7 Tips to Keep Your Website Secure from Cyber Attacks

7 Tips to Keep Your Website Secure from Cyber Attacks

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes, 26 seconds

You have created a flawless website that is ranking well in search engines but do you know that one successful cyber attack can put all your hard work in vain.If you have a website then this article is a must-read for you, where we have curated a list of 7 proven tips that can help you to keep your website safe and secure.

What is website security?

As the name suggests, website security means securing your website from cyber attacks. You create your website by putting in a great effort, but if you don’t have a strong security plan, everything can be lost in seconds. To save you from this, website security comes to your rescue. It saves your website data from hackers and cybercriminals who are continuously trying to exploit websites in one way or the other.

According to the UK cybersecurity breaches survey 2020 conducted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, 46% of the businesses and 26% of the charities have reported cybersecurity attacks or breaches in 12 months.

Is security important for all websites?

The answer is YES! Whether you have an eCommerce website or just a blogging website, keeping it secure should be a priority. This is so because one attack by hackers can make you lose all your content and data which you have created over a long time. Moreover, it can also badly impact your rankings in the search engines. To prevent it is important to have all the security features updated and installed on your website.

Why website security is so important for your business:

Whether you have a small business or you are a tech giant, website security should always be on your priority list. As without it, you can risk all your business data and personal information.

Following are 5 reasons why website security is important:

1. Cyber attacks are unpredictable

You can never know when a hacker may try to get into your website because these attacks are always unpredictable. Even the experts can’t predict when and which website cybercriminals will target and in which way. This makes it important to always have the security of your website at a top-notch level.

2. Loss of trust and reputation

One cybersecurity breach and you may lose the trust of your customers. This can harm the reputation of your brand immensely. People would be hesitant to share their personal information such as name, address, phone number and credit card details.

For instance, if you read about the cyber attack or data breach news of a famous website, would you buy something from that site or give your details over there? Same way once the security of your website is breached, people would hesitate to buy or even visit your website

3. Loss of sale

Once that your website gets attacked by the cyber sinners, it may take you some time to resume the website again. In the meantime, when you will set up again and secure your website, you may lose sales. People would not be able to buy from your website. Resultantly, your sales may drop and lead to a loss for your business.

4. You can’t completely rely on hosting service providers

Many people get it wrong that if their servers are secure and protected, their website is also safe. However, this is not the case, no matter how secure the server is, your website can still be at risk if you don’t have advanced security.

5. Cyber attacks may lead to the blacklisting of websites

If your website gets attacked by hackers and they damage your website, search engines may blacklist your website. Depending on the level of a security breach, search engines may restrict your website for users or completely blacklist it. Sometimes you may have seen a warning sign near some URLs that this website is not safe, that is also a form of restriction search engines use to keep the users safe from malicious sites.

These are some of the top reasons for keeping your website safe from cyber attacks. Though, it has many other benefits too. Having advanced security features on your website can also help in improving the performance of your website. Now that you are aware of how important website security is.

Let’s dive deep and have a look at the top 7 ways to protect your website from cyber attacks:

1. Switch to HTTPS

Going from Hypertext transfer protocol to Hypertext transfer protocol secure you need a secured sockets layer certificate. Once you install the SSL certificate to your website, you can easily redirect the traffic from HTTP to HTTPS. An SSL certificate can secure the transfer of sensitive information such as credit card details or personal information of your customers while transferring the information between the server and your website.

If you have an eCommerce website, this step is even more important for you. You take orders from customers and accept payments through your website, hence, it is important to install the SSL certificate.

With the increasing number of cybercrimes, search engines have also bucked up to keep the users' data safe. An invalid SSL certificate is one of the reasons that you receive the alert message when you visit a website. Further, if your website has such an alert, it will increase the bounce rate drastically.

2. Install security plugins

A security plugin can detect and keep your website safe from malware attacks and other cyber threats. It can also eliminate any hacking attempt to your website and keep your sensitive information secure. Further, you can also use antivirus software to add an extra layer of protection to your system. There are different types of security plugins available for different content management systems. Such as:

    For Magento:
  • Watchlog Pro
  • MageFence
  • Amasty
    For WordPress:
  • iThemes Security
  • WordFence
  • Fail2Ban
  • WPscan
  • Sucuri
3. Update your website regularly

Hackers are smart, they don’t always try to hack large businesses but often look for soft targets. Hackers look for vulnerable websites with outdated security features. This is the reason that you have to keep all components of your website such as themes and plugins updated. Hackers can easily navigate through these components and invade your website.

