How To Improve Website Security: 12 Simple Strategies To Help Prevent Hackers
Creating and maintaining a isn’t as simple as just putting content up and waiting for customers. Your viewers trust that your site will keep them safe. With all the recent hacks and massive database breaches linked to different sites, is more important than ever.
If you have a , or you’re looking to create one, you need to formulate a . In this piece, we’ll explore 12 simple ways of how to .
What is ?
As the name suggests, keeps your viewers and users safe as they navigate through your site.
Just like a physical guard, should keep bad people away, so your customers can enjoy your site in peace.
Industry experts have a few suggestions they make when it comes to this type of , but the theme is the same across the board: you owe it to your viewers to have a safe site. In the current digital era, skimping on could destroy your business.
The Importance of
is arguably the most important part of your online presence. It’s the ability to deter hackers and help viewers to get the most out of your site.
Poor means that your customers can have their personal information stolen. Things like credit card numbers, full names and addresses, and shopping history are all at risk if a breaks into your site.
This isn’t just the case for one customer. If a gets into your database, they can take all the data you have for every customer that has ever shopped with you.
A breach like this could cost you a ton of money and tarnish your company’s reputation. Data breaches are a huge invasion of privacy, and customers aren’t that forgiving when it comes to having their data stolen.
The only way to get ahead of a breach and stop it is through deploying robust solutions.
12 Ways to
Now, let’s talk about how to website development mistakes that might set you back.. To do that, we put together 12 simple things you can do to improve the of your
Require a Strong
Every admin account for your presents a potential . A can use brute force and some software to guess passwords repeatedly until they get it right.
Once they’re in, there’s no telling how much damage they can do. It’s highly recommended that you enforce a strong policy in your company. Forcing administrators to use complex passwords will minimize the risk of a getting through.
It’s also recommended that you have everyone change their passwords every 3 months. By using a combination of upper and lowercase letters, symbols, and a length over 10 characters, you will see a boost in your .
Limit Login Attempts
Another way to prevent a from brute-forcing through an admin’s account is by limiting how many login attempts they can make. This is when you time out a user after they make too many incorrect login attempts in a row.
To make things easier for your team, you can add another form of authentication to help them get into their account if they hit the login limit simply because they forget their . Something like a text or email sent to them with a special code to un-restrict their account is always good practice.
After all, you don’t want to make it harder for your admins to do their jobs.
Update Your Software Regularly
One of the biggest reasons why software has updates in the first place is to make them more secure. As developers find out about potential vulnerabilities and exploits to their code, they will push through updates.
If you keep your software up-to-date, you’re restricting a ‘s ability to get through.
The truth is that any software or used on your site can be exploited by a . If a finds a flaw in popular web software, they can spread it through their community and allow other hackers to use the same flaw to get through.
The longer you go without updating, the more people potentially know how to hack through the software you’re using.
Updates are a free and quick method of prevention, so there’s no reason to put it off.
Use a Secure Host
A big way of how to a hosting company. Basically, you pay this company to keep your site live on the internet. is through your . For your site, you’ll have to work through
The problem is that not all hosts are created equal. Some aren’t aware of how hosts can prevent various cybersecurity risks.
You’ll need to do your research to find a hosting company that understands these threats and offers a means of protection against them. The host can also build a remote backup for your to ensure everything is secured.
In an attack, a will gain access to data they shouldn’t be allowed to see. They are essentially breaking into your SQL-based database. They can take customer information and see classified files.
You can prevent this attack by disallowing special characters to be inputted by users into their interface. Hackers can use these characters to pass through malicious lines of code to receive access.
Take extra measures to limit what can be entered in different fields. If an email address input doesn’t have an “@” symbol, the text shouldn’t be pushed through. Again, this is a place where hackers can try to break in.
The same is true for fields that require a phone number. Anything that isn’t a 10-digit number with dashes should not be permitted.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Do you know how to with two-factor authentication (2FA)? This technique is used in prevention. It stops them from taking over accounts by brute-forcing the (namely, your admins’ accounts).
In a 2FA technique, the user will log in as usual. When their confirmed and username are used, they’ll be asked to receive a code on another device like their cell phone or personal email account.
By doing this, the site is ensuring the user is who they say they are. They’ll need to physically look at their email or phone before getting full access and completing the login. Part of knowing how to involves adding some physical hurdles to jump over.
