An introduction to website security

As a website owner, you know how important website security is – and the potential brand and financial repercussions if your site goes down. But website security is so much more than that – it’s about keeping your online information safe. Not just the information on your website, but your social media accounts as well. More often than not, your social media accounts are an important extension of your identity or brand. But they also contain lots of personal data, which makes keeping these accounts secure even more critical. 

What website security is (and why it’s important)

Website security is about ensuring your online content is protected against cyber attacks. While everyone on the internet faces the chance of a variety of threats, from hacking attempts to malware infections, there are a few best practices you can implement to protect yourself. Your hosting provider will also implement server-level security measures. 

As a business owner, you’ll also want to prioritise the safety of your audience. This is especially important if you’re running an e-commerce site that stores customer data. You need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to prevent your customers’ sensitive information from being accessed by hackers or leaked on the web.  You should also make sure you’re fully compliant with the privacy laws.

We asked the IT security experts at ZeroFOX for a few proven website (and social media) security best practices. Here’s what they had to say. 

5 Website security tips

Here are a few things you can do to safeguard your site (and social media accounts) from common online threats. 

1. Set up Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

With 2FA enabled, a hacker would need access to your phone (or similar device) and your password to access your account. This adds an extra layer of protection. So keep your cellphone safe!

2. Use strong passwords and change them regularly

You should create a strong, unique password for every platform you use. One for your website and one for each social media channel. You should also update these passwords regularly. Never use a single password across all your accounts. When you’re creating passwords, use long, random words with a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols. 

3. Protect your passwords

It’s not enough to just create strong passwords and change them often. You also need to practice correct password management. In 2020, Wordfence blocked over 90 billion malicious login attempts on WordPress sites.  It’s never recommended that you share passwords but if you absolutely have to, only use a password management tool like LastPass

4. Keep an eye out for phishing scams

Hackers are constantly coming up with clever ways to trick individuals into sharing their sensitive data, like credit card details and passwords, in phishing scams. If you know what to look out for, these scams are easy to spot. Phishing emails often contain typos and grammar mistakes and have an email address that doesn’t match the sender name. Also, remember a trusted source will never ask you to change your passwords or provide your bank account details through a link in an email. 

5. Choose a reliable hosting provider

Any good hosting provider should offer several security measures to help protect your business against cyber attacks. When shopping around, be sure to look out for things like a Web Application Firewall (WAF), that gives your site an extra layer of protection. Also, something as simple as automated data backups can help you restore your site if anything goes wrong. 

The right website security practices help protect your site against hackers and other attacks. They can also safeguard the privacy of your site’s data and its users.  In brief, website security can help protect your business reputation. Conversely, a visibly secure site should make them feel safe when interacting with you, which may help you drive more conversions.

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