All the software brings in regular updates with some bug fixes and performance upgrades. To save some of your time, you can use the auto-update option. This will help you update to the latest version as soon as it is available. Further, to have better security, you can keep a schedule for updates. During the scheduled time, you can check for all the updates available and use them to enhance the security of your website.

4. Keep strong passwords

When it comes to passwords, you can’t just use ‘12345678’. Your password should be strong enough that it can keep you safe from the obvious hack tries of cyber criminals. Make sure not to include the obvious things such as your date of birth or your anniversary date when you create the password. To have a strong password you should keep it a mix of capitals, numbers and symbols. Further, to create a secure password, you can include the name of your favourite dish, your pet, or anything which you can remember.

Moreover, you can enable the two-step verification to include one more step in the login process. By doing so, the system will ask for additional information other than the normal username and password to login into your account. This can help you to keep your website safe from many security issues.

If you find it difficult to remember difficult passwords, you can use some password manager tools to keep all your passwords secure in one place. Furthermore, these software can also help you create strong passwords. It can categorise whether your password is easy, strong or difficult. Weak passwords can make your website vulnerable and an easy target for hackers. The Stronger the password, the better it will be.

5. Keep an eye on file uploads and downloads

If you need users to upload files, make sure to keep an eye on all the files users upload. Cyber sinners can take it as an opportunity to upload malicious files to your website or overwrite one of the important files of your website. One solution to this problem can be to disable all options for uploading files to the website. Hackers take this as an easy opportunity to get into the site. And this doesn’t only damage the site but also the system of people who visit your website.

However, it is not possible for all businesses to completely discontinue file uploads on their website. As many service providers need to access files or documents of people to continue their business. But still, there are ways to keep your website safe. Here’s what you can do to get files in a safe way

  • Scanning :- You can use the scanning software to scan files before using them.
  • Maximum file size :- By setting a maximum size for file upload, you can prevent hackers from uploading any heavy file to your website.
  • Accept files in certain formats only :- Don’t allow users to upload any sort of file. For example, if the documents you need people to upload are pics, You may allow the JPG format. This way you can keep the distrustful websites out.
  • Rename the files :- By doing this, you can prevent hackers from reaching out to the files they have uploaded.
  • Verification of file :- After doing everything, you can verify whether the uploaded file is safe. If you find any suspicious files, you can delete that from your system.
6. Give only restrictive access to the site

This is helpful if different people are managing the site. In this case, different people may have access to your site and the hackers can try to get in using the credentials of different people. To avoid any major damage to your site from this, you can give limited access to others. This will allow others to use only some part of your website with their credentials. Further, if by any chance a hacker gets access to their credentials, he would be able to access only a very limited section of the website.

Moreover, you should delete the unnecessary users who no longer need access to your website. Sometimes you need to give access to the website to someone for a short duration of time. Cybercriminals may use these users' access to enter your website and take away your sensitive information. Once a hacker gets access to your site he can even wipe out all the data. To avoid this, you should delete these users when they no longer need to access your site.

7. Take a backup of your site

You can beef up the security of your website, however, a website is always at risk of getting attacked and hacked. Software companies are increasing the security features and at the same time, cyber criminals are also getting advanced. They are constantly evolving to enter into the websites and take out the sensitive data of people. Once you have done everything to make your website safe, you need to backup your website.

At last backup your website so that if it gets compromised you don’t have to start from scratch. With regular backups, you can keep all your data safe.

Conclusion

Technology is growing rapidly all over the world and people are using the internet for everything. From taking consultations from a doctor's website to buying their favourite dessert from the website of a local bakery, people visit many websites daily. And it is essential to protect your website from any threat.

You can use the aforementioned tips to protect your website from any suspicious activity. As mentioned in the article, cyber attacks are unpredictable, you have to be alert of any possible threat. For this, you can use the tools that can notify you and alert you to take necessary actions. This will help you to minimise the threat and keep the website secure. Further, if you will not take the security of the website seriously it can cause you major loss. If even for one time your website’s data is breached, people would be reluctant to share their information or buy from your website.

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