The two big acronyms you need to know for are SSL and HTTPS. It’s very important that your site has both of these if you want the most secure option that optimizes your prevention.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s an IT term that refers to the transfer of a viewer’s information from your site to a database.
SSL makes sure that only the right people with the right authority can view this information. Often, this data is very personal and needs to be kept confidential. Things like a customer’s address, full name, banking information, and shopping history could be at stake.
An easy way to think of SSL is with a physical lock and key. The user has a specific key. When data needs to be accessed, your site will ask the user to insert their key and turn it, unlocking the lock. In this analogy, a can still try to lockpick, but it makes the process harder as a whole.
You want to make sure you have a solid for your , especially if it’s an .
What is HTTPS?
The “S” is the important letter in this acronym. It stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTP is used to send data from a user’s browser to your site. The extra S at the end ensures that this process is done securely and has layers of encryption.
A common example of data that is sent between a browser and site is login information. Whenever a user inputs their username and , it’s then transferred from their personal device to your site.
If this process is unsecured, any can break through, access the information, and steal a user’s login information. From there, they can take over your users’ accounts and any data within it. Implementing HTTPS is a trusted way in how to .
Clean Up Your Site
Every plug-in, application, and addition to your site can act as a for the entire . These weak points can give a an entrance to your system.
The first thing you can do to keep hackers away is to remove old and unused databases, files, and apps. Even though you might not be using them, they can still be compromised by a skilled .
To make this a little easier, you can spend some time on the folder organization. When files are obsolete, they can be moved to a corresponding folder that reminds you to delete them. This simple addition can have a huge impact.
After removing old files, you should take a close look at the added plug-ins and applications that your site uses. How many of them are absolutely necessary, and how many can be removed without changing the core of your site?
The fewer plug-ins you have, the lower your risk is of a successful hack.
For any apps that you decide to keep, make sure you’re updating them whenever a new update is available. This goes back to our previous point about the importance of software updates.
Get a ( )
A firewall works a lot like a physical wall. It prevents people from going into authorized areas and adds a layer of protection to your data.
Firewalls on personal computers will take a look at data that is being requested from websites and decides whether the site is a threat or not. Ones used on your work similarly.
A in particular will protect your site from people accessing it. In this case, the firewall is looking at data coming from the user’s end. If it detects a risk, it will shut off communications with the user before they can send over anything malicious.
If you didn’t know, a user can send through your site which can give them access to your or do internal damage. Stopping this is one way how to .
Add Levels of Access for Users
There’s a concept when it comes to running a called “user management”. As you might guess, this pertains to managing people who use your site.
Adding a level of access is a way to separate administrator privileges from the privileges of everyday viewers. Giving everyone who accesses your site admin-level access is a huge problem. A who is given the ability to change and access your site’s code will always lead to trouble.
Instead, you can have your admins share an account and give every other user a standard level of access that a viewer would need – almost like giving “read” access to a file instead of “edit” access.
Pro tip: Avoid using a simple username like “admin” for your administrators’ shared account. This will be the first name that hackers guess when they try to steal access by brute-forcing the account.
Backup Site Data Regularly
A backup can act as a fail-safe in case anything goes wrong. Cybersecurity is all about having different levels of protection and creating a robust stack up.
Putting all of your efforts into preventing a hack will be meaningless if you don’t have backups available.
Backing up your data means that your ‘s information is stored in a remote place that can’t be immediately accessed if a gets into your site.
If you regularly back up your site, you can quickly fix your site if a gets access and damages it. If nothing else, it’s a safety net.
Did you know that some is designed to hide in the background of your site? Things like skimmers will just patiently wait for customers to input information then they’ll pass the data to a ‘s server.
The whole purpose of like this is to go undetected for as long as possible. A scan will look for programs like this.
Scanning is when a third-party cybersecurity program goes in and looks in every corner, trying to find and remove any it detects.
The more often you do these scans, the lower the impact of will be. They’re easy to set up and most programs have the ability to schedule a routine deep scan of your site.
Moving Forward On Improving Your Website Security
We just covered 12 simple ways how to . Be sure to implement these ideas on your site to help prevent your from being hacked. By keeping your customers and viewers safe, you’re on the right track to running a successful operation.
To ensure your business is taking every free from our team at Prime Marketing Experts. possible to prevent your from being hacked, Prime Marketing Experts is offering a Fill out our form to see where your site stands without any obligation! It could be the first step in improving your and preventing a cyberattack.