Three Steps for a More Secure Website

You need to make sure that your website is safe and secure from all of the different threats that it faces online.

Your website is the core of your company's online presence, and without a strong online presence your business will not stand out from the competition.

You certainly don’t want your investment of thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours, and priceless brand capital to be lost due to hackers, technical glitches, or human error. In short, you need to make sure that your website is safe and secure from all of the different threats that it faces online.

Discussions about website security can often be complex but like anything else it all starts with the basics. If you don’t get the foundational elements right, the rest won’t matter. Here are some basic - yet vitally important - steps you need to take to make sure your website is secure:

Step 1: Encrypt Your Website with an SSL certificate

Your website simply must have an SSL certificate. You can easily check to see if you already have one by looking at your URL. The first part should read https:// and show a padlock symbol. If you have this, it means your SSL certificate is updated and is keeping your site secure.

In short, having an SSL certificate in place changes your website from using the HTTP protocol to using the more secure HTTPS protocol. This encrypts your data so your information is safe from prying eyes.

If you do not have an SSL certificate, your host should be able to implement SSL on your site fairly easily and quickly. This is an important step you should take to ensure your website is safe and secure.

Watch as our CEO Joe Sandin provides a simple explanation of what an SSL certificate does and why it's a must-have for your website.

Step 2: Use Strong Passwords & Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

It doesn’t matter much how hi-tech your home’s security system is if you don’t lock the front door. Don't just lock it, double lock it!

Your backend login page is the main doorway to your website, and so it's important you’re making sure prying eyes cannot get in. So what's the best way to do that? Make sure you always use a strong password and implement MFA.

So what exactly is a strong password? We recommend a password that meets the following criteria:

  • At least 12 characters in length
  • A mixture of upper case, lower case, and numbers
  • Use at least one special character

One you've created a strong password, we recommend implementing MFA. MFA is a form of user authentication that requires multiple credentials to verify identity. Rather than simply asking you for your username and password, which can easily be compromised or guessed by hackers, MFA requires a second form of authentication. For example, a security code could be sent to a mobile device to verify your identity.

Step 3: Keep Your Website Up-to-Date

Just because the front door is locked doesn’t mean that someone can’t sneak in through the window. When it comes to your website, having out of date themes, plugins, or other elements can leave holes in your defense.

Many times theme updates come out because a vulnerability was discovered and addressed. If you do not take the time to keep things up to date then you’re putting your website at unnecessary risk.

Remember to regularly check for the latest updates and applying them so that you don’t leave a back door wide open.

Bonus Tip: Nightly Backups

Even if you do everything right, things can still go wrong. Even if an intruder doesn’t gain access to your website, technical difficulties and accidents can (and frequently do) occur.

Protect your website by taking nightly backups and if something goes wrong you’ll be able to restore your site from the latest backup and you’re back in business – literally!

There are tons of website hosting companies out there all in a race to be the cheapest. But is that what you need for your business?