Today, hackers are extremely resourceful. They keep creating new ways to break down cyber defenses. Any website owner is concerned about potential unauthorized access. Fortunately, there are multiple methods of defense enhancement.
Any website can be targeted — not just the big players. According to recent estimates, websites of small businesses account for 43% of all data breaches. Preventing spamming attacks is the easiest part — all you need is the IP blacklist checker from CleanTalk. However, there are plenty of other issues. Data breaches are making headlines all the time. So, what should you do to protect your site and its visitors?
5 Simple Steps to Secure Your Website in 2021
The most common methods are relatively simple. You do not have to be well-versed in IT jargon to understand them. Of course, any website owner will benefit from enlisting the help of a professional developer, but it is not always necessary. Here are five measures the average user can implement with ease. No technical know-how is needed.
1. Security Plugins
If your site was built on a common CMS like WordPress or Joomla, you can enhance the defenses with security plugins. There are multiple options for every popular content management system. For example, WordPress websites can be protected by iThemes Security, Bulletproof Security, Sucuri, Wordfence, and fail2Ban.
These extensions neutralize vulnerabilities inherent in each platform. Sadly, no system is perfect. The extensions boost security by foiling specific types of suspicious attempts. The most notable options for other CMS include:
- Amasty, Watchlog Pro, and MageFence for Magento;
- JHackGuard, jomDefender, RSFirewall, and Antivirus Website Protection for Joomla.
Secondly, get a SideLock. This technology benefits any site, whether it is based on CMS or HTML. Not only does it close security loopholes. It also ensures incessant monitoring and detection of vulnerabilities, malware, and viruses. Without fail, this investment pays off.
2. HTTPS Instead of HTTP
This is a secure version of HTTP, and it has become the norm for many websites beyond retail. Many users know they should look for the green padlock image in the address bar before sharing personal information. HTTPS is essential for protection against hackers. These four letters confirm that your website is safe, and give users confidence that their sensitive data may be shared with no fear.
This technology requires the installation of an SSL certificate. The latter guarantees a secure transfer of data between the server and your website. This concerns any exchange, from personal details to credit cards.
Since the release of the related Google Chrome update in mid-2018, SSL has been essential for all websites, not only estores. Now, if you fail to install it, your visitors see an alert. This makes any site look suspicious, even if it does not request personal information.
An SSL certificate is also essential for your SEO. Today, search engines are taking security more seriously than ever. They protect users, who want to browse the web safely. Without a certificate in place, your website may be dragged down in the search results, so fewer users will even notice it.
To sum up, this security technology is crucial for any website owner. The costs are negligible, but the level of encryption is superb. Installing an SSL certificate contributes to trust and even brand awareness.
3. Platform and Software Updates
Enhancing a CMS with extensions and plugins is beneficial, but it adds specific risks. These additional components may have inherent vulnerabilities that will threaten your website’s security. If they are built on an open-source basis, their code is freely accessible to anyone. This means hackers may use it just as easily as honest developers.
Cybercriminals scrutinize the code in search of weak spots. These may be weaknesses of the script or platform. These deficiencies enable hackers to take over your website. To prevent this, you need to update your CMS and any plugins, scripts, and apps regularly.
Checking for WordPress updates is easy. Just log in to your dashboard and click on the update icon. It is found in the upper left next to your website name.
4. Using Strong Passwords
Everybody knows that passwords must be strong, yet many users and website owners fail to use reliable combinations. Setting a password that will be easy to remember is tempting, but it is the opposite of what you really need to do. If the sequence is easy to memorize and recall, it is also easy to guess. Why make the hackers’ lives easier?
A good password is lengthy. It includes a mix of numbers, special characters, and letters, both uppercase and lowercase. Avoid using any data that may be guessed, like your birthday or the name of your pet.
Fortunately, there are apps and tools to help you. Use password generation software to ensure an appropriate level of complexity. Password manager apps create and store multiple combinations. You only need to remember the master password to view them all.
Secondly, take care of access. Any users who co-manage your site must have solid passwords, too. One weak combination within the team can enable hackers to break the defenses. Make sure this is understood. All teammates must be on the same page and realize the importance of strong passwords.
5. Scheduled Backups
If cybercriminals still manage to hack your site, this measure will minimize the damage. You need to have a fresh backup on hand at all times. Otherwise, one breach can deprive you of everything.
To protect the site, invest in automatic backups for effortless recovery. The data should be backed up on a daily or weekly basis. This is another cost-effective way to buy peace of mind.
More Advanced Solutions
These are the most basic measures anyone should implement. Experienced users may consider more sophisticated additions. These measures require technical expertise. For instance, you may decide to modify file upload acceptance, use CSP, lock down your directory and file permissions, etc. If you lack experience, invite an IT consultant or developer to help you.