With the increase in news stories about data breaches and internet hackers stealing identities, it is more crucial now than ever for anyone developing a website to be concerned with security. As you build your website, there are many steps you should take to ensure the security of your website.
The first thing you should do to secure your website is to install an SSL certificate and use HTTPS encryption (the standard for most web hosting services).
In a previous blog post, we discuss how Google Chrome would be labeling all websites without HTTPS encryption as “not secure.” Lacking the basic security features would mean facing negative rankings, users getting warning messages, and increased bounce rates.
In order to utilize HTTPS encryption, you’ll need to have an SSL certificate installed. SSL, or secure sockets layer, is used to encrypt data sent between a visitor to your website and your web server. This encryption is the first line of defense websites have against attackers who want to access sensitive information, or what is known as a man-in-the-middle attack (Sucuri.net).
Securing your website from hackers and malware requires more than just having an SSL certificate and activating HTTPS encryption. There are other steps you need to take to ensure you’re protected.
Step 1: Update your website’s plugins, security, and scripts when necessary.
Step 2: Use paid security software or free plugins offered by your hosting service.
Step 3: Don’t allow users to upload files to your website or limit forms to only allow specific file types.
Step 4: Use complicated passwords that you don’t use for anything else. To create a secure password, utilize a mix of numbers and letters and include about 16 digits. Make admin passwords as random as possible, and don’t use the names of your pets or children.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to save your password somewhere offline, like on a flash drive or portable hard drive.
Step 5: Hide your admin folders from potential hackers by changing sensitive file location names to something besides “admin” or “root.”
Installing an SSL certificate and using HTTPS encryption in addition to taking the steps above will help keep your website secure. But if you’re looking for guarantees, you will probably want to hire an online security expert.
Google has made it necessary to secure your website by converting it to HTTPS. Choosing not to comply could lead to an increase in your website’s bounce rate, a drop in organic ranking, and potentially lower your sales and conversions. Website developers or security experts can help guide you through the steps you can take daily to keep your information - and your customers - secure.
Need help with SSL certificates and converting to HTTPS? Contact us today to update and secure your website.
Zeekee’s parent company, Bell Media, is a digital marketing and website design agency headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. We dedicate ourselves to helping businesses of all sizes grow their presence on the Internet. Through responsive websites, hosting & support, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, custom logo design, and marketing collateral creation, we help our clients stand out from the crowd.
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