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August 24, 2021

How to Make Your Website Secure in 2021

As technology goes through rapid changes, it becomes more and more challenging for companies of all types to keep their data on the web secure.

A proactive security strategy reduces the risk of spreading and escalation of malware attacks on other sites and any IT infrastructure out there. If a hacker gets malware into your software, it can easily spread from computer to computer, without knowing the exact origin.

Keep reading this blog to learn why security is so important, how to make your website secure, and how Nexcess can help.

Why Security Is Critical for Any Website

30,000 sites are hacked on a daily basis. And more than 60% of companies all over the world have had at least some form of cyber attack.

These numbers are getting bigger every day, which is why it’s getting even more important for companies to secure their websites and the data they hold at the moment. Here are a couple of reasons why website security is so important.

When Your Website Is Hacked, It Can Affect Your Visitors

Hackers use malicious software to infect sites, collect data, and sometimes even get to the computer resources to hijack them. There are plenty of different ways to do that and most of them are performed by automated hacking tools.

Hackers don’t go for your business or site specifically, but for the software you use. When an attacker gets access to the software, it can use your website to redirect traffic and target your customers. That way, they can install malware on their computers.

Your Business Can Lose Reputation

There are more than 1.5 billion sites on the internet today. When looking for relevant information, people mostly rely on search engines. Therefore, search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial — it’s a set of practices to increase both the quality and the quantity of traffic to your site through organic search results.

Search engines give a warning to your visitors and restrict them from entering your site if it doesn’t recognize it as safe. For instance, Google marks every website without SSL (HTTPS) as insecure, which can negatively affect the position of a certain website in the search results. Without SSL, your company will struggle to reach users.

In other words, proper website security builds a better reputation, which is vital for your business. If your visitors see your website is safe, they are more likely to come back to repeat the purchase. On the other hand, if they get hacked and experience safety issues, they probably won’t come back. That way, not only will you lose the existing customers, but you’ll be less able to reach new ones.

Your Website Can Get Blacklisted

Not only will you fail to rank in the search engine results, but Google can put your site on its “blacklist” if they find it’s not secure. What does that exactly mean?

Google marks at least 10,000 sites as suspicious on a daily basis. Google warns visitors to stay away from insecure sites with their message, “This site may harm your computer” in the search results.

In most cases, a site will get blacklisted when it contains something that might be harmful to the visitor, like malware.

Protection is Cheaper than Website Clean Up

You’ll find many articles and blog posts on cleaning up a hacked site, but most of them will recommend you use a professional to help you solve the problem.

It’s not easy to clean up a website and it’s not cheap either — it can cost you more than $150 per website.

Malware is mostly hidden from the database and the original files because hackers want to make sure you won’t be able to remove it so easily. That means that, even after the cleaning process is finished, you still can’t be entirely sure that your website was properly cleaned.

How to Make Your Website Secure

Get an SSL Certificate

What is an SSL certificate? A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is one of the first steps to making sure your website is secure. With an SSL certificate, the site’s URL starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP.

It’s a standard security protocol that ensures any data transferred between sites and users (or even between two systems) remains secure and impossible to read.

In other words, SSL creates an encrypted connection that stops hackers from reading the transferred data. This can include sensitive information like addresses, names, credit card numbers, etc.

Use Security Plugins

Security plugins are another way to secure a website. Let’s say you want to get a WordPress security plugin. How exactly does it work? Well, it covers three main tasks — scanning, cleaning, and protection. Scanning is a process where the software detects malware on your site.

After it finds it, the plugin starts the process of cleaning and removing all instances of malware. The final step, protection, includes taking security measures to make sure no one breaks into your site.

Keep Your Software Updated

Don’t ignore those little pop-up windows that remind you it’s time to update your operating system. They can be annoying when you’re in the middle of work tasks, but it’s crucial for the safety of your computer to keep it updated.

The newest updates usually contain advanced features that repair security holes, fix or remove computer bugs, and protect your data.

Use Complex Passwords And 2FA

One of the ways to make your website secure is by using strong passwords and two-factor authentication, or 2FA. Don’t create a password using your name, date of birth, simple sequential numbers and letters (1234, qwert), or some other information that’s easy to guess. Try to make it more complex.

Still, even a strong password is not enough to keep your website safe, which is why it’s recommended you enable 2FA too. It can be a combination of two or more elements such as:

  • "Something you know," like a PIN or password.

  • "Something you have," like a smartphone where you can receive confirmation codes or some sort of hardware-based security device.

  • "Something you are," like a fingerprint or some other way of biometric ID check.

Use Antimalware Software

Antimalware is software created to protect you from hacker attacks. It scans all incoming data and can even detect advanced forms of malware. Antivirus software remains focused on viruses and similar threats, while antimalware covers a broader spectrum of things threatening your website, such as trojans and ransomware.

Use a Web Hosting Service With Security Built In

It’s essential to choose secure web hosting for your website to protect any type of private information you may have on your site.

Not every host offers the same level of security or type of protection. Whichever hosting plan you choose, look for CDNs, firewalls, SSL certificates, and hacker attack protection.

Make Your Website Secure With Nexcess

Founded 20 years ago, Nexcess has provided companies with the ability to deliver quality user experiences online. Safety comes first, which is why our hosting plans primarily include:

  • 24/7 monitoring & alert response.

  • Premium SSL certificates.

  • PCI-certification for compliance.

  • Proactive patching & updates.

We’re here to handle your website, so you can focus on further improving your business.

Give it a try. Start your free two-week trial today of fully managed WordPress or WooCommerce.

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