Whether you’re working from home and setting up a business website, trying to run your own blog, or otherwise making your space on the internet, you are responsible for your website. This can come with a host of concerns that you may have never had to think about before. This can include whether or not your website’s visitors are going to get exposed to anything nasty like malware or whether your website is protected from outside attacks. Here, we’re going to look at the steps you can take to make sure that your website is as safe as can be.
The all-important HTTPS
If you know anything about using the internet safely, then you have probably heard that you need to look at the URL first thing. If you see an HTTP in the URL, then that site isn’t safe. If it says HTTPS, however, then you’re good. This isn’t an arbitrary distinction. Sites with an HTTPS opening to their URL use a Secure Sockets Layer certificate. This means that they encrypt information that goes between the site and the user. You can get one of these SSL certificates for your website without too many issues. They can be vital for the visibility of your site, as search engines take into account whether you have this certificate or not, too.
Be picky with your hosts
In order to get your website online, then you need a web host to provide the space that will host it. You need to consider your hosting options seriously, as all of them can provide distinct advantages and disadvantages to the safety of your site. For instance, some of them make use of web application firewalls, and others have in-built website security solutions to make sure that they are always monitoring the well-being of your website. If you opt for the cheapest host that you can find, then you can be sure that you’re not likely to get any of these protections.
Be mindful of DDoS attacks
If you have any friends or are part of a community of people who manage websites, then you will know that DDoS attacks, or Distributed Denial of Service attacks, are both common and seriously disruptive. This involves a cybercriminal targeting your server and using malware to turn PCs into bots to attack the server, usually overflooding it with connections so that the site shuts down and stops responding to any requests, including legitimate visitors. To learn how to protect from DDoS attack attempts, you should invest in a secure web host, but also use a VPN to make sure that your own computer can’t be infected to attack your site. DDoS attacks can’t steal data from your site or users, but they can disrupt it heavily.
Update your web tools
There are certain tools that your website is likely to make use of. These tools can include content management systems, such as WordPress, as well as plugins that give your site additional functionality. If any of the tools you use on your site are outdated, then they are going to be more open to attacks. Where possible, enable auto-updates for these web tools. If you find that a certain plugin or tool isn’t updating anymore and isn’t being supported by its original creator, then you should stop using it on your site.
Mind your passwords
As with most things, your website’s back end is going to require you to create some login details, including a password. Losing hold of this password can lock you out of your site and leaving it written down somewhere can see someone else getting a hold of it. Consider using a password manager to ensure that you’re always using the strongest passes available and that your device is able to track them for you.
Consider using captchas
If you have a website that relies on user interaction, such as using a comment section, then the risk of bots flooding it is all too real. One of the most effective ways to keep bots out is with a captcha, which effectively gives the visitor a task that’s impossible for bots to complete (at least for now.) While this will help prevent your site from getting flooded by bots, captchas also pretty much give your visitor some homework to do, so if you use them too much, you might find visitors aren’t as likely to stick around.
When it comes to things like online security, you’re never really “done.” Using the tips above is well and good, but you have to keep up with the times, as well. Be aware of the new threats that crop up from time to time and always follow the latest advice from those in the know.