Website security is more than malware scans, antivirus software, and firewalls (though these are super important!) In the everyday running of a website, some things can fall by the wayside, even by the most security-savvy website owners. Here are four aspects of website security that can be easy to overlook —- but you shouldn’t.
1. SSL certificates
Purchase an SSL certificate for your site sooner rather than later. By now, you’ve probably heard that SSL security is essential. After all, encrypting the connection to your site, so your users’ data remains safe is nothing to sniff at. But beyond data protection, SSL certificates are now expected across the board, and if you don’t have one, you could be hurting your site in ways beyond security. For instance, if you don’t have an SSL, web browsers may flag your site as potentially “not secure” to visitors, causing you to lose out on hits. SSL may also boost your search engine ranking. Nice!
2. Cyber security awareness
Ensure that you and anyone else running your site are privy to essential cyber security awareness, particularly social engineering techniques that could be used on them. This includes being able to identify phishing attempts and not clicking on suspicious links that could infect company machines. It also includes withholding sensitive information from anyone who messages out of the blue, claiming to work for the same company. Social engineering is on the rise, and even the most prominent companies have fallen prey to manipulation, so training yourself and your staff to know what to look out for is central to keeping your site safe.
3. Out-of-date software
After clueless staff members, out-of-date website software can be one of the biggest culprits of a security breach. It’s very human to forget about installing updates as soon as possible. However, software updates don’t only come with new features but often security updates to known vulnerabilities. Hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities and access your site’s backend if you forget to update. Prevent this by updating everything as soon as it’s available.
4. Password hygiene
Poor password protection is also surprisingly commonplace, even though hackers can easily crack bad passwords. Just a reminder: using passwords like PASSWORD and 123456 is akin to not having a password at all. Make sure your passwords are at least 12 characters long, use a mix of numbers, letters, and special symbols, and change them frequently.
Website security is not just about having the best software; you must also take care of the human factor. Remembering to address everything outlined in this article will make you more likely to keep your site safe.