Establishing a prominent online presence is essential for businesses of all sizes in the current internet age. But as the number of digital avenues grows, so do security risks. Like many small business owners, you might not know much about technology, so the thought of keeping your website safe from hackers might be frightening. Don’t worry, though! Protecting your website can be easy and affordable if you take the right steps and get help from professionals like Upstate SC Web Design.
1. Understand the importance of website security.
Before getting into the answers, it’s important to know why website security is so critical. If a website is hacked, it can cause:
- Loss of client trust
- Financial losses resulting from theft or fraud
- Reputational harm to your business
2. Software updates on a regular basis
Updating all of your software is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your website safe. This includes the content management system WordPress, as well as any themes, plugins, and other software that your website may use.
Hackers are continuously searching for security flaws in outdated software. Regular updates ensure you’re protected from known vulnerabilities. If this sounds too technical, Upstate SC Web Design offers affordable maintenance plans to handle these updates for you.
3. Use Strong Passwords
Many cyberattacks are executed because users’ passwords are too weak. Make sure the passwords for all of your website’s accounts—hosting, content management system, email, etc.—are strong and unique. It is best to steer clear of password combinations that are too obvious, such as “admin123” or the name of your business. Instead, use a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and unique symbols. Examples of strong passwords are “#1$portsFAN”, or “Pl@ntingFl0wers4U.” Consider using a password manager to keep track of these passwords and change them on a frequent basis.
4. Install an SSL certificate.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption protects the information that goes from a user’s browser to your website. This ensures that sensitive information, such as credit card details and personal data, remains private. In addition to protecting your website from potential threats, an SSL certificate will increase customer confidence in your business. Indicators of SSL protection in a website’s URL include the “https://” prefix and a padlock symbol.
5. Set Up Regular Backups
Think about the aftermath of a cyberattack that destroys everything on your website. By making regular backups, you can quickly restore your website even if something bad happens. Even though many hosting companies offer backups, it’s still a good idea to keep your own copies somewhere else. Upstate SC Web Design can assist in establishing routine backups as part of their maintenance plans.
6. Use Web Application Firewalls (WAF)
Your website’s traffic can be monitored and protected from attacks with the help of a web application firewall. It serves as a shield between your website and potential threats. Having a good WAF in place can protect your website from threats like SQL injection and cross-site scripting.
7. Scan for Malware
Malware, an abbreviation for malicious software, is designed to infiltrate or damage computer systems, including web servers. Your website should be scanned for malware on a regular basis to ensure early detection and removal. If your website has already been infected, it is essential to clean it up as soon as possible in order to prevent additional damage. Upstate SC Web Design offers malware cleanup services to ensure your website remains safe and functional.
8. Reduce the amount of access users have.
The backend of your website should only be accessible to trusted individuals. There shouldn’t be too many admin accounts, and each user should have the right permissions. For example, a blog writer may only need to be able to post articles and not make any design or technical changes to the site or add any third-party plugins.
9. Educate Your Employees
Whether they are content creators or administrators, you should make sure that everyone involved in the administration of your website is aware of essential security best practices.
10. Consult with Professionals
You may be able to handle some of these steps yourself, but working with a web design and maintenance company like Upstate SC Web Design can give you peace of mind. The low-cost maintenance plans they offer cover everything, from regular software updates to removing malware. Knowing that your website is secure will allow you to concentrate on running your business.