Steps to Creating a Secure Website

Creating a secure website is one of the most important things you can do for your business. This will not only protect you as a business, but it will also protect any information that your customers put on your site. It’s especially important to secure your website if you are accepting payment, login information, or any personal information. This essentially means that whatever information your visitors put on your site will be protected. If you don’t protect the information that is given, then you run the risk of your site crashing, information being hacked, or your website itself being hacked. Let’s discuss the differences between a secure website versus a non-secure website, why you want to secure your website and the steps on how to do it.

secure website

Secure versus non-secure websites

The first sign of seeing a secure website is looking at the URL. When a URL begins with HTTPS, the page is secure. However, if it begins with HTTP, it is not secure and exposes users to potential harm when they enter any information on the page. This small addition of just the ‘S’ makes a big difference in website security. HTTP stands for ‘HyperText Transport Protocol’ and allows for information to be passed on between web servers and clients. The S stands for ‘secure.’ Websites that are secure have an SSL certificate, meaning that any data being passed between a web server and clients is encrypted. If the website isn’t secure, any information a user puts on the page is not protected and can be stolen. However, on a secure website, the code is encrypted so any sensitive information cannot be traced. Having a secure website does many things, including gaining the audience’s trust.

In today’s age, many internet users are mindful of secure versus non-secure websites. When you are creating a secure website, your audience will trust that their personal data is safe and be more likely to enter their information. Warnings that the page they’re on is not secure will make users uneasy and likely to navigate away from the page. Having a secure page will also ensure that every page in your conversion final is secure. This includes all pages, starting with the redirect page to the page after the conversion takes place.

Why you’d want a secure website

Website security is possibly the most important aspect of maintaining a healthy website. It is imperative that you keep your website safe at all times. Google provides HTTPS security for websites. This provides three layers of security, and Google encourages users to adopt HTTPS for their individual sites. Security is not just about securing the experience for the users. You first need to have a good password for access to the back end of your site. Everything is controlled in the back end of your website, so this password needs to be strong. As well as securing your website, it is important to know when your website has been hacked. Some signs of this could be strange content appearing on your site, website redirects, and website defacement. Having your website be secure is important to both uses the developer and whoever visits your site.

HTTPS

Creating a secure website

Securing your website means putting protection in place to keep out hackers, bugs, and other things that can put your data at risk. If you don’t do this, your website can crash or you could even lose money. Having a secure website will allow your customers to trust that any information they put into your website will be protected and safe from hackers. Creating a secure website may seem like a lot of work, but it is fairly simple. Here are the steps to creating a secure website.

Install SSL

The first step of creating a secure website is to install SSL, which is buying a simple secure sockets layer certificate. This is a crucial first step. When you install an SSL certificate on your website, it encrypts data passing between your site and your visitors. It is especially important to have website security if you’re accepting payments through your site, asking for login details, or transferring files. Without security, the data is unprotected and vulnerable to hackers. There are multiple ways to install SSL. The three main ways are to choose a good quality website builder that includes SSL for free, choosing a hosting provider that provides free SSL with all plans, and install a basic let’s encrypt SSL for free yourself. If you want a higher level of security, you’ll need to pay for an advanced SSL certificate. These can vary in price, and you can buy them from hosting providers or domain registrars.

Anti-malware software

Use anti-malware software to scan for and prevent malicious attacks. There are many different anti-malware options out there. Some have free plans, while others you have to pay for. A good quality website builder or hosting provider should look after your website security for you. Hosting providers often include anti-malware software as part of their plans. Other providers include a built-in set of tools. These are usually made up of free SSL, hack protection, automatic backups, and DDOS protection. These are security basics for your site and features you should look for when looking at hosting providers.

Create uncrackable passwords.

Passwords are not only an important step, but they’re also one of the easiest things you can change to increase security for your website. Instead of using the easiest phrases, you should instead combine three random, unrelated, but memorable phrases. Another way is to use a randomly generated sequence of characters. It is important to remember to not reuse passwords, make your password long, and never use personal information in your password. Once you have passwords, be careful with them and change them about once every quarter.

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Update your website regularly

Using out-of-date software on your website is like leaving your back door unlocked and can put your website at risk. If you’re using a website builder, you don’t need to worry about keeping your website up to date because most builders will handle software updates and security issues for you. Making sure the website is updated with any and all protection software will ensure that you are not at risk of being hacked. This means that if you have outdated software on your site, then you will not be able to ensure that you are protected fully.

Beware of spam emails

Look out for phishing emails and other scams. Beware of public or open Internet connections if you’re working in a shared space like a coffee shop because these are usually not secure. Never click on links and emails that may seem suspicious. Instead, delete the email right away. Be careful to whom you give your website access information, and make sure that admins are people you can trust and are security conscious. Change the default settings, password, and usernames of your site as soon as you set up your account. Only allow verified professionals to access your site. For example, scammers sometimes want to take control of your screen under the pretense of fixing a technical issue.

Control your comments

Keep control over potentially dodgy comments by manually accepting site comments. Comments are a great way to measure engagement, give social proof to other visitors, connect with other people, and even take on constructive feedback. If people can post comments directly to your site, there’s a chance that malicious links might sneak into the comment section. This is especially dangerous for your website’s visitors, who might click on the link and risk exposing personal data or accidentally installing malware. To combat this, you can change the site settings that you need to manually approve comments before they appear on your site. This gives you the chance to delete any spam and protect your site and its visitors.

Back up your site

Run regular backups to prepare for the worst-case scenario and allows for your website to be more secure. Create backups of your website so that if the worst were to happen, you’d still have a recent version of your site so it’s safe and ready to be re-launch. A backup is essentially a copy of your website data such as files, content, media, and databases. If you have a larger complicated website, you’ll need a larger amount of backup storage to save all of your data. This can be done using a backup service, a web host that includes backups and their plans, or a word press plug-in. When using a backup service, is usually the safest and most reliable way to go. It is important to look at offsite backups. These keep your data as far away from hackers and secure, offsite location rather than a normal server. This also protects backups from hardware failure. The more frequently you update your website, the more frequent your backups should be.

website security

Make sure your website is secure

SEO Design Chicago offers provides web hosting services that fit your needs, preferences, and budget. We handle all of your website’s security and maintenance, so you don’t need to worry.

FAQs

  • How do I create a secure website?
  • What is SSL?
  • Why should I back up my site?
  • How do I protect my information from hackers?
  • What is the difference between a secure and non-secure website?

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