11 Smart Tips to Improve the Security of Your Website

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So you’ve worked on your site, and you’ve put in a lot of effort maintaining it. In fact, that website might even help you pay the bills and keep your business afloat.

That’s why making your site as secure as possible is important. After all, it’s all about security these days.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the eleven smart tips on how to improve your site security.

Keep Your Software Up-to-Date

As much as you can, keep the scripts and software that you’ve installed on your website up to date.

Hackers are constantly on the lookout for flaws in your security, and your web software needs to be constantly updated to make sure that there are no security holes.

It’s also vital that you maintain and update every software that you use. You must update your site after there’s a new CMS version or plugin available, as those updates might enhance your site’s security, or patch up any vulnerabilities.

Keep in mind that most website attacks now are automated, and these bots are always on every site as much as they can to exploit whatever vulnerabilities they can find.

So, make your website daily whenever possible. That’s because these hacker bots will find a way to penetrate to your site before you even patch it.

Enforce Strong Passwords

As much as you can, use strong passwords. Hackers and other malicious individuals will use sophisticated software that will crack passwords.

To secure your site, the passwords that you choose should be complex, having both uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numerals.

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Ideally, these passwords should be at least ten characters long. Within your organization, you should also have a password policy.

You might be surprised, but there is a list of breached passwords online. What hackers will do is that they will combine dictionary word lists of prospective passwords.

If the current password you’re using is on that list, then it will just be a matter of time before your website gets compromised.

Here are some best practices for strong passwords:

  • Never reuse passwords: Every single password that you use should be unique. Using a password manager makes this a lot easier. 
  • Utilize long passwords: Use passwords with more than 12 characters. The longer it is, the harder it will be for the computer program to crack it. 

Use a Secured Host

Another element that’s vital to your website security is picking a secure and reputable web hosting company.

Ensure that the host you pick is already aware of the threats that can happen to your site, and is dedicated to securing your site. Additionally, your web host should be able to back up the data with a remote server, making it easier to restore your site in case your site gets hacked.

If you’re unsure whether a web host is excellent in terms of security, you can always check out customers say about them.

Say, you’re considering to subscribe to Bluehost. What you can do is type in “Bluehost review” on your search engine, and you will be able to generate a laundry list of customer reviews about Bluehost. And expect that one or two of then can give you an idea of how secure this web host is.

In relation to this, select a host that gives you ongoing technical support whenever necessary.

Audit Your Website

Just with any business activity, you need to be able to plan before you act.

A lot of companies these days have more than one website, using various techniques, and managed by several companies and people.

You must identify what you have now; that way, it’ll be easier for you to prioritize your time and money.

Here are a couple of questions to ask:

  • Which sites belong to your company? What kind of technology are they using? 
  • Where are they stored and hosted?
  • What kind of data is stored on these sites? Can you store personal data? Can users log in? Do you take in several payment options?

Watch Out for SQL Injection

SQL injection usually happens when an attacker utilizes a URL parameter or a web form field to be able to access and manipulate your site.

When you utilize the standard Transact SQL, it’s relatively easy to place a rogue code in your query, which could be utilized to get information, change tables, and then delete the data. 

You can easily prevent this by using queries with parameters, an easy-to-implement feature which majority of web languages have.

Implement Sensible User Access

This usually applies to websites that have multiple logins and users.

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Every site user must have the appropriate permission to be able to do their job. If escalated permissions are momentarily required, then you should be able to grant it. Then decrease it again once the job is complete.

For instance, if someone wants to write a guest blog post for you, then see to it that the account doesn’t have the full privileges of an admin.

By having clearly defined user roles, you will limit the mistakes that will be made. It also reduces the chances of having a compromised account and protects your site from “rogue” users.

Moreover, you can also keep an audit log to be able to stay on top of any suspicious activities from happening on your site.

This document will record the events that happened on your site so that you could be able to spot problems, and then confirm with the person that’s in-charge that your account hasn’t been compromised.

Run Regular Back-ups

If you want to avoid disasters that will cost you to lose all your work, back-ups are a fail-safe way for you to be able to restore your site if worse comes to worst.

They serve as your safety net and will be stored in a secure server, solving your problems in merely seconds. 

Add an SSL Certificate

Placing an SSL certificate on your site is excellent for your website and users’ security, as well as in your search engine rankings.

Yep, you heard it right. Google prefers sites that have SSL.

By adding this, users could send you their information safely. Not to mention that adding an SSL certificate on your site is an easy, less expensive way to show that you’re a reputable business that cares for its users. 

Avoid Hosting Multiple Website on a Single Server

It’s possible to host multiple sites in a single server. Although this practice saves you a considerable capital investment, most web security experts do not recommend this kind of practice.

Multiple sites translate to multiple plugins and CMS that can be targeted. Therefore, even a successful breach in a single website might infect and spread to other sites that are on the same server.

Scan Your Website

Do regular security scans on your site to check whether or not you have a website and server vulnerabilities.

These scans should be done on a schedule. Several free tools on the internet will even let you measure how secure your site is.

But although they will give you a brief review of your site, it won’t detect all its possible security flaws.

Change the Default CMS Settings

By far, the most common attacks against websites are mostly automated. A majority of these attacks target users that only have default settings.

You can avoid a large number of these attacks when you simply change the default settings, as well as when you install the CMS of your choice.

The thing about websites is that they get compromised all the time. Most security breaches are there to steal your data. Applying the aforementioned tips on your website will help you better secure your website from hackers and malicious attacks in the long run.

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