As a website owner, there is nothing more horrifying than the thought of getting your valuable data compromised by hackers.
Data breaches have become quite rampant over the years. For small business owners, they may wonder why hackers maybe after their small business website, but the truth is that hacks don’t just occur to the big website owners.
A specific report found that out of the data breaches that happen, 43% of them happened to small business websites.
Fortunately, your website doesn’t have to be exposed to hackers. There are some web security measures you can take to protect your website from these hackers.
If you take these security measures, hackers will really have a hard time trying to break into your website. And you will also be at peace knowing that your website is secured from these notorious elements. These measures include:
1. Install Security Plugins
If you created your website with a CMS [content management system], then you can enhance it with security plugins. These security plugins can prevent your site from being hacked. Each CMS option has security plugins available, and most of them are free. Moreover, you will need to install themes and plugins for design and functionality to build and run your site. Although many plugins are safe to use, some of them may develop vulnerabilities that may expose your site to hackers. So you should carefully scrutinize a security plugin before you install it.
2. Install a Security Socket Layer (SSL)
Installing a Security Socket Layer (SSL) is also one of the ways to protect your website from being hacked. An SSL keeps the data transferred between your site and its users safe. The best way to install an SSL to your website is to use HTTPS- a protocol that allows you to secure your communication over your computer network and ensures that no intruders will be able to access your content.
That means your customers will browse your website securely while submitting their login details or financial information.
So if you know your website users will be submitting their confidential information, such as credit information or login details, you should use HTTPS.
Besides, using HTTPS will also make your site more visible, and Google will boost your website in the search engine rankings.
If you want people to trust your brand, you must invest in an SSL certificate. Even though you have to pay a small fee for the SSL certificate, the extra level of encryption it offers to your website users can really help to make your website more trustworthy and secure. You can get an SSL certificate from a reliable hosting provider. Here is an example of a reliable one. According to many reviews, we found that: InterServer is a reliable host that ensures your’s and user’s data are encrypted and safe from hackers. Just get your site encrypted from them by SSL.
3. Update Your Website Platform and Software
Keeping all software up-to-date is crucial in keeping your website secure. This applies to both the server operating system and any software you may be running on your site. Since most of these tools are created as open-source software programs, their code can be accessed easily by both developers and malicious hackers. To secure your website from hackers, you should always ensure that your plugins, content management systems, and apps you have installed are up-to-date.
If you built your website on WordPress, you can check if you are up-to-date when you log into your WordPress dashboard. Look for the update icon and click the number to access your WordPress Updates.
4. Use a Secure Username and Password
Many people use simple login credentials because they are easier to remember. But you should also remember that simple usernames and passwords are easy to guess. That allows hackers to gain access to your website easily without much work and take over everything. Although many users don’t like it, implementing password requirements like at least eight characters, including a number, and an uppercase letter can really put hackers at bay. It is also advisable to store passwords as encrypted values, for example, using a one-way hashing algorithm such as SHA. Remember always to use unique usernames to prevent hacking attempts.
5. Avoid File Uploads
Allowing your website users to download files to your website can be a big security threat. That’s because any file uploaded, no matter how innocent it appears, might contain a script that, when implemented on your server, completely opens up your site. These uploaded files often get stored in your website’s database.
If there is an error or virus in that plugin, hackers will be able to download files that they want and gain access to your database.
To prevent this, you ought to reset these uploaded files that are stored and put them in a folder that does not affect your website’s database and other valuable files. You should also restrict the type of files that your website users can upload.
And if possible, have your data running on a different server from your web server. That means your database server will not be accessed directly from the outside world, but only your web server will access it.
This will reduce the risk of your data being exposed to hackers.
6. Invest in a Reliable Backup Solution
Taking all the measures above doesn’t make your website fully risk-free, you may still face some risks. The last thing you want to imagine is losing everything because you failed to back your website up. The best way to protect your website is to ensure that you always have a recent backup. Although losing your valuable data to hackers can be quite stressful, when you have a current backup, it will be easier to recover your data. You should always remember to backup your website daily or weekly. Then you can also invest in a reliable backup solution.
Protecting your website from hackers is entirely your responsibility as a website owner. You need to take security measures to keep hackers out. You should not procrastinate taking these security measures. When your website is secured from these malicious hackers, you will be at peace.