10 ways you can make your website more secure

Website security isn’t something that most of us think about until the worst happens – a hacker steals your data or shuts down the site. At this point, it’s too late to employ preventative measures to keep your site secure. This is why you need to start thinking seriously about website security right now or ideally, before your site even goes live. Some sites are more vulnerable than others, with a recent SiteLock infographic showing that popular websites are more likely to experience a cyberattack.

To get you started, here are 10 ways you can improve website security:

  1. Keep plugins updated. In fact, keep absolutely everything updated. With each update comes patches and fixes to security holes and vulnerabilities, all to stay one step ahead of the hackers.
  2. Employ good password practices. Don’t use the same password for everything, use long and complex passwords where possible and change passwords regularly. Don’t give hackers an easy time of it.
  3. Install antivirus software on every business computer. Some malicious software can be used to compromise your website, such as keylogging programs which monitor what you type to find out your username and password. Make your computers secure and it will help to protect your website.
  4. Be careful with file uploading. When you allow users to upload files to your website (such as new profile pictures, for example), you run the risk of them uploading something dodgy.
  5. Use HTTPS. This is a protocol which is used to provide security over the internet, protecting users when they provide sensitive information to your website.
  6. Improve access control. You need to toughen up access to your website, strengthening passwords for admin level access (where all the crucial information is to be found) and locking out users who enter the wrong password too many times.
  7. Improve network security. You’ve already protected business computers with antivirus software, but this Entrepreneur.com article on website security also recommends tightening network security. The article’s top tips are to ensure that logins expire after a short period of inactivity, to change passwords regularly and to make them as strong as possible, and to scan all devices for malware as soon as they are plugged in.
  8. Back up! If the worst should happen, you need to know that your data is recoverable. Back up in multiple locations several times a day, just in case.
  9. Use website security tools. There are lots of tools and apps you can install to help protect your website, and to test whether your security measures are working – Creative Bloq lists a few of the best ones here.
  10. Prevent SQL injection attacks. Without going into too much detail, this is when a hacker uses a URL parameter or web form field to insert rogue code to access, manipulate or delete your data. The way to prevent this is to always use parameterised queries, a feature which most web languages offer.

Remember, if you’re concerned about website security and you need expert advice, the team at Ambos Digital will be more than happy to help.

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