There are many aspects to consider when building a website. Things like server space, design themes, and coding are all essential to making it look exactly how you want. However, many people overlook the different security elements when going through the building process. If your website lacks proper security, which is just as critical as every other part of designing a website, your business and personal data could be compromised. Fortunately, many ways to add security to your new website can be implemented quickly. Here are seven ways to make your website safer for you and your customers.
Also known as a secure sockets layer, an SSL is a certificate that encrypts all the data being sent or received by the website. This information can be seen before any URL on the web browser that you're using. A website that doesn't use this certificate will follow the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), whereas a website with this certificate will use hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS). While this certificate comes with a price, it is inexpensive and will provide your customers with added peace of mind.
While outside threats are a genuine issue when you're building a website, you also need to consider internal threats as possibilities when building a website. Fortunately, a content management system is an excellent tool for reducing these potential threats. A content management system is a tool for centralizing all of your website's content in one convenient place. This means that files, passwords, and other data are less likely to be lost or stolen. Content management systems also have additional built-in security features, making your website much safer.
One of the biggest mistakes people make, even within I.T. departments, is not changing passwords regularly. This simple yet effective task will significantly lower the chances of your website being hacked. If you're struggling with recalling various passwords from memory, you may want to look into a password management service that can securely retain these passwords. However, this shouldn't be an issue if you only have one website without any subdomains or enhanced features that would call for many different passwords.
Not every employee needs access to a website's content, which is sensitive. For instance, your accountant shouldn't need to access the website's code for any reason. However, your webmaster, system administrator, or I.T. technician may need administrative access for various reasons. By assigning who can and can't access different information, you significantly reduce the possibility of internal fraud, negligence, or malicious behavior within your company. This is relatively easy to do, and worth the time it takes.
Hosting is an inevitable part of operating a website. Fortunately, hosting services create additional opportunities for enhanced security. By utilizing the security features that your hosting service offers, many of which are low-cost or free, you can easily add layers of protection to your website. If you're unsure which hosting service is right for you, you can quickly get a side-by-side comparison of security features, prices, and other benefits they offer.
Web application firewalls are an often overlooked aspect when thinking about website security. However, they are a great way to block malicious web traffic that is only there to function as spam. Fake traffic is never a good thing, particularly for companies who pay to advertise on your website. If you plan on putting ads on your website, then a web application firewall is critical to maintaining a positive relationship with the advertisers. This type of firewall will ensure that all the traffic coming into your website is genuine and advertiser-friendly.
A captcha, also known as a completely automated Turing test to tell computers and humans apart, is a small puzzle designed for the user to quickly solve to access certain parts of a website or application. You've likely solved many of these when you sign up for services, fill out online surveys, or use any banking information. Not only do captchas help deter spam, but they will also help against a distributed denial-of-service attack, also known as a DDoS. This type of attack overloads a website or service with fake traffic, causing it to become effectively unusable. Fortunately, a simple captcha will block that attack and ensure that the traffic coming into your website is strictly human.
Building a secure website takes time. However, you can minimize that time by taking a few simple steps to ensure your new website is as safe as possible. Both internal and external threats need to be considered when utilizing security measures. Simple actions, such as changing your passwords frequently and assigning permissions, are significant in preventing internal threats. Using an SSL, a web application firewall, and a captcha is excellent for preventing external threats, particularly when those threats are traffic-based. No matter your measures, you must consider which methods best suit your situation to build a great website that will serve you and your customers.