You’ve worked hard on your website; therefore, you must take the time to protect it against malware and hackers. For this reason, you’re going to want to take the following steps to secure your site.
Consumers know that the green lock image and HTTPS in the browser bar signal that a website is secure. To get this security credential, you need to have an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate secures the transfer of sensitive information like personal data, credit card numbers, and contact information. If you don’t have an SSL certificate, not only is your site vulnerable to attack but if your visitors are using Chrome, they will be informed that your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, increasing the chances that they will bounce.
The process for how to install SSL on WordPress is relatively simple. Once you’ve purchased your SSL certificate from your hosting provider, you just need to install an SSL plugin, and it will walk you through the other steps you need to take.
If you don’t have a WordPress site, installing SSL is still a relatively simple procedure. Once you’ve purchased your certificate, you can install it on your site through your Web Host Manager (WHM).
Keep Your Website’s Platform and Software Updated
Many content management system (CMS) extensions are created as open-source programs, which means their code is easily accessible. Hackers can go through this code, searching for security vulnerabilities that will let them take control of your site by exploiting script or platform weaknesses.
To stop your website from being hacked, you must make sure your CMS platform, apps, plugins, and any scripts you’ve installed are up-to-date. This is because the leading cause of website infections is vulnerabilities in a CMS’s extensible components.
If you’re running a WordPress site, you can check whether all your components are up to date by checking the update icon on your WordPress dashboard.
Secure Your Passwords
It may seem like a simple thing, but securing your passwords is one of the most important things you can do to protect your site from malware and hackers.
You may be tempted to choose a password that’s easy to remember, but this will make it that much easier to hack your site. Instead, you need to come up with a password that’s as difficult to guess as possible. This means making your password long and using a mix of special characters, letters, and numbers.
Furthermore, you need to ensure that anyone who has access to your site also has a strong password. One weak password in the bunch and your site will be vulnerable to a data leak. Therefore you should institute requirements for all website users regarding the length and type of characters. If your staff wants to use easy passwords for their less secure accounts, that’s on them. However, when it comes to your website, it’s your business, and you should be holding them to a higher standard.
Don’t Accept File Uploads Through Your Site Unless You Have Preventative Measures in Place
Anyone who can upload something to your website has the opportunity to abuse the privilege and upload a malicious file. Therefore, if possible, you should not accept any file uploads through your site.
However, if it’s not possible to eliminate file uploads on your website, you need to take some steps to protect yourself:
- Specify which types of files you’ll accept so you can keep suspicious file types out.
- Use file type verification so hackers can’t get around whitelist filters by renaming documents with a different extension than what the document type actually is.
- Prevent DDoS attacks by rejecting files over a certain size.
- Scan files for malware.
- Automatically rename files when they’re uploaded so that hackers can’t re-access their files.
- Keep your upload folder outside of the webroot so hackers can’t access your site through the file they’ve uploaded.
Adopt Automatic Backups
Even if you take all the necessary steps, you may still face some risk. Therefore you must be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
If your website is hacked, you want to make sure you don’t lose everything. So the best way to protect yourself is to ensure you always have a recent backup. Therefore you should make a habit out of manually backing up your website on a daily or weekly basis. However, in the event that you may forget to back up your site, it’s a good idea to invest in automatic backups.
Learning how to protect against hackers is a huge part of keeping your site safe and healthy. However, you need to act now. Do not wait to implement these steps. The sooner you secure your site, the better.