Did you know…
1. Even if you have a website that isn’t asking for credit cards or personal details that you still need to worry about security?
2. It’s a really common held belief to think because you aren’t an online store you don’t need to worry about securing your website.. you do!
3. The number of cyberattacks is increasing every year. Hackers are attempting to break into a computer “every 39 seconds on average.” and this is regardless of industry. Shocking we know!
As a small business owner it can be easy to forget how important it is to secure your website. We understand, you are juggling a 100 different things all at once. It could also be that you are not fully aware of how to actually secure your site and are new to the world of websites. Visitors are more likely to move away from your site because it isn’t secure. They won’t feel comfortable or confident to view your website just in case it isn’t safe. Remember that your website is the face of your business and having an insecure site could risk your company’s brand and reputation.
Here we discuss some of the terminology around malware and hacking along with some pointers on how to secure your website. This will ensure your visitors feel happy and confident to visit your website:
1. Malware and Hacking
Malware is an abbreviation of the term “malicious software”, and its definition is exactly how it sounds. This is software that is designed to damage or gain access to a computer or website, without the owner knowing. If hackers were to come across your website and find it insecure, they can inject these malware codes. They can do this in a blink on an eye, via email, a contact form, or even hack your website’s login details.
There are many different types of malware that can attack your website or computer, each type designed to accomplish different goals. Here are a few to be aware of:
- Spyware is used to steal sensitive information. Spyware is one type of malicious software that captures information via your keystrokes, a web form or other types of personal information.
- Adware is used to display forced advertising. This is software that once installed can send you pop-up ads or direct you to certain sites that you didn’t click on.
- Ransomware is used to basically blackmail you! This is an emerging form of malware. It will lock you out and then demand a payment in order to restore your access.
- Trojan horses are used for deleting, stealing, modification, or copying data. For those who know their Greek Mythology of Helen of Troy and the Trojan horse, this malware does exactly what is say on the tin. It disguises itself and tricks you in to thinking the software is safe.
And unfortunately the list goes on…
2. Cyber Attacks
Hackers may gain access to site visitors data and steal their information. This can be personal details, credit card/bank account, social security numbers and much more. According to Juniper research; over 33 billion records will be stolen by cybercriminals in 2023 alone. Small businesses make up only 13% of the entire cyber security market, and invest less than $500 in cyber security.
How do I ensure my website is secure?
So what can you do? We know it all sounds incredibly frightening, and it is! However, we don’t want you to sit in fear of opening your laptop or website ever again. Here are a few steps you can do to secure your website and keep it safe:
1. Create a Backup for your Website
A backup is a saved copy of your website elements such as code files, database, add-ons, plugins, or themes used by your website. If you’ve backed up your site and something goes wrong with it, you can easily restore a recent version of your website. Not sure how to back up your website? Read our blog post Why and How do I Backup My Website. Here we discuss step by step how to back up your site.
2. Keep your Software up to date
We know it is easier said than done. Try to be diligent about keeping your software up to date. Many website owners might not know the importance of keeping a website up-to-date. However, updating all your files such as database, themes and plugins is key. If hackers happen have already added something in your website, it’s helpful to update it to its recent version. This will remove all codes injected where you wouldn’t see them. The maintenance and upkeep of software when using WordPress is an important requirement.
3. Purchase and Install an SSL Certificate
Did you know that Google has now started marking sites (in the Chrome browser) as unsecured that do not use SSL Certificates? Installing an SSL certificate can impact your business revenue by increasing your online customer’s trust.
Securing your website by purchasing and installing an SSL certificate in your hosting server is a great way to secure your website. SSL helps secure your site by encrypting all your visitor’s data. This means nobody can listen to conversations, track activities or steal information. Any page that contains a login or asks for payment information needs to be on this secure system. With that said, we always secure the whole of our client’s websites and would highly recommend that you do the same.
4. Use a Security Plugin
Using a security plugin such as All in One WP Security and Firewall Plugin will prevent hackers from logging into your account. Setting up a security plugin can help you add an extra layer into your login page such as captcha. This will log all attempted failed logins and you can always track and block if needed.