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Top tips to improve your website security

August 8, 2022 No Comments

Featured article by Sarah Shepard


Over the last few years internet usage has continued to grow, as consumers become increasingly reliant on the internet for entertainment, communication and the purchasing of goods and services. This significant level of demand has unsurprisingly led to the creation of more online sites for a variety of industries.

Maintaining website security is imperative for keeping customer and company data secure and ensuring online operations can continue without disruption. As a site operator, it is your responsibility to make sure your site is secure.

Customers feel more comfortable if they know they are using a protected site and if data breaches for other cybersecurity incidents occur, your business’ reputation and bottom line could suffer as a result.

Here are just some of the ways in which you can make sure your website is secure for you and your customers:

Keep your website related software and website plug-ins up to date

It is common knowledge that hackers will target known security flaws in website software and plug-ins. Hackers may be running bots that constantly scan websites for vulnerabilities that they can use to gain access to the site.

Updates often contain remediation updates for vulnerabilities that have been found as well as other security improvements. Check regularly for updates as the longer you leave it, the more risk there is of an attack.

Get an SSL certificate and HTTPS

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypts information that is passed between the website visitor and the visitor, helping to keep personal data secure during transit. Those without the correct authority and permissions are denied access to the information.

You can purchase the SSL certificate online and a padlock symbol will be shown in the visitors site browser search bar to show them that you possess a valid certification.

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) also helps to prevent interceptions, as well as interruptions, from happening. Having both SSL and HTTPS in place is important for maintaining a secure site.

Use third party payment providers and give customers the option to make payments in the safest ways possible.

If you are an ecommerce business or any type of website that accepts payments, you need to consider how to protect customers from fraud and how to keep their card details safe from criminals. One way in which this can be achieved is through using third parties such as PayPal, Apple Pay and Skrill, who all have encryption and other cyber safe methods for facilitating transactions.

You will find that many types of websites use these methods, not just online retailers but also other sites such as online casinos. Online casinos need to ensure payment methods are secure for players as players regularly deposit and withdraw cash.

Many online casinos also allow players to use a Paysafecard to pay for online casino games, a Paysafecard is a prepaid online payment card with a 16 digit PIN code. Because Paysafecard is a prepaid card, the users bank account does not need to be linked and so there is no risk of it being hacked as a result of using the website.


Use a secure password for your CMS

Furthermore, as a website administrator, you should ensure that all staff and partners that have access to your CMS have a secure, random password that cannot be guessed by either a person or a password cracking software.

People are often guilty of choosing a password that is easy to remember, they may incorporate memorable things such as their name, birthdate, the place they live or the name of their pet. However, these are easy to guess and put the entire website at risk of being hacked.

Ideally, a random password generator should be used to select a password made up of letters, numbers and symbols. You can use password manager tools (also known as a password vault) that save your passwords securely and pre-fill the space when you go to log into any website such as your CMS platform.


Choose a secure web host

When you first set up a website for your business, you should be taking steps to keep it secure. One way to do this is by choosing a web host that has a good reputation for preventing attacks.

You should investigate how well they keep on top of security upgrades and whether they offer a file backup service. It is also important to see whether FTP Use by Unknown User has been disabled and if they offer a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).

Ensure that you backup your website

Backing up your website is essential if you want to be able to maintain critical business operations in the event of an attack or data loss event. There are many ways you can back up a site, you may do it onto a computer, external hard drive or onto a different server to the one where your website is stored.

Using a cloud-based backup service is a great option and removes the risk of hardware malfunction or theft.


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