3 Ways to Make Your Website Secure and Protect Your Brand, Business & Customers
December 16, 2021
Everyone knows and expects websites they visit to be safe and secure. Yet, despite its importance, most people aren’t experts in the various means of achieving proper website security.
If you run a small business or nonprofit organization, you may have created your website yourself and just assumed that the hosting service or content management system you’re using is automatically securing your website. While this may be true, it’s still on you to double-check and be sure that your business has the maximum security necessary for optimal operations.
In this post, we will briefly discuss the top things every business should do to ensure that their website is secure. If you’re wondering how to secure your website, this very high-level list is a good place to start. Below you’ll find the three most important steps needed to keep a website secure in 2022.
3 Website Security Tips to Keep Your Brand, Business, and Customers Safe
Move from HTTP to HTTPS
In 2018, web browsers began flagging websites without SSL certificates as unsecured. The addition of the S indicates that a website has the SSL certificate, which stands for “secure socket layer.”
SSL describes the process of encrypting data between computers and servers. Before 2018, SSL certificates were primarily used by websites where credit card information was used. After 2018, browsers began warning users if any website did not have this certificate and further affirmed this by including a padlock icon in the URL bar to the left of the domain name.
Perhaps you’ve run into this yourself. You click on a URL that you believe to be safe only to land on a page that says “website not secure.” What does this mean?
You can rest assured that it does not mean that the website is automagically stealing all of your personal information. Most of the time, this warning appears simply because the owner of the website you’re trying to visit has not moved from HTTP to HTTPS.
Many hosting providers and content management systems (CMS) include SSL in their offerings, but it’s still important that you double-check to be certain that your website does have this certificate in place. Without it, you will lose customers’ trust in your website and by extension, your business.
Install Security Plug-Ins
Most website CMS products provide access to third-party applications including security plug-ins. It’s no secret that we are big fans of WordPress and there are several high-quality website security plug-ins available to WordPress clients.
Security applications, or “plug-ins,” simplify the process of securing your website from hackers and bots that would try to break through your backend. Security plug-ins allow you to set a unique URL for logging into the backend of your website, limit the number of failed log-in attempts, and other safeguards to keep bad guys from accessing your content.
Additionally, security plug-ins implement site hardening measures and continually run website security scans looking for any hint of malicious activity and work to stop it if detected. Since this takes a certain level of technical skill, it’s incredibly useful to rely on a trustworthy third party to handle it on your behalf.
And as always, be diligent to update your CMS and your plug-ins regularly. Implementing updates to your backend ensure maximum website protection by eliminating any vulnerabilities that may occur in the software. Ignoring these updates exposes your website to data hacks and other breaches that can cause serious damage to your website and your business.
Always Use Secure Passwords
When it’s time to update your website content you—and anyone else you give access to—will need to log into the “back end” of your website. It’s important to limit the number of people you give access to your website but when you do make sure that your employees are using strong passwords.
One reason why passwords are so easily compromised is that people use the same password for everything. While we understand that it’s difficult to remember passwords, doing this opens your business and customer information to unnecessary risk.
A really easy way to remedy this is to use a service such as LastPass or 1Password. As a best practice, consider requiring anyone with a user account to access your website to have a unique password and update it on an annual basis.
Please avoid using passwords that include common keywords like names, towns, birthdays, etc. And by all means, do not use the word “password” as your password!
Need Help Making Your Website More Secure?
Website security is another benefit of choosing a web development agency. When you partner with a professional website development team like Cross & Crown, our website experts will add another layer of security by building a secure website from the ground up. You won’t have to worry about unnecessary vulnerabilities or attacks when you have confidence in the people who built your site in the first place.
We would love to partner with you and answer any questions you have about how to make your website secure. Please get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help.