Most people who find out about a business will have their first contact with it online. As a result, it has become increasingly important for business owners to not only have a website for their business, but to also make sure that it is safe and secure. If you are new to the online world of web design, here are a few important aspects to include that will protect your business and your customers.
Use Secure Passwords
Are you one of those people who use the different variations of the same password on multiple websites? Chances are that employees who use your website are guilty of the same thing, which can become a security issue. However, even though the passwords are created by employees and even customers at times, it is your responsibility as the website owner to make sure the passwords are secure. One way to do this is by setting up certain password requirements. For example, a password should not include a person’s name or username, it must include at least 12 characters, and it needs to use symbols. Double verification with a security code sent to their email or phone secures their account and your website even further, and makes it more difficult for hackers to guess passwords or break into accounts.
Secure Your URL
Another way to keep your website safe is by securing your URL with HTTPS and an SSL certificate. If you’re familiar with a HTTP website, HTTPS is the same concept but adds security. With a HTTPS URL, the URL protects the encrypted data transferred between the website and the user. An SSL certificate can be bought once your website is on its own IP server. Typically, you will have to pay per year, but the price is small in comparison to potential costs if something went wrong on your website. Those who visit your site will be able to see whether it is secure or not and will trust you more if it is.
Pick a Secure Host
Your host, in terms of website creation, is a program where you can build a website. In many cases, you can also run the website from the host server. Although you do not need a host to set up your website, it makes the process much easier, especially if you are new or unfamiliar with coding and web design. That said, although web hosts can be super helpful, you need to pick a secure one. This means that you need to do your research beforehand and avoid working with a specific host just because it is free. As mentioned earlier, fees are worth it for a more secure and better-quality website.
Install Security Plugins
Throughout your website, you want the security to continue to help everything run in the safest way possible. In general, security plugins are set up to fight against hackers. Additionally, IT security protects you from crime and fraud that is becoming increasingly common. They provide security plugins, monitor web activity, and will flag anything they deem to be suspicious. This helps prevent an attack defensively instead of having to fight offensively once the cyber attack is already happening.
Use Age Restrictions
With the growing popularity of the internet among all ages, as the business owner you need to keep all age groups in mind. This starts when you decide if you want your website to be appropriate and accessible for a variety of ages, or if you want to set up age restrictions. Either way, you might want to consider keeping the ages of your website patrons private. There are people who will take advantage of young children and teenagers on the internet, which is why it is your job to protect them. If you do opt for an age restriction, you could include an age verification process to ensure users are not lying about their age.
Apply for a WAF
One of the biggest points of weakness in data security is when data is in transit. A web application firewall or WAF, however, is designed to monitor and read every piece of data as it passes between your website and the data connection, ensuring hacking attempts during this process are blocked. This cloud-based service filters traffic for you and keeps out spammers and bots trying to sneak in. Apply for this plug-and-play service to give your website added protection when it comes to data.
Back the Site Up
The best security measures always have a plan for what to do if all else fails. In the case of web security, the worst thing that could happen is a hacker could invade your website and for you to protect the data, you would have to erase the site. This does not happen often, but being prepared can help prevent you from losing everything or paying a large amount of money to get it back. All you need to do is backup your website. Depending on your web host, the instructions to backup your site might be different. However, in most cases you can use a Plugin program to help you backup your website data.
At the end of the day, even with the best precautions, your website will never be completely free from attack. Although some people understand the risks of putting their information online or visiting a website, the best option for your business is to strive for complete transparency. This means that you let the patrons know when an incident occurs that might involve a security breach. Additionally, you need to clearly share with the users what information you store from them and why. Not only is this better for your relationship with your customers, but it also helps guard your business against any legal action. Transparency online will often yield more trust and ultimately better business.
When you build a website for your business, you can reach a wider customer base almost immediately. However, the internet is not inherently a safe location and even your business can be vulnerable to cyber threats. Once you make your site secure, you will be able to breathe easier, knowing that you are doing everything in your power to keep your data and your customers safe.