With the terrifying news reports of data breaches on major websites in recent years, it’s wise to know and put up all defenses possible for your website. As a site owner, you’re not only responsible for your information but your visitors’ as well. That’s why you should keep up with the latest innovations in data security.
Here are the different features in a website that you should apply or enhance to it more secure:
1. Software Updates
Ransomware is the top tool that cybercriminals use to attack vulnerable websites,websafetyadvice.com reported. Hackers invest in sophisticated software to perform their dastardly deeds so you should always update the programs and apps you utilize to access and edit your website. Developers regularly check the weaknesses of their software and create patches to address them.
2. Secure Sockets Layer or SSL
SSL establishes encrypted links between a web server and a browser as both parties send data to each other. It works by having a pair of keys: one is public while the other is private. These two keys ensure that the data that your computer is sending to the server won’t be easily deciphered when intercepted by a hacker. This way, you give your site visitors peace of mind when sharing personal information such as full names, credit card numbers, and login credentials.
These are the steps to get an SSL certificate for your website:
- Get a Dedicated IP Address – You need to have a unique Internet address that is assigned only to a single hosting account. This way, you ensure that the traffic directed to that domain is just for your site.
- Purchase a Certificate – You can create a self-signed certificate, similar to a long password, which encrypts communication between your website and users. Moreover, you can also buy one from Certificate Authorities such as NameCheap and GeoTrust QuickSSL so they can vouch that your site is what it says it is.
- Activate the Certificate – Some web hosting providers do this service for their users. You simply need to generate a request on your domain, go to your account on the SSL certificate provider, and wait for your CRT file.
- Install the Certificate – With this step, you paste the certificate on the control panel of your web host.
- Refresh Your Site – Identify the pages that you need to secure and update them to include “HTTPS” on the URL.
3. Limited User Access
If your website has multiple users and logins, you should take advantage of the different levels of user access to reduce the risk of data breaches. With each user, identify the appropriate permission that they need to do their job. For example, a contributor to your blog does not require access to the entire backend of your domain and your entire database. Determining the roles and rules clearly will lessen the mistakes that may be done on your site.
4. Strong Passwords
Create a secure password for your admin user profile on your website. It should be unique, not reused, and ideally have more than 12 characters. Moreover, you should avoid using words from the dictionary and make it as random as possible. Password managers such as LastPass can help you keep a copy of your login credentials and ensure their safety through encryption. Google also launched a new Chrome extension which alerts you if you’re signing in with unsafe credentials and make it easier to change your password.
Other tips for getting a super secure password include:
- Take Advantage of Symbols and Cases – Insert special characters in your password but don’t use apparent substitutes like zero for the letter O or the number three for E. Utilize capitalized and lower-case letters as well.
- Use the First Letters of a Sentence – One way to randomize your password without compromising memorability is to take the first letters of a sentence such as “There are 24 hours in one day and seven days in a week” and make it into “Ta24hi1Da7DiaW” to strengthen your account’s security.
- Change Them Periodically – To guarantee that no one else knows your password, create a new one regularly.
5. Web Application Firewall
Install a web application firewall or WAF to for your site. It acts as a barrier between your server and connection by reading each piece of data that passes through. A majority of new WAFs utilize the cloud and come as a plug-and-play device. It works by having the app act as a gateway for incoming traffic, blocking hacking attempts, and filtering unwanted access.
Protecting your website is a responsibility for site owners to their visitors. You must make the most of every feature in your domain’s arsenal to enhance its security and keep your data safe. Strive to be several steps ahead of hackers by installing SSL certificates, using strong passwords, and updating your software regularly.