No matter whether you have a large business website or a small branded site, there's always a chance that a malicious force could come along and try to steal your private data from you. Though cybersecurity situations are constantly improving, websites are constantly being hacked all the time, no matter their size or background.
The only way to make sure that you're not one of the victims suffering from the latest security attack is to take as many steps as you can to protect your website. Here, we'll look at just some of the ways that webmasters can enhance their website safety.
1. Keep Your Software Updated
Keeping your software up-to-date is one of the most important parts of keeping any website secure. You need your systems to be fully updated both on the operating system side, and on the side of any software, you may be running on your websites, such as a forum or CMS. When holes are found in your website security, your software developers will release patches in updates to fix them. Without those patches, intruders can easily find their way into your system through old vulnerabilities. Check to see whether your hosting company manages updates on your behalf, or whether you'll need to conduct them yourself.
2. Keep Your Website Clean and Clear
Spring cleaning your website is another great way to reduce your chances of vulnerabilities. Every application, old file, or plugin on your website is another possible entry point for hackers. Make sure that you delete any databases or files that are no longer needed on your website. It's also important to keep track of the changes in your file structure so you can delete old files more often too.
3. Check Your Passwords
Most people know that they should be using complicated passwords to keep their accounts secure. Unfortunately, with so many of us using countless different platforms and channels every day, it's easy to fall into the habit of using the same password for every account. If you want to keep your business secure, then you'll need to make sure that you're enforcing strong password use throughout every element of your website. Remember that if you're storing passwords, they need to be kept as encrypted values using one-way hashing algorithms like SHA.
4. Scan Your Website Frequently for Vulnerabilities
It's important to perform website security scans to check for server and website vulnerabilities as frequently as you can. These scans need to be performed on a regular schedule, and after any change made to your web components. There are countless free tools available on the internet that you can use to help measure the security of your website. However, few things will be better than having your website safety professionally assessed.
5. Watch Out for SQL Injections
SQL injections happen when attackers use URL parameters or web form fields to access your database and manipulate your website. When you're using the basic transact SQL, it's easier than you might think to unknowingly insert code into a query that hackers could use to change information in tables, delete data, or get information about your business or customers. One way to prevent this problem is to use parameterised queries, most web languages will have this feature, and it's relatively easy to put into action.
6. Encrypt Login Pages with SSL
Consider using SSL encryption on your login pages. SSL is a solution that allows sensitive details like credit card numbers, login credentials, and social security numbers to be sent through the internet in a secure manage. Information entered on your web pages will be encrypted so that any third-party that may intercept it won't be able to read whatever you sent.
7. Stick with a Secure Host
Choosing a reputable and highly secure web hosting company is also crucial for your website's long-term security. Make sure that any host you choose is well-aware of the threats in your area and committed to keeping your site secure. Your host should also be able to back up your data to remote servers, just in case you experience a hack.
8. Protect Against Cross-Site Scripting