Website Security December 11, 2021

Things You Need to Do to Create a Secure Website

8 min read

Planning to create a website for your business? Before finalizing anything, find time to learn and understand everything that you can about cybersecurity. Anyone who has a website knows how important it is to be fully aware of cybercriminals and how they are capable of destroying your business and ruining your life.

Your website is an extension of your brand. It is your online address, a virtual platform for marketing and selling your products and services. It is what connects your brand with your customers. So, an attack by cybercriminals can lead to the end of your business. Thus, you should never underestimate hackers. 

Consider these cybersecurity-related facts:

● Every year, one in three Americans fall prey to hackers.

● Last year (2020), the estimated total number of data breaches reached the 1,000 mark.

● In 2013, Yahoo was hacked, and around three billion data records were compromised.

● Every day, over 200,000 malware samples are created. Each week, more or less 18 million websites are infected by malware.

● Malware infections continue to rise every year.

If your website becomes a part of these statistics, would you know what to do? While it is possible to track where the attack came from and determine how to reverse the effects, you’ve already lost sensitive data and information. 

Why Are Websites Attacked?

Although many businesses now have a website and many others are creating one, a large number are still unable to determine properly what a safe URL looks like. In addition, there are still several misconceptions about hackers, malware, and cybercrime in general.

For example, many people do not really know what malware is; that it is malicious software that exploits or harms networks or programmable devices. Malware like viruses, Trojans, ransomware, worms, and spyware steal data that hackers or cybercriminals use for financial gains. They extract all types of data, including email addresses, contact details, and passwords. So, if your website is attacked by malware, can you imagine how much your business stands to lose?

How to Secure Websites from Malware

Secure Websites from Malware

To be sure that your website is safe from cybercriminals, these are the things you need to do:

1. Find an experienced website developer or webmaster.

Creating a website is not something that you can do overnight. Sure, there are now apps or sites that allow you to make one without hiring a web developer. The only problem with such a situation is that you cannot ensure the safety and security of the site you created.

For example, if you did not hire a web developer or webmaster, you wouldn’t know the value of a site map to hackers.

What is a site map? It is a list of your website’s pages. It’s similar to the table of contents that you see in books, journals, and manuscripts. It helps your pages easily discoverable by Google and other search engines. However, it may also lure cybercriminals to hack into your website and steal sensitive data or information, including that of your audience and all information in your author archive page, which is found in the sitemap.

An experienced webmaster can further explain this to you and know what to do to prevent hackers from breaking into your website. 

2. Find a reliable and experienced web host.

Choosing the right hosting option is vital in ensuring the security of your website. Experienced web hosts offer features like DDoS or denial-of-service protection and WAF or web application firewall. Some even allow website owners to specify the degree of safety they want for their sites.

WAF is capable of staving off-website hacking attempts while DDoS protection monitors traffic coming into your website with the help of advanced software and algorithms. Non-legitimate traffic is not allowed access to the site.

Other security features that web hosts typically offer include regular backups and SSL or Secure Sockets Layer certificates. SSL certificates are essential for protecting online purchases. Backing up your site’s layout and the content will guarantee that you won’t lose any vital files or data when you need to rebuild your site.

These features, combined with a reliable hosting provider that knows how to keep your website safe and secure, should be prioritized.

3. Find a good content management system.

 A content management system or CMS is needed for efficient website construction, particularly its content. You should choose one that is not only user-friendly but one that is also equipped with security protection. It should regularly update to the latest versions so it can resist the newest hacking strategies. 

4. Choose unique and strong passwords.

Passwords are cybercriminals’ preferred weapon. They have strategies and tools to hack into emails, websites, and platforms with weak passwords. The most vulnerable ones are easy to recognize or scramble and those used for more than one account or site.

Make sure you choose a unique password, one with 12 or more characters that combine numbers, letters, and symbols. Avoid using obvious options for your passwords, such as your birthdate or wedding anniversary. Choose a different password for each account, website, or platform that you have.

Additionally, always choose to use two-factor authentication or 2FA. This will allow the system to add a second code or requirement to verify the identity of users. So, aside from the username and password, users are also required to complete an additional identity verification process that other people will not be able to access. For example, after signing in to your website, you will be asked to provide a code sent to your smartphone. Once you enter the correct code, you’ll be given access to the account or platform.

5. Always update your security subscriptions.

As soon as your security subscription ends, update and renew it right away. When your subscription ends, and your site is not protected, cybercriminals may take advantage of the opportunity and attack. 

Try to create a monitoring system that will notify you when your subscription is about to end so you can prepare for the renewal.

6. Allot some time for website testing.

After your website is completed and before you launch it, schedule a security test. Ask your webmaster or developer to launch the test as soon as possible so there will be enough time to work on tweaks and improvements.

Additionally, ensure that you are updated on the latest developments in website security. Your plugins and CMS should be regularly monitored and updated as well.

Follow the tips and suggestions above and get in touch with an experienced website developer if you want your website safe and secure from cybercriminals.

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