Get that website secure!

In the past we have talked about how to make your website rank higher and what CMS works best. Today however we are addressing the fundamentals; securing your website.

1. Get yourself an SSL

An SSL Certificate is an encryption that protects both the security of a website as well as the user. SSLs are generally a great thing to have and almost completely necessary for e-commerce websites. Many people have come to expect and value seeing the SSL badge, which is found at the start of the webpage URL. Another easy way for people to check if you have an SSL, is to see if the URLs of your website pages start with ‘https’. 

As well as providing security, Google will reward you for having an SSL through your SEO ranking. (For more detail on SEO see our previous blog). So if you want to be taken seriously, while protecting yourself and users, install an SSL certificate. 

2. Password Strength & Two Factor Authentication

This one goes out to all the folks with ‘password1’ and ‘1234’.

If your website is made with a CMS login, you can expect that hackers may try to access your website by attempting various passwords. Make sure you have a long and complicated password. This is especially the case if you have an e-commerce website that takes customer payments. Modern hacking techniques will often involve ‘brute force attacks’. A ‘brute force attack’ is when software is used to repeatedly guess passwords. 

A great step you can take to ensure that websites are extra protected from the likes of ‘brute-force attacks’, is two install two-factor authentication. This means that after you type in your initial password you will receive a personalised, one-off code to your phone or email that will only grant you access.

3. Use Secure Hosting 

Not all hosting platforms are the same. The differences can vary from platform to platform, however you need to be aware if your website is run on a secure host. Hackers tend to gravitate to websites that run on hosts that do not dedicate attention to security. 

Check online reviews and go with a host you feel you can count on, that protects their network.

4. Update Plugins & Backend Software

A website can eventually become a sitting target for hackers and internal web problems in general, if you are not updating software. Make sure to update backend software and website plugins to make sure you are working with the latest versions. 

It is advisable you consider doing a backup beforehand, just in case there are any hiccups with this process. Speaking of which;

5. Backup Your Website

It’s good for us to think of that worst case scenario from time to time. If you’re using some of or all of the above security techniques, it’s unlikely you will ever lose your website or have it corrupted to the point of no return. 

…however!

There’s always a small possibility that your website could become corrupted or worse, as a result of a hacking or even your own mistakes. So the solution is to create backup files of your website. We recommend that you backup on a regular basis. If you have a large website, make sure to first take into account how you will store your backup and if you need to delete older backups to free up space. 

Having a backup will mean that if all else fails, you have a complete file of your website safe, like a digital insurance policy!

ITM Digital works every day on designing high quality websites for clients as well as keeping them secure. If you’re interested in having a website designed or getting some help with online security, then get in touch with the experts today!

045 409984