A website is the perfect place to sell your product or service, describe your company and present your brand. When creating a website for your small business, security should be a high priority. Not only do website users value good security, Google also ranks secure websites more highly in search results in order to give their users the best possible experience.
Here are seven tips for creating a secure website for your small business:
1. Find a Secure Hosting Option
Not all website hosts offer the same level of security. Shop around and don’t just opt for the cheapest when making your decision. You need to find a website host who is capable of protecting their own servers from attack. Some hosts also provide added extras such as SSL and regular backups.
2. Use an SSL Certificate
If you want your customers to register on your website or make purchases, you need to know that the connection between your website and your customer’s device is completely secure. An insecure connection leaves your customers susceptible to data theft and computer viruses. A reliable Secure Sockets Later (SSL) certificate provider will provide an encrypted connection that ensures security.
3. Use Strong Passwords
As simple as it may seem, hackers gain access to many websites because the passwords that protect them are too weak. Create strong passwords for your website. This means 12 characters or more, a combination of letters and symbols and no recognizable words. You should also regularly change your passwords. And don’t use the same ones for more than one account. Good password security can help to maintain your website integrity.
4. Choose Plugins and Add-Ons Carefully
Outdated software is more susceptible to hacks and cyber-attacks. Just as you update your computer operating system to keep it secure, you need to update your website plugins and add-ons. When it comes to choosing these website extras, check their rating and number of downloads. Also find out when the software was last updated by its creator. If a plugin or add-on has been neglected for a long time, chances are it will introduce risks to your website.
5. Create Levels of Access
Everyone who updates your website will have their own login details. You can impose different levels of access upon each of these logins. As the owner or your business, you should have access to the entire website. But a careless employee or freelancer, could do serious damage if they’re given free rein over your site. Limit their access to the specific parts of the website they need to use to complete their day to day tasks. This way you avoid exposing your website to unnecessary threats.
6. Get Support
If you’re not technologically minded and don’t know an awful lot about online security, there’s a lot to learn when creating your site. The right help and support could save you time and improve the overall safety of your website. Get a development company on board to ensure that even the most technical safety features are incorporated into your website design.
7. Leave Lots of Time For Testing
When building a new website, lots of time and thought goes into the design and user experience. These are important aspects of your website but they shouldn’t overshadow security. A good developer will leave lots of time in between website completion and website launch to test and tweak security features.
Once you’ve got a secure website up and running, you should update your CMS and any plugins as instructed. Keep up-to-date with any changes in website security advice too. Maintaining your website security is as important as creating a secure website in the first place.