No matter the size of a business, websites are essential. They are an excellent way to connect with customers and clients, market, network with other businesses, build your brand, and build credibility. When customers reach a business website, they expect to find one that is smooth, reliable, quick, easy to navigate, and secure.
In fact, the most important aspect of any business website is its security. This is especially true for business websites that sell items and services or collect personal information. If the website is not secure, then customers will not feel safe, which can potentially cause serious damage to revenue. Not to mention that it can kill the credibility of a business if your site gets hacked and all of the customers’ personal information is stolen.
Check out the following ways you can improve the security of your business website:
Make Sure You Are Using Up-to-Date Software.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses can make with their website is to use software that is not up-to-date. This means that hackers are more likely to be aware of ways to get into the site and take advantage of the software. Additionally, an outdated software can cause conflicts with other programs that you use on your site, which can cause the site to crash or increase vulnerability. As soon as the software offers an update, install it right away.
Are You Using a Secure Host?
Perhaps, when you first started your website, you did not give too much thought as to who would host it and what their security was like. Choosing which company hosts your website is actually a very important step. You want to pick one that puts an emphasis on security and follows all of the current security protocols and measures.
Additionally, your hosts should be backing up your data to a remote server. This means it will all be safe and sound if your website is ever compromised and you need to shut it down.
Use Secure Passwords and Usernames.
Secure passwords and usernames are crucial. Use a combination of symbols, numbers, and letters. If you have a hard time thinking up a password or username, there are services that will generate a random one for you to use.
It goes without saying that you need to keep your passwords and usernames safe from others. There are encrypted apps you can download that allow you to store your passwords and usernames, which may be a good option.
Always Use Encryption on Login Pages.
If you have a login page, then it absolutely needs to use SSL encryption. This is especially important if your site asks for private information such as a social security number as well as credit and debit card numbers. By encrypting the page, the information will appear as nothing but senseless junk to any hacker trying to get their hands on it.
Get Rid of Stuff that Isn’t Needed.
If your website contains software, add-ons or plug-ins that are not necessary or outdated, it is a good idea to remove them. The problem with leaving them is that you are opening yourself up to potential vulnerabilities, especially if they have not been updated to current web protocols and safety measures.
Along the same lines, if there are any administrators, editors or other staff members that no longer need access or do not work for the company any longer, make sure to delete their accounts. Again, you are making sure there are no extra holes in which a hacker could potentially get in.
Start Looking at the Server Logs.
Another tip is to start paying attention to your site’s server logs. You may just find some strange activity taking place that you were not aware of. Even if you have a secure site and web host, it is still a good idea to monitor any potential activity that might seem suspicious. If you notice any, contact your IT person or the web host company directly.
Hire a Professional Security Expert.
If you have taken all these steps and you still do not feel comfortable about your website’s security, then it is a good idea to hire a professional security expert. An expert will be able to assess your website, identify weaknesses or problem spots, and work on making the site more secure. They will do all the work for you, making sure that nothing gets overlooked.
Website Security is a Must.
Website security is no longer a passing conversation. Instead, it is a major priority for any business website. Security measures should be evaluated on a regular basis. Always be aware of potential server issues, updates to software or the server, suspicious activity and any new security programs that hit the market. Ensuring the safety and security of your business’ website is an ongoing, evolving process, one that you remain aware of.
With over 30 years in the IT industry, Peter Pane has helped many people overcome their IT problems by providing effective problem-solving solutions. Peter is an IT consultant who initially started out as a computer programmer within the finance industry maintaining and developing large applications. Across his time working in these industries, Peter began to devise new ways to get better results for his customers. This lead him to become fully qualified in IT Service Management. He currently holds an ITIL Expert (V3) qualification. Today Peter is the owner of a Jim’s Computer Services franchise in Drouin. He works with small to medium businesses so they can get the most out of their technology, what they want to achieve, and what they own in today’s world. His aim is to help all businesses gain value from all technologies that are available to them for maximum results.