According to statistics, almost 30,000 new websites get hacked every day. Even new and more effective security features and functions are emerging regularly; hackers are always up to finding new ways to attack and navigate through your website.
As a business owner, your ultimate goal is to build a strong online reputation, improve the visibility of your online business, and search engine ranking. To achieve your certain goals, you should always be on constant alert and focus on protecting your website from cyber threats and attacks. Thus, having a proactive security strategy is crucial to ensure the success of your business and protect your sensitive information from hackers & attackers.
Protecting your site is not that much difficult; here in this article, we’ve covered some useful security tips to protect your website from hackers. Implementing these techniques can help you to prevent hacking attacks.
What is website security?
Website security or cybersecurity is all about different ways of protecting websites from cyber threats and attacks. In other words, it includes configuring multiple features and taking proactive action that can help you to protect your confidential information and site from malware and attackers.
Website security will protect you against:
- Different malware and malicious software are used to steal important information and allow unauthorized access to your website.
- Continuous hacking attacks can result in the blacklisting of your site (removing a site from SERPs). It can help you to protect your website from malware so that your website’s online visibility won’t be affected.
- DDoS attacks either slow down or crash your website ranking by making it inaccessible to your visitors.
- Vulnerable exploits so that an attacker can not attack your website from its weak points to extract valuable information.
One of the main reasons for having improved website security is to protect your site visitors.
Web security will protect you and your site from attackers and protect your website visitors, making it trustworthy and secure to browse.
It can protect them by,
- Securing their personal information such as name, address, and contact details. Web security ensures that your information is secure with websites, and hackers or attackers can’t access or reach this data.
- Protecting from spammy or malicious redirects that can result in attacks.
- From session hijacking where hackers can hijack a user’s session to steal or perform unwanted activities.
Why is Website Security Important for your business?
As discussed above, website security is crucial to protect websites from malware & DDoS attacks, and malicious software, where thousands of websites are at risk daily.
There is a long list of reasons explaining why web security is important for your business. Here we mentioned some of the points;
Reason 1: Your Potential Buyers Can be the Victim
Suppose you visit a website to buy, and hackers manage to get hold of your payment information, steal your confidential data, and run away with thousands of dollars. Would you be interested in buying from that particular website again?
Your reputation is everything in online business. If your customers trust you, you can expect customer loyalty. But if they don’t, they won’t buy from you.
Hackers love to use your site to install malware on your visitors’ computers. They try to do everything to capture your site’s traffic and attention. So, to build your brand trust and online reputation, it’s necessary to have a high level of security on your website.
Reason # 2: Hacks Kept increasing
You may think that the prevalence of hacked websites is something you shouldn’t mind. But that would be wrong.
There is an attack on a website every 39 seconds.
That doesn’t mean every attack is successful; of course not; hundreds of thousands of attacks are successfully avoided and stopped before they cause any damage.
This is good news – Because it means you don’t have to worry about operating online, either. Even though hacking is a very high risk, it is a risk that is very often mitigated with the right technology and the right strategies at your disposal.
Reason# 3. Essential for your ranking
Such malware and malicious attacks can result in the blacklisting of your website from search engines.
Why? For search engines like Google, user experience is everything, and they will not let their users browse through insecure websites. It can badly affect your site’s ranking and reputation.
As a website owner, your priority should be your brand’s trustworthiness and reputation. Hence, implementing web security measures can save you from blacklisting.
Top 10 Actionable Security Tips To Protect Your Website From Hackers:
Whether you are a small business or a large enterprise, your website is always at risk of hacking. So, it means it is of utmost importance that you install all the required security features and ensure the site’s security for vulnerability.
Here are some proactive measures and techniques that are effective and easy to implement.
1. Update your website software.
Hackers are always on to navigate existing security features. Although CMS like WordPress and Shopify renders high levels of security, its extensible components like plugins and themes are vulnerable to a hacking attack. This is why software updates are necessary, as they come with advanced technologies and features for enhanced security functionality. Therefore, your website must be running on the latest software available with the latest and most effective security features.
When looking for potential sites to hack, cybercriminals always target vulnerable websites. They are always up on finding loopholes in your website, where outdated or nulled elements like themes and plugins are the quickest and easiest hack to access restricted parts of your website.
Keep analyzing your website and its crucial components ( those at high risk) for security. By monitoring and reviewing your site, you may be able to know which part of your website needs updates. If these components/elements have an auto-update option, enable it unless it is not affecting your site’s performance.
Create a schedule for updates as these updates are frequent. For complex components, updates can take a long time, but updates are often regular for small components. Best practices call for having a schedule to regularly check and install updates for all software components on your website.
It is also a good idea to create a backup of your website before installing updates. This is an additional precautionary measure in case the update crashes the website or affects its functionality.
