The rise of computers and software has been quite astounding over the past few decades. But like with anything, along with the good stuff comes the negatives. Cyber attacks have become much more common in recent years. If you have a website, you need to take steps to keep yourself safe, regardless of how big or active, your site is.
Thankfully, protecting your website isn’t complicated. You don’t need to be a security expert or even know a stitch of code to boost your security. Here are our top 6 tried-and-true ways to protect your site from cyberattacks.
If you implement these steps today, you’ll be 10x more protected by tonight. In a world of deceit, can you really afford to leave your sensitive information out in the open? Take these easy steps and you’ll have peace of mind.
Each of these steps is small but can have a huge effect on the quality of your site’s security. Some of them you can do within 5 minutes of reading about them. Some may require a bit of research and planning, but they’re absolutely worth it.
It’s tempting to go for a cheap web host so you can allocate more of your budget to other things. But a poor web host can leave you open to cyberattacks, so it’s well worth spending just a little extra for a reputable web host.
Most of the better web hosts provide security features that add an extra layer of protection to your data. If you choose to host your website with a cheaper host, you may not get this extra security.
In fact, their own security systems may not be quite the same standard as those with a slightly higher price tag, which means your sensitive information could be at risk of being leaked through their platform.
Choose a web host that offers a Secure File Transfer Protocol, offers file backup services, is transparent about its security features, and updates often. It’s wise to do your own research and find out what people are saying before making your choice.
Did you know that outdated software could pose a security risk to your website? If your plugins, themes, and applications aren’t up-to-date, there could be gaps in the security that make easy targets for hackers.
Cyber attackers are constantly trying new things to get to your personal information. When they discover weak spots, that’s when brands release updated versions of their software, complete with security patches.
If you aren’t getting those patches, you’re leaving those gaps wide open to opportunistic attackers.
Set everything to update automatically if you can, or set reminders to check for updates often. Update everything as often as possible, and you’ll stay covered from sneak attacks.
Unfortunately, most of us have a tendency to choose easy-to-remember passwords. But that means that many of our passwords are easy to guess or work out… And most likely used for all of our accounts.
This step takes a bit of effort, but it’s an excellent way to ensure that nobody guesses them off the cuff. Choose varied passwords with a random assortment of letters, numbers, and special characters (if allowed), and make sure none of your passwords overlap.
Worried about remembering them all? Download a password keeper app to your phone and store everything there. You may have to pop into your app every so often when you want to log in to something, but it beats the alternative!
Whatever website platform you use, there’s a high likelihood that you can download a security plugin that adds a touch more safety to your site.
These kinds of plugins have multiple security features to keep outsiders from getting in. These may include things like:
- Protection against brute force attacks
- Secure storage of confidential files
- Blocking of spam messages and comments
- Notifying you when suspicious activity occurs
Thankfully, installing a plugin is extremely easy. We recommend doing a bit of research on which plugin suits your needs, finding it in your site’s store or plugin stash, and from there, simply activating it.
If several people have access to your site, it becomes extremely important to educate them about the seriousness of cyberattacks. While you may be taking steps to increase site security and saving your passwords on your phone, they may not be as careful as you are.
Every person who has login details becomes a potential security hazard. This doesn’t mean that they do it on purpose—most of the time, they’re just distracted and not thinking about how their actions could impact your website.
We advise setting policies in place about website access. Educate others on your policy, its importance, and perhaps set some consequences in place should an attack happen due to negligence.
Inform them of how they can help—choose an alphanumeric password, store it safely, always log out after sessions, make sure updates occur when necessary, etc.
If you’re the only one who has access to your website, then you don’t need to worry. You should be extra careful who you share login details with, though. Make sure you trust them implicitly and when they no longer need those details, we advise changing your passwords just to be safe.
If you want to be truly protected, it’s a great idea to learn how cyberattacks occur, what the signs are, and how to spot them immediately. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
- Keep an eye out for suspicious phishing emails
- Take note of unnecessary “change your password” emails
- Online passwords suddenly stop working
- Fake or unwarranted antivirus messages
- Random, unsolicited pop-ups
- Unexpected software installations
- Notifications of being hacked
- Website URLs spelled incorrectly
Any suspicious activity should be investigated immediately. Train your employees and those with login access to look out for the same and inform you if they see anything that seems strange.
About the Author
Paul Wheeler runs a web design agency as well as Reviews for Website Hosting, a site dedicated to helping business owners learn everything they need to know about website design and hosting.