Either we know it or not, agree to it or not, data breach and hacks is on the increase across the globe. That it has not happened to you does not mean it is not happening and if you have been a victim of data breach and hacks, you will understand the severity better.
Hackers do not only target big businesses, one recent report shows that 43% of data breaches and hacks has been against small businesses. You may be wondering why hackers would want to target your small business.
You’ve worked hard enough to grow your brand (website) and you are still doing, so don’t let someone who wants overnight success frustrate your diligence and commitment to growing your business. Use these few tips to protect your website.
- Install Plugins that can help secure your website: More than half of the active websites across the globe is developed with content management software (cms) while the others are developed by writing codes.
The difference between these two will be a topic for another day but what’s important for now is for you to know that you can use some security plugins like bulletproof security, wordfence and many others for your wordpress websites while Amasty, Magefence etc will help to protect your websites built with magento.
For websites built with Joomla, you can use security plugins like jomDefender, RSFirewall and many others to protect your websites from hackers.
Whether you’re running a CMS-managed website or HTML sites, you can also use SiteLock to protect your website. SiteLock does more than simply closing site security loopholes by providing daily monitoring for everything from malware detection to vulnerability identification to active virus scanning and more.
If you run an e-commerce website or your business is dependent on your website, SiteLock is definitely an investment worth considering.
- Update your website regularly: You need to stay up to date to avoid hacking threats. Using the various available content management systems and plugins are very beneficial but also comes with its own disadvantages.
Because most of these tools are developed as open source software, it makes their codes accessible to hackers. Hence to protect your website from hackers, make sure that your cms, plugins, apps, scripts are updated regularly.
You can always login to your website backend to check if any of the tools you are using is available for update and if yes, do not hesitate to update immediately.
- Using Secure Socket Layer (SSL): One very major important component of online business is creating a trusted environment where consumers and potential customers feel safe when making purchases.
SSL creates a foundation of trust by establishing a secure connection that assure visitors their connection is secure, with a green padlock and a five letter word (HTTPS) showing beside the domain name on the browser URL bar.
The SSL certificate helps you to secure the information of your customers like their personal data, credit card and contact information between the website and the server.
In July 2018, Google Chrome released a security update that alerts website visitors if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed. Your website visitors will see something like Not Secure when they visit your website.
That makes visitors more likely to bounce, even if your website doesn’t collect sensitive information. Search engines are taking website security more seriously than ever because they want users to have a positive and safe experience when browsing the web.
Taking the commitment to security further, a search engine may rank your website lower in search results if you don’t have an SSL certificate. Which means your competitors will rank higher and better than you on search engines. If you want people to trust your brand, you need to invest in an SSL certificate.
Purchasing an SSL certificate is not expensive but the extra level of encryption it offers to your customers goes a long way to making your website more secure and trustworthy.
You can get your SSL certificate here.
- Use a strong password: This is not new but yet many website owners prefers to use a password they can easily remember. Your website password should include a mix of special character, letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers and make it long.
Using numbers like 123456 or ABCDEF is not advisable, using your birthday or your child’s date of birth should be prohibited because hackers (especially if the person knows you already) can easily guess your password and have access to your website.
Make sure to change your website password regularly and if you have other team members who also have their own password access to the same website, make sure that they update their password regularly and they use a strong password too.
- Frequent Backups: Even with all the above, it does still not mean that hackers cannot gain access to a website nobody is perfect, even though the threats may be limited and your website may not be easily accessible but you still face some risks.
The best way to protect yourself is to have a regular scheduled backups. While data breach may be hurtful no matter what, but having a backup of your website will help relieve you of some stress in the case of data breach.
You can make it a habit to manually backup your website weekly or bi-weekly or if chances are that you may forget or you may be too busy to always manually backup your website, you can invest in automatic backups, it is not expensive.
With automated daily backups, using Hostlag website backup means deleted files are now recoverable, overwritten files are now obtainable, and if a site is hacked, the malware is easily removable.
There are other more advance method of securing your website and protecting it from hackers especially if it’s a web application, but with the above, you are guarantee peace of mind.
About the Author
Ebenezer Dare is the CEO of Hostlag, a web hosting and domain names company that helps businesses and organizations get global relevance via online presence.
You can connect with him on Twitter: @DareEbenezer or Instagram: @ebbydare