How to Secure a Website? An Ultimate Guide

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How to Secure a Website

With the advent of digitalization, the ease of creating websites has grown. All of this has become much easier thanks to content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Joomla. Businesses and organizations can now manage their websites. Every day, websites are heavily used for a variety of purposes. As a result, it is obvious that the website’s servers must be robust, secure, and accessible online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Perhaps website owners are always looking for new ways to secure their websites so that they can function properly. However, most people are unaware of the appropriate or dependable methods for adding extra security to their websites.

Website security is not just about securing your website and server alone but securing the user’s data on the website also. Whenever a client utilizes their personal details or credit or debit card details, they need to realize their information is protected. They obviously don’t want to compromise their personal data.

There are numerous ways to secure or encrypt your website for your workers and clients. Website security doesn’t need to be a speculative game. You must take some essential steps towards further developing your site’s security. However, having these security methods wouldn’t always protect websites from hackers. But, the utilization of safety techniques will reduce your site’s weak points.

Cheap SSL

Although, if you are here, you must be looking to secure your website. This content will guide you through why there is a need for a secure website and how you can secure or encrypt your website.

What is the need to keep the website secure?

Without a doubt, any website that is live on the internet can be attacked by hackers, malware, or third-party programmers. As a result, these online attacks may pose a risk not only to your website but also to potential users. Your client’s information may be jeopardized if the site is insecure. Overall, this single threat could result in revenue loss, website coding repair costs, and a slew of other issues. Furthermore, your potential customers may switch to another website for a specific service if the site’s credibility is lost.

The key reasons to keep your website secure;

Website gets blacklisted

If your website gets hacked or infected by malware, there are high chances that “Google,” the search engine, detects the website’s infection by malware or other viruses and blacklists it for users. Each day, Google blacklists around 10,000 websites.

Loss of reputation and revenue

If your website is not protected with SSL or HTTPS security protocols, Google will mark it as insecure and you might also receive an SEO penalty. Thus, your website will not trend in search engines when users search. Moreover, it could be harder for you to attract potential customers.

How to Secure Your Website?

From the preceding guide, you should have a clear understanding of why it is necessary to secure the website. However, there are now numerous methods for maintaining a website’s security. Website owners may only take a few precautions while ignoring other important methods. The steps listed below are critical to maintaining the security of your website and should not be overlooked.

1. Install SSL (HTTPS) Certificate

The SSL security certificate has become the most essential protocol for securing a website. Perhaps, even Google is also aiming to alert users whenever they reach a website that lacks SSL or HTTPS. The letters in “HTTPS” stand for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. Any webpage that uses this protocol is secure.

Those pages exist on a specific server and are protected. However, any webpage that demands the login credentials or any other user’s payment information needs to be on the SSL security system. Perhaps the HTTPS protocol must be installed while creating a website for maximum security.

Installing SSL on the website will not only secure your web server but also encrypt the end-to-end user’s data.

2. Use secure passwords

Login credentials are another secure protection if they are set correctly. Thus, the best website security starts with a secure username and password information. To handle or maintain the website, you usually use the backend or the developer area, so it also must be secure with a strong combination of passwords. However, most users create simple and generic passwords that are easy to remember, which may be the biggest mistake in terms of website security.

To set a strong password for the admin panel, it is recommended to use capital letters, special characters, or numbers, or use a strong password created by a password manager. Never use something that is easy to guess. This goes for everyone who is using your website.

3. Install Software Updates

People usually ignore the latest software updates or don’t install updates to save time. Yet, it could be the biggest mistake in terms of security. The latest updates are meant to keep the operating system and backend software running smoothly without any issues. All things considered, a significant number of updates demand a total system restart, and some also require time to install the updates on the system.

However, not installing the updates to the website server could be a risky move. As those updates contain vital new security patches and bug fixes, they help to prevent any viruses or malware on the website from compromising security. These latest updates can prevent malware or malicious attacks on websites, and keep your system secure from them.

4. Always use the Secure Website Hosting Platform

When you begin to build a website, the foundation is hosting. It may be prudent to play it safe from the start by selecting a secure and dependable web hosting service. Your web hosting provider also plays an important role in the security of each website hosted by them.

Before deciding on a hosting provider, make sure to inquire about their security platform. Typically, the best web hosting companies collaborate with or hire security experts in the field of web security. They understand the significance of ensuring that the websites are not vulnerable to any attacks. As a result, ensure that your hosting providers have a backup option. So, in any case, if your website is attacked, you cannot lose your valuable data.

5. Regularly Website Security Check

Running a weekly security check would help you recognize any possible issues with your website. Moreover, you can also utilize a web monitoring service to automatically check security. The various security monitoring software and tools are usually an easy way to keep track of any website’s security.

The security check report will provide you with a detailed account of the results. Possibly, it could contain all the weaknesses of your site. Furthermore, the report ought to categorize the details according to the threat level. With this, you can start with the most dangerous and then fix these issues.

6. Keep up to date Website platform and Scripts

As you know, the important of updates in website security is vital. Perhaps not only the website, but the hosting platform, plugins, or scripts like Java Scripts, also need to be updated. If WordPress is your platform, make sure to keep it up to date. However, if it’s not, then update it. You can easily find the option on the WordPress platform. It is important to keep a WordPress site current to stay away from any possible dangers.

