Pretty much everyone these days has a website. Whether you run an online business website, are passionate about a hobby, or like to share your views with the world via a blog; need a little corner on the world wide web.
Whichever camp you fall into, one provision which has to consider is setting up our website security. There are countless hackers and cyber-criminals out there, who are gathering data in most countries around the world.
A poorly secured business website can not only put your devices and data at risk but also of your customers and visitors as well. It may seem a daunting task, but actually, it is pretty straight-forward. There are some simple steps that all web users can follow to secure their website.
Even if you are using a CMS like WordPress, it is still highly advisable to take these steps to ensure that your site continues to be safe and secure.
Tips to Secure A Business Website
As an experienced e-commerce entrepreneur, I have tried out many security programmes and procedures over the years. This article highlights what I believe are the five crucial steps we should all take to address the problem of how to secure your business website:
1. Get domain privacy with your hosting provider
When you purchase your domain name, whether this is done directly or through your website host, your details are put into a public database which is open, and anyone can see. This database is going to hold such personal information as your name, address, email, and phone number. It goes without saying that this leaves your personal details open to anyone, including hackers, spammers, and identity thieves to access.
Most hosts will offer a service called domain privacy. This service will cost a small fee but has some perks which make it great value for money. It will mask all of your personal details on these databases, without changing the actual ownership of the domain.
It’s a simple and quick step to do but can make a crucial difference between whether you are running a secure or insecure business website.
2. Pick a very strong admin password
Most of us these days are aware of the importance of having a secure password for anything important. It is shocking how many people out there are still lazy enough to use passwords like ‘password’ and ‘123456’. This is just inviting your site to be hacked and is not good enough in this day and age.
Your password needs to be something unique that will be almost impossible to guess or to crack. It needs to be long and must contain both upper and lower case letters and also numbers. You should also endeavor to use characters ($,!,#?=, etc.) in it too.
If you remember such a password seems daunting, then worry not, because there is a solution out there to this problem as well. Use a Password Manager.
A password manager can generate very secure random passwords for all your online accounts. It can also remember them all for you, meaning you have to remember one password (your Password Manager log-in) and it will do all the rest of your work for you.
There are plenty of Password Managers on the market, but my pick of the bunch at the moment is still LastPass. It is the market leader and will your online security much more secure.
3. Act now to prevent Brute Force Attacks
If you haven’t heard of a brute force attack, it is a means by which cyber-criminal can access password protected sites by systematically trying likely passwords, most often with an automated programme, until they chance upon the correct one.
All sites are vulnerable to these types of hacks and given the weak passwords many of us use (see above) they can be very useful.
But there are a few simple steps you can take to defend yourself against them.
– Limited Login attempts: Firstly, you can install a plugin which limits the number of times you can attempt to log-in to your site before it is locked. This type of software will let you make a handful of genuine errors yourself but will stop hackers from systematically trying hundreds of passwords at a time. It is a wise addition to your security toolkit.
– Use a Brute Force Login protection app: Even better, you can use another type of plugin which offers even more protection against Brute Force attacks. As well as limiting log-in attempts, these plugins can blacklist and whitelist IP Addresses, delay execution after failed login attempts, and send customized messages to blocked users. They are simple, easy to use, and very useful.
4. Always keep plugins and software up to date
A simple but again often overlooked rule. But it is vital to ensure that you are always using the latest version of any plugin or security software if you want to be sure of being safe.
You must also be sure to use official plug-ins and software instead of counterfeit software. If the plugin or software tries to download an update, you should always let it do so.
5. On public Wi-Fi, always use a VPN
We all like to get online on the move these days, whether it is to fill the void during a long or boring commute or just because we work better in a coffee shop than an empty house.
The only problem with this is making use of public Wi-Fi networks. This networks offer zero security and logging into anything on them is essentially inviting hackers to take a look at anything you are.
By far the best way to get around this by using a VPN
A public Wi-Fi network offers no encryption, but if you log onto a VPN before using it, all of your traffic is forced down an encrypted tunnel meaning everything you do online secure and hidden.
A VPN brings you various other perks too, including letting you access to content which is geo-restricted overseas. Thus you can run your business website or online business from anywhere in the world. For example, if you wanted to relocate to Dubai, sign up for a VPN there, and you can still access restricted sites and services back in the UK.
A good VPN will charge a small monthly fee, but for the extra security and other benefits they offer, it is money very well spent.