Website security is a critical issue that should never be overlooked by website owners. The internet is not a safe place, and cybercrime is on the rise. It is not uncommon for hackers to target websites to steal sensitive data or deface websites. A breach in website security can lead to severe consequences, including loss of reputation, customer trust, and revenue. With the ever-increasing threat of cyber attacks and hacking, it’s essential to ensure that your website is secure to protect your sensitive information and that of your users.
In this article, we will discuss the various ways to secure your website, starting from the basics to the advanced security measures you can take.
1. Choose a Secure Web Host
A web host provides the necessary server space for your website to be up and running. Therefore, selecting a web hosting service provider requires careful consideration for a number of reasons.
Many people choose low-rated hosting providers to save money, but this is a huge mistake. When choosing a web hosting service, you should focus on factors such as service rating, testimonials, hosting solutions, and reputation. Your first priority should be to select a secure web host that can provide a server protected from hackers.
2. Employ a Web Application Firewall (WAF)
Using a web application firewall can improve the security of your website in a variety of ways. This includes incorporating an additional layer of security between your data connection and the web server.
The firewall checks all incoming commands and data files to ensure they do not pose a threat to the system. Furthermore, having a firewall in place can aid in preventing hacking attempts that could lead to security breaches. If the firewall detects any unwanted traffic, such as malicious bots or spammers, it will immediately block their access to the website’s data.
3. Install Security Plugins
Security plugins are a type of software that can help you secure your website. Security plugins can perform tasks such as scanning your website for vulnerabilities, blocking malicious traffic, and monitoring your website for suspicious activity. There are many security plugins available for popular CMS platforms such as WordPress and Joomla.
4. HTTPS and SSL Certificate
When you go to a website, you might notice that the URL starts with HTTP or HTTPS. HTTPS is an abbreviation for hypertext transfer protocol secure, and it denotes that the website is secure and uses secure servers. If your website allows users to log in, sign up, or conduct transactions, you must ensure the website connection is encrypted with HTTPS.
SSL is a website protocol that ensures complete encryption and security. An SSL certificate means that any data shared by visitors on your website is safe and cannot be compromised. There are various SSL certificate offers and plans available, so make sure you do your research before choosing one.
These two components are critical for protecting your website from various online threats and frauds.
5. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication is an additional security layer that requires users to provide two forms of identification before accessing their accounts. It adds an extra layer of security and makes it much harder for attackers to gain access to your website.
Many content management systems, including WordPress, offer 2FA as a built-in feature. You can also use third-party tools such as Google Authenticator to implement 2FA on your website.
6. Protect Against Brute Force Attacks
Brute force attacks are a common type of cyber attack where an attacker attempts to guess your login credentials by repeatedly trying different combinations of usernames and passwords.
To protect against brute force attacks, you can implement various measures such as limiting login attempts, implementing CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA, and using tools such as Fail2ban to block IP addresses that repeatedly attempt to login unsuccessfully.
7. Implement a Strict Password Policy
The password is an important aspect of website security. Each website has a user ID and password that only authorized individuals can use to access it. If someone cracks your password and obtains your user ID, they can cause serious damage to your website. Once inside the website’s backend, they can easily gather information, modify your content or delete necessary files.
A strong password that cannot be guessed or breached is the solution to such problems. A secure password should have at least 14 characters and include a mix of numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters. When creating a password, you have to combine these elements at random to avoid using any specific pattern or sequence.
8. Update The Software and Plugins
To ensure its functionality, you have to keep your website’s CMS, plugins, and scripts up to date. Web design professionals use a variety of plugins to improve the performance of your website, and they provide timely update notifications. Unfortunately, many users dismiss these notifications, assuming they are a waste of time. However, this is not the case. These updates are released to address various issues and improve security, so it is important to keep everything up to date.
If you receive notifications about software or plugin updates, you must take them seriously. Take the time to thoroughly examine the update, understand the solution it provides, and how it can improve the security of your website against malicious attacks.
9. Make a Backup for your Website
Having a backup is an excellent measure that can help you avoid a variety of problems such as data loss. Significant security breaches and other issues can result in the loss of important information. In such cases, a website backup allows you to easily restore your website’s data.
It’s best to make multiple copies of your backup and keep them on different devices and in different locations. You may also opt for cloud storage, which allows you to access your website backup whenever and wherever you need it all while keeping your device space free.
10. Limiting Login Attempts
Limiting login attempts can prevent hackers from using brute force attacks to gain access to your website. Brute force attacks involve trying to guess a password by repeatedly attempting to log in. If you limit login attempts, you can prevent these attacks by locking users out after a certain number of failed attempts. This helps to protect your website from automated attacks and keeps your data safe.
Securing your website is essential in today’s digital age. By following these practical tips, you can ensure that your website is protected from malicious activities. Remember to keep your software up to date, use strong passwords, implement two-factor authentication, use SSL encryption, use firewalls, regularly backup your website, use a reputable web hosting provider, and use security plugins.
These are some important steps you need to take to improve the security of your website. If you cannot do this on your own, make sure you seek professional help. An expert can evaluate your entire website and make appropriate recommendations.