I’m not stating this to scare you, but it’s the truth of our current environment. Every day, around 30,000 websites are hacked.
You can’t think to yourself, “It won’t happen to me.” This is a common sentiment among businesses that I encounter. They believe that hackers are preoccupied with other issues and have no incentive to target their websites. That isn’t the case at all. In reality, small firms are the target of 43% of cyber-crime.
In 2019, over half of all businesses globally report they have been the victim of a cyber assault. Only 40% of organizations feel they are equipped to deal with cyber-attacks.
I don’t have a mystical crystal ball or any other ability to see into the future, but my instinct tells me that cyber thieves aren’t going to quit hacking websites one day. The bottom line is that hackers will never stop trying to get an advantage. As a result, you must maintain your website security regularly or you can make your website development process in better manner to protect it from cyber-attacks.
That is what prompted me to develop this manual. I’ll show you what you need to do now, in 2021, to safeguard your website.
How to Keep Your Website Safe?
Below here you will find a step by step guide regarding how to secure a website from hackers.
Step 1. HTTP URL:
If your website isn’t already employing the HTTPS protocol, it should be at the top of your to-do list. This assures your website users that they’re talking with the correct server and that nothing else can change or intercept the material they’re looking at.
Without HTTPS, a hacker can alter the page’s content and collect personal information from your site’s users. They may, for example, steal user login information and passwords.
The HTTPS protocol will also help you rank higher in search results. Websites that employ this security technique are rewarded by Google.
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This is also reassuring to visitors to your website. They’ll notice this next to the URL when they visit your site:
It is safe and reliable. Compare that to a site that isn’t using the HTTPS protocol. This is how the URL will appear in the web browser:
Do you feel comfortable when you see this when browsing a website? I don’t think so.
Furthermore, by combining HTTPS with an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate, you can increase this security step even more. Users enter sensitive information such as credit card numbers, names, and addresses on e-commerce websites, therefore this is necessary.
SSL certificates encrypt data sent between the server and the web browser of the user. This is a wonderful extra layer of encryption to keep your website safe (but it won’t stop attacks or malware from spreading). Even if you’re not selling anything on your website, I strongly advise you to use HTTPS and secure it with an SSL certificate.
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Step 2. Regular Update of Software:
If you possess a computer, you know how important it is to maintain the software up to date to keep it functioning properly. They’re inconvenient, but they’re vital. The same may be said of your website. Make that your WordPress software, plugins, CMS, and anything else that needs to be updated are up to current.
Software upgrades usually include security enhancements in addition to bug fixes or malfunctions. There is no such thing as perfect software. Hackers will always be seeking new ways to exploit these weaknesses.
A large number of cyber-attacks are automated. Bots are used by criminals to look for susceptible websites. So, if you don’t keep up with the latest software versions, hackers will be able to easily detect and target your site before you can react.
Step 3. Select a Secure Web Hosting Plan:
In theory, if your web hosting company has security on its servers, you will be protected to the same extent. That isn’t always the case, though.
Because of the low cost, choosing a shared hosting plan may seem enticing, but it is not the most secure option. If you choose this type of hosting plan, you will be sharing servers with other websites, as the name implies.
A hacker could acquire access to the server you’re using if one of those other sites is hacked. That means that even if you aren’t directly targeted, hackers may do damage to your website.
I’m not trying to persuade you to abandon shared hosting, but if you want to improve the security of your website, you’ll be better off with a Cloud or VPS.
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Step 4. Change Passwords:
Change your password frequently (every 6 months to a year). This is something I can’t emphasize enough.
I speak with a lot of folks who have the same password for everything they own, and they’ve had it since they were in college ten years ago.
The trouble is that once hackers gain your password, they’ll attempt it on other accounts, including bank accounts, social media accounts, and more. You’re effectively handing them the master key to your Internet life if you use the same password for many accounts.
Incredibly, 25% of passwords can be cracked in just three seconds.
The data in this graph was gathered with the use of an open-source program called John the Ripper. This program can be used by anyone to crack passwords.
If software like this can crack more than half of all passwords in under two hours, you can bet the best hackers can crack passwords even faster
That is why you must update your password regularly. You can use a password manager such as 1Password to create long passwords with unusual characters that are nearly tough to guess. These password managers also use strong encryption to protect your passwords from hackers. Your passwords are secure, so you can rest easy.
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Step 5. Safe-keep Your Computer:
Allowing your own devices to pose a threat to your website is not a good idea.
By acquiring FTP logins from your computer, hackers can insert dangerous files into websites. As a result, you should install strong antivirus software on your computer (yes, even if those McAfee popups annoy you).
The last thing you want is to make a casual error while browsing the web on a personal device and have your website suffer as a result. This is especially critical if you work from home on a personal device.
If you’re a business owner, make sure your staff knows how to secure a website or their personal computers against malicious software. In any event, make it a habit to scan your machine frequently.
Step 6. Cop Tools to Supervise Security:
You won’t be able to prevent attacks on your website manually. Instead, look for online tools and resources that will automatically monitor the security of your website.
If you use WordPress, I strongly advise you to review my list of the top WordPress security plugins. The plugins on this list serve as a firewall for your website, battling malware, spam, and other threats in real-time.
If you don’t use WordPress, see if the content manager on your website has any good security add-ons. Otherwise, have a look at this list of solid endpoint security software that will protect your IT infrastructure no matter what CMS you use.
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One of Your Primary Priorities should be Website Security
While you’re reading this, if you haven’t taken any action to secure your website, you’re at risk. Even if you’ve performed the necessary procedures, you’ll need to repeat them regularly to keep your website secure.
When it comes to preventing rogue actors, being diligent and putting in place the correct systems will help you, your website, and your business succeed. However, you can make it more difficult for them by using the security procedures listed above.