You’re creating a website for your business. It looks and performs to expectations. But now that you’re hitting stride, you’re concerned about security.
The question is: What makes a website insecure? Ask and ye shall receive. Without further ado, here are 7 common mistakes to avoid when it comes to business website security.
1. Making Use of Weak Passwords
Perhaps the biggest mistake made when businesses create websites is making use of weak passwords. Simply put, the simpler your password is, the simpler it will be to figure out. And the simpler it is to figure out, the more vulnerable it will be to hackers.
As such, when establishing a password for your website’s content management system, you need to try to make it as complex as possible. Make sure that it includes letters, numbers, and symbols, and make sure that it’s at least 8 characters long.
Ideally, your password won’t contain any actual words. It’s safest and most secure to just utilize a random string of characters, for instance, something to the effect of “3fd8nep39”. This will be almost impossible for a hacker to figure out.
2. Failing to Make Updates
If you use a content management system like WordPress or Joomla, it and its many plugins are bound to require updates from time to time. Fortunately, it will tell you when the updates are necessary. Unfortunately, like many businesses, you’ll ignore these messages and will fail to make the updates in a timely manner.
Why is this a problem? Because the longer you use an old version of a CMS or plugin, the more time you give hackers to break into your site. Conversely, if you were to make changes promptly, you would always be one step ahead.
This is why, when those updates pop up your screen, you need to click the word “update”. It only takes a few seconds (minutes at most) and it can go a long way in protecting your website from unscrupulous individuals.
3. Working on Insecure Internet Connection
Another mistake that’s sometimes made is working on the website while using an insecure internet connection. By doing this, you are leaving yourself highly vulnerable to hackers and viruses. As such, you should only be using internet connections that are encrypted.
What kinds of internet connections aren’t typically encrypted? The ones that you find at stores and restaurants. If you can access the internet without entering a personal password, you are working on an insecure connection.
Ideally, you’ll only work on the website when you’re at your workspace. However, working at home will be sufficient as well, provided that you, of course, have a secure connection.
4. Failing to Scan Your Website
Websites are complex entities consisting of countless fluctuating components. If one of these components were to become compromised, you could easily overlook it. As such, it’s important that you run a security scan over your website on a regular basis.
Security scanning programs will catch problems that you’re yet to identify. In doing so, they’ll prevent small problems from turning into big ones.
Ideally, you’ll scan your website at least once a week. Which scanner should you use? There are all sorts available online, however, some of the best include SUCURI, Observatory, and Intruder.
5. Failing to Implement Proactive Security Features
The internet is a vulnerable place. When a website is made available online, it becomes subject to a whole host of hackers and viruses. In most cases, it’s just a matter of time before these hackers and viruses do their damage.
This is why it’s important to be proactive. If you’re not proactive against security attacks, you’re going to be constantly correcting the damage they’ve done.
How can you be proactive? By implementing proactive security features like firewalls, email security systems, and the like. These systems will stifle the effects of viruses, ensuring that your website is not altered by them in any way.
6. Not Backing Up Your Data
Websites are essentially just conglomerations of data put into one place. If any of this data changes, the website will change as well.
In many cases, data needs to change in order to update new aspects of the website. For instance, a new user might sign up to make use of the site’s features, thereby adding user data to the website’s overarching database.
Note, though, that unwanted data changes can occur. This is particularly true when the website is subject to hackers or viruses. However, in truth, a webmaster’s inadvertent changes could cause problems as well.
In some cases, unwanted data changes can crash a website entirely. For this reason, you need to back up your website data. This way, should your website crash, you can just use your backup to get things up and running once again.
7. Not Establishing a Security Plan for Your Employees
Odds are, it’s not only going to be your IT department that’s working on your website. Your other, less technically-inclined employees are bound to be updating your website as well. As such, to ensure that no major security breaches occur, you need to establish a security plan for your website.
This security plan should contain strict rules on company website policies. It should be taught to new employees during the onboarding process to ensure that everyone knows how to use your website properly.
That way, it won’t matter whether your employees are working from brand new computers or from computers bought from this vintage computer guide, your website will remain safe.
Business Website Security is Vital
You can’t scrimp on business website security. The less secure your website is, the less legitimate your business will appear. And less legitimate it appears, the greater chance it will fail over time.
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