3 ways to make your website more secure

With technology constantly improving, hackers and online criminals are always chomping at the bit to exploit vulnerabilities in new systems.

In this technological age, it’s never been more important to keep on top of your IT security. Here are 3 ways to help make your website more secure.

1. Protect your website with HTTPS

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) enables you to browse websites securely, preventing other people on the same network from accessing your data. This is particularly crucial for websites containing customer data and e-commerce sites, where money and sensitive data are frequently transferred.

You can tell if a website has https by looking out for the following:

  • the URL starts with https:// rather than http://
  • the browser displays a padlock icon, and sometimes a green bar, to show that the connection is secure

Without HTTPS, websites holding account passwords and personal data can be accessed by criminals and used illicitly on other websites (particularly if the same password is used for multiple accounts).

If data is hacked via your unsecure network, you could be held responsible, and the damage to your company’s reputation could be disastrous. Using HTTPS not only helps to protect your customers’ data, but also to maintain your customers’ trust and safeguard your reputation.

Find out more information about HTTPS and how to install it.

2. Stay on top of your security updates

Security updates might often seem like a drag, but they are crucial for keeping your website secure. Just as you’d be unwise not to fix a broken window at home, failing to keep your security updated makes you easy prey for criminals. Security updates fix vulnerabilities in systems, preventing your website from being exploited by hackers, who are continually searching for weaknesses to exploit. Security updates ‘patch’ up these vulnerabilities to keep your systems secure.

Security updates are crucial for everyone. Hackers don’t care about the size of a business; if your website is insecure, they can break in. In fact, Hackers often target small businesses which may not be as up-to-speed on security as larger corporations.

They use these companies as a gateway to larger affiliated companies with whom they exchange data (a very public example of this is the huge data breach of American superstore giant, Target).

  • monitor your security updates by checking your content Management System dashboard. Most content management systems, such as WordPress, display the updates ready for download. If your CMS doesn’t or you are unsure, contact your hosting provider.
  • check if your website is backed-up as part of your hosting package. This means that you will have a recent version of your website to go back to should your website get hacked.
  • if your website is more than 5 years old, speak to your hosting provider to ensure that you are receiving the necessary updates and your CMS is still fully supported. It may mean migrating to a newer CMS to ensure your website remains fully secure.
  • if you are unable to keep on top of your web security, it is worth finding a company to manage your security for you.

3. Be password savvy

Just imagine: you’ve secured your website with HTTPS, you’re keeping on top of your security updates, your anti-virus is up-to-date and firewalls are in place…and then you blow it all with a weak password. Don’t fall at the final hurdle. Be smart when it comes to your passwords.

Choose passwords that:

  • are memorable to you only
  • are over 12 characters long (these are harder for hackers and computer programs to crack)
  • combine different words (either random or quirky phrases)
  • include one or more special characters (for instance, capital letters, an exclamation mark or numbers)
  • are unique, i.e. choose a different password for each account you own. Use a password manager to help you remember all your different passwords – it means you only have to remember one master password.

It pays to be password savvy; find out why.

We can help!

With over 12 years of experience in hosting and supporting websites and software solutions, Alberon can help ensure that your website is fully protected 24/7, keeping hackers at bay and allowing you to focus on your business. Find out more about our fantastic web hosting and security packages and get in touch today!

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