In today’s age of the internet, people are growing gradually dependent on technology. Thus, accessibility to a company’s digital presence becomes more and more dominant. Websites are one of the common platform where hackers tend to attack. A company’s website is often your first contact with customers. It serves as your online storefront that represent your brand. If your website is unsecured and unprotected, hackers can easily get into your site which ruins those critical business relationships.
We’ve witnessed a huge increase in the number of websites losing personal data of their users. One example of this is the recent announcement of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Communications and Information about the "most serious breach of personal data” in Singapore’s history took place last month, with 1.5 million singhealth patients’ records accessed and copied while 160,000 of those had their outpatient dispensed medicines’ records taken.
This only means that hackers do not choose which website to attack, whether small or a large website. While the fact that hackers don’t always target the big fish, they actually look for small fish because it is more vulnerable. Hackers are not just about into obtaining personal data but also about destroying your website. They sought after the server on which the website is hosted then send spam e-mails from the server.
This makes website security a top priority when we create a website for our clients because as web designers and web developers, we know the consequences of being hacked.
Web security is crucial for every website owner to keep away hackers and cyber-thieves from accessing sensitive information on your website. Avoid the risk and take into consideration these 5 important security tips:
- Use strong passwords
Always make sure to use a password that consists of at least at least 8 characters with a mixture of capital letters, lower cases, numbers, and preferably a special characters such as # or %. Don’t use familiar phrase as a password. Or any personal information such as name, date of birth or anniversary date. As technology has advanced, so have the abilities and ways to break passwords. Hackers could simply find your personal information from sources across the Internet such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Do not use passwords like this: mywebsite123
Use passwords like this: mY08web#!si%te
It looks hard to remember, but keeping a record of all your passwords is a basic thing to do.
- Implement two-factor authentication
As cybercrime gets more sophisticated, website owners find their standard security systems are no match for modern cyber-attacks, but adding 2FA as an extra level of protection is the best decision to take. A two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security also known as 2FA that requires not only a password and username but also another piece of information.
Using a 2FA can help you get rid of personal information theft on the Internet, as well as phishing via email, because the criminal would need more than just the username and password. 2FA works when it is recognized that a different IP address is being used to login to your website, you will immediately receive a text message with the phone number you registered with to validate if it is you. This will make you aware that someone is trying to log in into your website. If you think this is malicious attack, you should change the password immediately to secure your account.
- Implement secure networks
Recently, it is announced that Google Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “Not secure” in hopes of encouraging a more secure web for its users. HTTPS protocol are secured by an SSL certificate which ensures that the data sent from your computer to the site is safe whereas HTTP (note: no “s” on the end) are not secured which can be interrupted easily by cyber criminals. That why all ecommerce sites collecting personal data and card numbers should be protected by SSL to avoid any identity theft.
- Use a hosting provider
Choosing a reputable web hosting provider frees you from the worries of cybercrimes. A web hosting company matters as they are the major step in how your website is delivered to your customer. Hosting companies are knowledgeable of the different online threats and attacks which will make your money worth of hiring one. They are devoted to take care of your website for the webserver to avoid the many risks of cybercrimes. As a hosting provider, doing a backup of your files is also a part of it, which is important for rolling back your website if a problem arises. Just be careful on choosing the right hosting provider for your website.
Every hosting provider may claim they are the best and the right one for you to be able to make money but not everyone can do the works!
- Keep your CMS up-to-date
Just like website content needing a regular updates to stay fresh and relevant, CMS updates are an essential part of website security. Whether you are using Wordpress, Magento, Drupal, etc., it is always a rule of thumb to keep your content management system up-to-date in order to avoid any security holes. This includes security updates and functional updates which will also resolve technical issues and bugs that are discovered with previous versions of a CMS. Remember to backup all important data before installing an update. Updating your content management system could also improve your site’s load time which eventually will increase visitors’ retention.
Website security issues could bring a serious effect on your business – causing a loss of private data like client information, site downtime or embarrassing content being placed on your site which will make you lose money like nothing else. Therefore, website security should ideally be part of the web design or simply consider these 5 security tips in order to protect your website and your online credibility from your customers. Keeping up with and conforming to the various compliance regulations for website security can be a very demanding task but it will bring success to your business in the long run.