7 Simple Steps to a Secure Website (and Why it Matters)

AttractaWeb Development

secure website

If you are in a new city one night and are unsure if a neighborhood is safe, are you going to walk around after dark?

Probably not.

There’s a good chance that you have done the equivalent online. If you visit a website that isn’t secure, you are taking a risk. If you run a website that isn’t secure, you’re asking your customers to take that same risk.

There were a record 1,093 data breaches in 2016, a 40% increase from the previous year, and an all-time high.

Having a secure website will help protect your customers and your profits. Here are seven things you can do to protect your online clients today!

1. Use Strong Passwords

It seems like this shows up on any article about how to have a secure website. It does and with good reason. There are still far too many sites with passwords that any amateur hacker can guess.

If your password is your birthday or the name of a family member, you’re inviting trouble. Use a random password creator if you need help with this step.

2. Secure Your Sign-In Email

The password you use is only half the puzzle. Hackers can use your administrative email to gain access to your site as well. Make sure that the email you use to sign into your site isn’t the same one on your contact page.

Also, ensure all your employees with access to the administrative part of your website have their own login. Personal credentials will help you track what others do in case there is a problem later on.

3. Migrate Your Site From Http to Https

HTTPS is a communication protocol that protects the data going between your website and your customer’s computer. This system protects data by encrypting it and stops it from being modified. It also authenticates your site as safe to the user.

Authentication has a side benefit other than security: It lets your customers know you are a safe place to do business. People are more willing to spend money online when they know their information is safe.

The process to migrate takes some time and work but isn’t too hard. Google provides a thorough walkthrough of the processĀ here. The extra time spent will give you a trusted and secure website.

4. Hide Your Admin Folders For a Secure Website

Hackers have devised methods of scanning your files and finding the admin folders, giving them instant access to any data they want. These folders are easy to spot, with names like “admin” and “login.” Finding one of these folders is the equivalent of a layup for a hacker. It’s an easy score.

Finding one of these folders is the equivalent of a layup for a hacker. It’s an easy score.

Most software will allow you to change the name of these, and you should do so immediately. This simple step can save your company a lot of time and money later.

5. Always Update Your Software

Software companies such as Microsoft are the first to know about security risks and have entire teams dedicated to stopping them. When you receive a message about a security update, do it as soon as possible.

We know, it can be annoying, especially when they are frequent. Most updates require restarting computers and can take a while, but in the long run, it’s worth it. Having a secure website is worth the inconvenience.

Over the past decade, almost every major computer virus spread more than it should have. Software companies almost always come up with a solution within a few days of an attack, but people are slow to upgrade, and the virus spreads.

Don’t put your customers and your business at risk because you don’t want to spend 20 minutes updating.

6. Back Up Your Data Often

In 1996, Omega Engineering faced one of the largest computer attacks to date. This hack put the company at risk and forced the layoff of dozens of employees. The virus wasn’t installed by an outside attacker, but by an employee that had left the company weeks before.

This attack masked itself as a program to fix a system, but within a few seconds had wiped away all the data in the system.

A lack of frequent backups made the problem worse. The perpetrator of the attack stole the one backup disk that was available. This type of attack could destroy a website today if carried out.

Don’t let this happen to you. Back your system up both on a disk and in the cloud, and do it often. Have physical disks in many locations so that even if you can’t access your cloud backups, you can get up and running as soon as possible.

7. Be a Student of Security

There are now thousands of web pages that will teach you how to keep your information safe. These tech blogs know that having a secure website is essential. They will always be the first to report on ways to fix issues.

Check their pages from time to time so you can stay ahead of attacks and scams. Make sure that you communicate potential threats to your team through email and in person.

If you ever find yourself the victim of an attack, these blogs will often be able to walk you through minimizing the damage. Print out any files that apply to your business, keeping them all together. The key to preventing and overcoming an attack on your website is preparation.

Website Security is Good For Your Bottom Line

Studies have shown that customer loyalty falls after a data breach. People are more hesitant to spend money if there are concerns about the safety of their information.

No company is safe from online crime. Wendy’s and Target have both experienced massive data fraud in the past few years. These attacks affected millions of customers.

Having a secure website also gives your company a higher SEO score, helping it to rank higher in searches.

Build Visibility and Security

That’s why having a strong SEO strategy is so important. It’s what separates good businesses from great ones.

We are here to help with any SEO needs you might have. We offer free tools to help you rank higher, and will even manage your website’s strategy so you can get the most out of your page.

If you want to increase your visibility, don’t delay! Get in touch with us today!