If you have ever thought that your website is not worth enough to be hacked or thought why someone would come after your small business, then I should say you are wrong! Even hackers know that small sites do not give much importance to web security and consider these as their easy prey. Seeing all your work misused or wiped can be heartbreaking. To prevent your hard work from being altered or mishandled, you need to be more careful. Also, Google doesn’t encourage sites that are threatened to show up on their search result pages. Therefore you need to be more careful with the security threats on your sites because it can hurt your rankings as well as your brand reputation badly. Here are our 10 tips or takeaways to help keep your site safe online.
- (1) Update Software Regularly
- (2) Use Strong Passwords
- (3) Install Security Socket Layer or HTTPs
- (4) Avoid File Uploads
- (5) Install only Trusted Plugins
- (6) Sign up in Search Console
- (7) Back up your Site Frequently
- (8) Lock your Directory and File Permissions
- (9) Include Captcha on Forms
- (10) Be Careful about the Comments
- (11) Change the Login Details if you use WordPress Platform
Ensure to keep all software up to date. This is the first step to keeping your site secure. Updating the software regularly helps patch any security flaws or bugs. By updating the software, you will get to use improved and advanced features. Also, ensure that you are running the latest version of the Operating System (OS).
The password plays an important role in gaining access to your systems and services. Using weak or easily guessable passwords is like inviting hackers to perform the hacking on your system. Create strong passwords with random characters which will make it difficult for hackers to breakdown your website.
Security Socket Layer (SSL) is a protocol that helps you to securely send confidential data via the internet. SSL not only protects websites and blogs from hackers but also provide authentication to a website. It saves the people using your website from fraud. If you have an e-commerce website, you will always want to use HTTPs as users will be submitting sensitive information such as login details or credit card information on your website pages. Customers always look for the green lock image before they submit any personal data or information.
To give users safer browsing experience, Google has made SSL certificate for website mandatory and has decided to flag websites with no SSL/TLS installed as insecure.
Take precautions if you allow your users to upload files to your website because it can be abused. If it is not necessary, don’t allow file uploads through your website. But for some websites, uploading files is an unavoidable task especially for healthcare related websites. Setting a maximum file size, scanning files for malware, renaming the file that is uploaded to the website and keeping the upload folder out of the root folder are some ways to protect your website from the hackers.
Be careful when you install plugins to the site. Before installing a plugin, check out people’s reviews on the same to find whether the plugin is trustworthy or not. Even some of the most commonly installed plugins are now prone to attack. So, you must frequently update these plugins.
By signing up in Search Console, Google will send you critical notifications when your site is compromised or hacked. You must pay attention to these warning notifications and must resolve it. Also, now Google has put out guidelines on what to perform to recover a site from a hack.
Make sure you frequently back up your site so that you could revert if something goes wrong. Even if your site is hacked, having a current backup of your site with you will make things much easier and less stressful. Backup your site daily or at the least weekly.
File permissions are a huge loophole if they are not properly locked down. Always lock your directory and file permissions. To perform this you require both root and SSH access.
Including Captcha on the online submission forms will help verify that it is a human submitting the form and not automated bots. You can prevent spam and abuse from entering your site with the help of Captcha.
If you enable the Comments section, then ensure you manually approve the comments. Even though it requires additional work from your side, it prevents unnecessary spam comments.
WordPress is one of the main targets for hackers because it is the most popular website building platform. Ensure you don’t use Admin as the username and password because it is easily guessable and will lead to the destruction of your site. Change it to something difficult to guess. It’s always better if you create custom logins with strong passwords.
So, how secure is your website out there? Building a 100% safe and secure website is impossible but following the steps outlined above will give the attackers a tough time. Understand that Web Security is very important and that it is essential to keep your site healthy and safe from all chances of vulnerability.