Are you worried about your website being hacked?
In this post, you will learn seven security best practices to keep your website secure. We will go through HTTPS, backups, login privileges management, and more.
Keep reading to learn more.
7 Website Security Best Practices
1. Implement HTTPS
Whenever you open a website in your browser, you will see some letters just before the URL, say “HTTP://” or “HTTPS://.”
This is very easy to ignore, but the reality is that this combination of letters is extremely important for any website, especially those that deal with user accounts or monetary transactions.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (AKA HTTP) is an application layer protocol, and it is through this protocol that resources are exchanged between devices and servers all over the internet.
These protocols serve to transfer data like text, images, sound video, and more.
The major difference between HTTP and HTTPS is that the latter uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocols to ensure privacy and data integrity through data encryption.
So, in short, having HTTPS installed on your website will make your website more secure for both users and website owners.
In summary, what are the benefits of having HTTPS on your website?
- Protect sensitive data using encryption
- Better loading times
- Prevents the browser and search engines from displaying warnings to your users that your site is not secure
2. Create Regular Backups of Your Website
Creating a website is a resource-intensive task, and, for most users, that investment was made in the hope that it would bring them income in the future.
Now, imagine that one day, your website got hacked because you installed malware or you didn’t install an SSL certificate.
Suddenly, your website is completely different, full of ads and content you never added.
Deleting the malware is the easy part; now, you have to invest a lot of resources (again) to re-design your website and remove the low-quality content that has been added by the hacker.
Fortunately, some agencies offer affordable services that can help you fix your website, but ideally, you would want to avoid repeating this process all over again.
To avoid these kinds of situations, you must create backups of your website regularly.
If you are using WordPress, these are a few plugins that you can install for this purpose.
As a rule of thumb, the more data you can include in your backups, the better.
3. Routinely Scan for Malware
Hackers are innovating their hacking methods every single year, and it doesn’t matter how well-protected you think your website is; it is always worth it to check for new threads.
For example, let’s talk about Keylogging.
Keylogging is a way of computer hacking that works by installing a small file into your website’s server.
This file acts as a tool for hackers to record all of the logging attempts of the users that have access to your website.
As we said before, hackers are always innovating and can find new ways to insert these kinds of files into your website’s services without being noticed.
These are some WordPress plugins you can install to make sure that your website is clean of malware before it’s too late.
- iThemes Security
- Astra security suite
Also, you can read Everything You Need to Know About Websites and Privacy Laws
4. Be Cautious With Login Privileges
It is extremely intimidating to use platforms like WordPress at first due to the incredible amount of features they have.
There are a set of functions that are quite confusing but absolutely essential to avoid security breaches on your website.
These functions are called “Roles and Capabilities.”
Every CMS has to some extent, these features; however, in this case, we are going to talk about WordPress.
Roles and Capabilities are used to give or take away a user’s control over your website.
The level of control this user can have will depend on the role they are assigned.
These are the roles currently available in WordPress:
- Super Admin
Ideally, you’d want to read the official WordPress documentation to understand exactly how the roles work and avoid giving too many permissions to untrusted users.
If this happens, a user with bad intentions can upload or delete content at will.
5. Include Everyone in Security Practices
When only one person is managing the website, it is much easier to apply all these security best practices that we mention throughout this article.
However, when there are several or many people uploading multimedia content, editing posts, or installing plugins, things can get out of hand quite easily.
For example, if you have a web designer who is not aware of these best practices, they may ignore backing up the website or even downloading plugins or themes from dodgy websites.
Therefore, you or the website administrator must create comprehensive documentation that everyone involved in the development of the website can follow.
6. Be Careful With What You Upload to Your Website
By now, you should know that uploading files to your website are very risky if done blindly.
When using a CMS like WordPress, plugins, and themes are essential to building a modern and functional website. However, you must be careful where you download them from.
The BEST way is always to download these plugins and themes from the official WordPress libraries (if you are using any other CMS, you should apply the same logic).
However, we understand that sometimes you may want to install a plugin that is not available in the official libraries.
In that case, we recommend the following:
- Make sure you are downloading the files from the official website of the plugin or theme.
- The product has many reviews from real users
- The company constantly updates its products
Also, keep in mind that it is NOT recommended to download pirated versions of paid plugins or themes such as Divi or Elementor.
These versions likely contain viruses, and honestly, it is not morally acceptable.
7. Keep Your Website Updated
As we said previously, hackers are always updating their hacking methods, and platforms like WordPress or Shopify are constantly updating their software to avoid security vulnerabilities.
You should always keep your plugins, themes, and CMS platform updated to avoid security breaches.
Now you know 7 of the website security best practices. This list is a very nice starting point to understand how important it is to keep your website secure in these modern times, where cybercriminals are constantly improving their methods to hack websites.
This is not an extensive list, and you should keep learning more about how to keep your website secure.
Here are a few more topics that you shouldn’t miss:
WordPress SEO: How to Improve SEO to Rank Higher
Is Software Development Crucial For Business Success?
Tips on How to Successfully Run Your Online Business
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