2. Strengthen your passwords.
Passwords are crucial and act as a front-line army to defend against unauthorized user access to your website.
Stronger the password, secure will be your website from malicious attacks!
Use your website passwords and make them as strong as possible. Avoid “lazy” passwords. Here are some things you can consider:
Be creative. The idea is to make your passwords as unique as possible so that no one can easily guess them. This means avoiding obvious options like using your name or generic passwords like “qwerty,” “Password,” or “123456”. A strong password contains a combination of letters and symbols. Also, the longer the password, the better. A common concern of people with creating complex passwords is that they won’t remember them. However, you can have the name of a place or an object that reminds you of the combination.
Use multi-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication provides additional security in case someone manages to bypass your passwords. This always takes the form of a single request for information, which must be answered correctly before full access to the site is possible. It’s also a great idea to add two-factor authentication for each level of access.
3. Use password encryption.
This is especially important for sites requiring customers to provide their personal information and login with a password. To protect them, have their information encrypted, including their password.
The security of your website is also linked to the security standards of your web host. They should also keep strong passwords on their servers to protect the integrity of the hosted sites.
4. Use HTTPS.
Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) is an advancement over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) – it adds an extra layer of protection to your website. HTTPS prevents hackers from intercepting connection information to your websites.
To migrate and communicate securely over HTTPS, you need a secure socket layer certificate. This is especially important if you operate a site that collects sensitive information because it protects the information as it is transferred online. Once the certificate is installed, redirect traffic from HTTP to HTTPS. Also, include an HSTS response header in your policy for all browsers. This will link the different browsers with your website via HTTPS.
5: Restricted user access to your site – Roles.
Regulating access to your website’s main control dashboard is also a very critical security protocol to follow. The more people who have access, the more vulnerable the site is to attacks. As such, you can regulate the level of access to the site by:
Grant limited access. If it is necessary for multiple users to access certain website sections, provide them only with limited access. Don’t give everyone administrator privileges. For example, if a user only has access to the editorial section when a hacker hacks their password, they will not have access to the main dashboard controlling the entire website.
Remove unnecessary users. If there are users who no longer need to access the website, delete the users. Keeping their credentials active creates a vulnerable place that hackers could use to gain access to your website.
6. Ensure downloaded files security
It is essential for sites that have multiple users. Even with limited access, someone can download a file that contains malware if a hacker gains access to their credentials. Also, if you need the credentials of your site visitors, it is best not to accept file downloads as it increases the vulnerability of your website.
However, if you need to allow downloads, be sure to take extra precautions to protect your site. These include:
File type check: Set the accepted file extension type. This way, you can easily identify suspicious file types before downloading them.
- Set maximum file size.
- Scan for malware in downloaded files.
- Rename files automatically upon download to prevent new access by hackers.
7. Keep on Monitoring your Site
Even with the latest updates, features, and precautions, no website is 100% protected against hackers. Therefore, you have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. There are two main things involved:
Constantly monitor your site. It means constantly keeping an eye on how your site is performing to watch for any anomalies. Different CMS comes with various Security tools readily available online that can help you track malware on your website and send alerts when detected. The main thing is to keep a constant eye on what is happening on your website to detect and deal with anomalies as soon as they are detected.
Make sure to have the latest backup of all databases and files on your website. It will come in handy if you are hacked and are in the process of restoring the site. The best backup option is to use offsite storage. Additionally, automatic backup is crucial, especially if you are dealing with a lot of information over short periods of time, like in e-commerce websites. Always ask your web/software development agency to report on the status of the website backup.
Go for a Secure Web Host
Hosting your website with a hosting provider frees you from much of the burden of a website security risk as they would take care of website security for the webserver.
Firewall Security Tips
When maintaining your own web server, you must utilize a robust firewall and restrict outside access only to 80 and 443.
Discriminate Database Server
It would be advisable to maintain a separate database server and web servers if you can afford it, as this provides better data security.
Archaic HTTPS security
Always use HTTPS for the complete website. It would ensure that users do not interact with fraudulent servers.
Apply strong password policies and make sure they are followed. Educate all users about the importance of strong passwords. Follow the recommended password length of over 8 characters with a mix of upper and lower case alphabets, numbers, and special characters. Do not use dictionary words. The longer the password, the stronger the security of the website.
If you need to store passwords for user authentication, always store them in encrypted form. Use a hash algorithm and also salt the hash to make it more secure.
Final Thoughts – Security Tips
The technological space is constantly changing, and what works today may not be as effective tomorrow. Hence, the task of securing your website is a constant that never stops. It involves constantly monitoring the site for vulnerabilities and addressing them as they arise. While these precautions do not provide 100% protection against hackers, you need to partner with the right agency to provide you the constant support and maintenance service. Shopify Pro is a trusted Shopify website design and development agency providing top-notch website maintenance and support services to clients.
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