, you have multiple servers that host different functions, you will need to schedule separate backups for each of these servers).
It is crucial to follow your backup schedule prudently to evade interruptions, especially if you’re using a shared website host. If you use open source technologies like Magento, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Zen Cart, PrestaShop, ExpressionEngine, or AspDotNetStorefront, you could be the target of hacking. By backing up at regular intervals, you can ensure that you can quickly resolve any issues that may arise (depending on the complexity of your website).
2. Avoid feeble usernames and passwords
Weak usernames and passwords can take your online security at risk. Hacker’s scanners can quickly identify these types of security weaknesses.
Be sure to choose a username that can’t easily be guessed. And, in the case of passwords, avoid words from the dictionary. Moreover, don’t choose your mother’s name or that of your pet to make a password. Choose a combination of at least six to eight characters. These characters must consist of upper/lower case letters, digits, and special characters. Tools like KeePass or LastPass are very beneficial to generate and save complex passwords. You should have only one user name and one password. It will prevent you from remembering several complicated passwords.
3. Use CAPTCHA and spam filters
If you’re hosting your website on an open-source platform, you’ll likely receive weird spam. Furthermore, you’ll receive comments from suspicious sources that have nothing to do with your site. To alleviate this problem, activate CAPTCHA on your forms to ensure that people are filling them out. Besides, most open source management systems offer plug-ins that filter spam. You won’t eliminate this 100 %, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
4. Equip yourself with a firewall and adopt security measures appropriate for your platform
There are countless ways to protect your online data. Security experts have created specialized tools that can assist you in thwarting breaches. Start by activating Google Webmaster Tools on your website. Since Google analyzes your site to update its search index. It will tell you of any abnormal activity detected. Besides the good thing is, this tool is free of cost.
In addition, there are several firewall plug-ins to install. Also, configure for each open-source platform to add a level of protection.
5. Regularly update your content management system/e-commerce and plug-ins
Open-source software has pros and cons that are vital to know. Most open-source platforms count on a community of developers. They help to improve and update the source code continuously. Therefore, as soon as security vulnerabilities are identified, they are reported in blogs and forums of open source, web-wide software developers. This means that hackers also have access to this information.
If you don’t update your website’s content management or e-commerce management systems quickly enough, you can be a victim of hacking. So, it’s crucial to update your site within one month or ideally within two weeks or less of the publication of this information.
Even if you regularly update your website, it does not provide surety that you’re safe from hackers if you use third-party plug-ins. This is why it is significant that the person developing your site selects the add-ons cautiously.
Also, you should check your website and all installed plug-ins at regular intervals. It will assure you that everything is working well after updating an extension module. Or after updating the CMS and deploying it to the online site.
6. Choose a two-step authentication process
A two-step authentication process involves entering a password and authentication method. Such as sending a text to your phone to authenticate your account. So even in the event of a security breach, you benefit from an additional level of protection.
7. Activate HTTPS with an SSL certificate across your website
You should encrypt your website and the data transmitted from it by asking your site administrator or an IT partner to install an SSL certificate. This is another level of protection for your business and visitors or clients who use your site. It’s also an advantage from Google’s perspective.
If you pursue these tips, you can definitely secure your website from hackers and other security vulnerabilities. However, the roads to protection don’t stop here, so keep yourself updated and use the best security updates.