Whether you’re a company owner or a digital marketing professional tasked with taking care of a business website, your number one priority is probably to increase traffic, speed up loading times, and improve navigation. These are all valid goals. But by focusing on them, you may be missing a crucial element in website development: security
About 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses, according to the latest Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon. Apart from stealing customer data through your servers, hackers can also get sensitive information by planting malware on your websites. You don’t want to lose traffic to your website, and ultimately customers, because of this issue. Here are ways to ramp up your website security.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a basic way to ensure the data your website receives and sends out with a visitor stays private. This is because HTTPS uses a security protocol called secure sockets layer (SSL) that encrypts data. Encryption involves encoding the data so that it becomes unreadable to outsiders. Only your site and the visitor can decrypt it. HTTPS also ensures that the data cannot be modified during transfer and has an authentication process that checks if it is the actual user interacting with your site.
In order to give your site HTTPS, you need to buy a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate from a certificate authority. They’ll check your site for details about your company name and address to ensure they trace back to you. Once verified, they’ll send a certificate for you or your agency hosting service provider to install. To check if it worked, load up your site. It should have a lock icon next to its URL on your address bar. This is a signal to visitors that it’s safe to interact and share data with your website.
Improve Your Password System
Anyone who has administrative access to your websites should have a strong password. This means their passwords should contain a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and even symbols. They should be at least 8 to 10 characters long. You should also enforce a password change for all of them regularly. Ask your host to require this policy for all users.
While hackers can brute force their way into figuring out your passwords, having a long combination of letters, numbers, and symbols can slow their progress down significantly.
Check for Vulnerabilities
Hosting providers often bundle security tools with their main services. These help you audit your site regularly to identify and fix vulnerabilities. If possible, hire a cybersecurity professional to monitor and scan your website traffic further. They may find issues that applications don’t and patch them up before they do any real damage.
While a business website may be built for marketing purposes, you shouldn’t get lost in search engine optimization and other methods to increase traffic. You should first consider fundamental factors like security. With SSL protection, a proper password system, and regular security audits, the websites you manage will be near-impenetrable.