If you do not use WordPress and use a hosting provider, check the dashboard for the most recent updates. Most web hosting services highlight the current version as well as any updated versions that are available and will notify you of any security patches.

Aside from that, make sure to look for plugins and other tools. The majority of plugins are created by third-party developers, but they are intended to be secure. Yes, don’t pass up the opportunity to check for updates once a week and keep an eye out for anything that appears to be abnormal.

7. Use Security Plugins

Depending upon which type of website you are running, there are numerous security plugins available. If you use WordPress, it offers various reliable security plugins that give an extra shield of protection. For instance, you can use Bulletproof Security and iThemes Security plugins.

However, if it’s not WordPress, make sure it has a program like SiteLock. These types of security plugins will prevent hackers and third parties from invading your site. These modules guarantee that nobody can exploit them. SiteLock helps to monitor a website for malware and viruses. It likewise shuts down those weak provisos, giving extra security updates.

8. Aware about SQL Injection

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a kind of code that permits an individual to look for data in databases.

For instance, assuming you have looked for a specific form on your website, individuals can enter terms to search for particular new data. Further, suppose someone enters your database records and injects a code intended to wreck them.

In response, this code would be harmful and could erase data, making it difficult for the website to observe what it needs to run. Moreover, hackers could also get through URL structures and web form fields and unleash destruction. To prevent all this, you can set up certain queries and try to make secure structures.

9. Check out for XSS attacks

Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks are another online threat that a website owner might face sometimes. In this attack, hackers or programmers figure out a way to slip malicious JavaScript code onto your pages, which would result in infecting viruses on the devices of users who visit your

However, the way to prevent your website from XSS attacks is to use the defined questions for SQL infusions. Ensure that any code you use on your site for proper functionality or fields that allow input is as clear as possible in what is permitted so that the grey area does not creep in.

Content Security Policy (CSP) is another convenient tool, as it will assist you with providing extra protection to the site from XSS. With the CSP, you can easily examine which particular domains a browser must consider as valid sources to allow it to execute scripts on your page. By doing this, the browser will get the idea to not focus on any malevolent script or malware that may have infected your site guest’s PC.

10. Set secure folder permission

Your website most probably has the files and folders containing the essential information and files to run the website appropriately. However, all these files and information stay live on your web server. However, these files, folders, or information could be compromised by someone with hacking skills; thus, it is critical to implement certain safeguards to protect them.

You can prevent such a situation by assigning security permission to those particular files and folders. For this, get access to the file manager of your website, and there you can change the attributes of files.

You can set these in numbers forms, to these choices;

  • 644 for individual documents
  • 755 for documents and catalogs

11. Improve Network Security

Just don’t sit back and relax once you are all set with website security improvements. Another aspect that might compromise your website’s security is network security. Make sure you examine your network security. For instance, workers working on office desktops might unintentionally be making an insecure passage to the website.

However, to stop them from getting access to your website or its server, you must consider the following things as below:

  • Set a login to expire time after a certain period of inactivity.
  • Your system must notify the users to change or set a new password every 3 months.
  • Appropriately scan all plugged devices to the network, so that any malware or virus doesn’t affect your network.

12. Examine the PCI-DSS requirements

Almost every website now has online payment options for users to purchase specific services and products. This payment system also brings with it a slew of online threats. PCI is typically the payment card industry’s standard for increased data security. As a result, it is mandatory for every website’s merchant to follow PCI guidelines in order to ensure that the user’s financial information is secure and not exposed to hackers online.

As a result, it is recommended that PCI-DSS compliant payment gateways and platforms be used on the website. It also reduces the risk to customers’ data.

As a result, consider it your responsibility or duty to understand and adhere to the fundamental guidelines of PCI security rules. In this case, merchants can use a variety of data security essential evaluation tools. These tools aid in the examination of your payment gateway’s security and alert you to weak points as well as suggestions for improving it.

13. Transaction limits to prevent fraud attacks

Hackers can easily steal financial information like credit or debit card details and use them to purchase anything. However, most of the time the card details are incomplete without CV numbers of 3 or 4 digit numbers of that card to complete the payment process.

In this case, the fraudulent individuals use the card testing technique, and approach small online sites with less security and try different CVV numbers until they get the exact one.

To prevent such card fraud, you must set a limit for entering CVV numbers, or else their IP address will be blocked if they attempt it too many times. Furthermore, to prevent card fraud, your website could limit the number of transactions from a single IP address per day.

Conclusion

To summarize, website security is unquestionably necessary for safeguarding your website, server, and information, as well as the data of your users. As a result, as a website owner or a business owner who provides services through a website, you must not set up a website and then leave it running. It is your responsibility to keep it in good working order and to take appropriate security precautions to keep it safe from online threats.

However, it is simple and necessary to protect your websites with all of the latest updates available for them. Protect your website or server by being proactive in terms of security, and especially protect users’ data, such as financial information. Securing your website from various online threats would aid in the growth of your business.

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