There’s so much more to website maintenance and security than meets the eye. It’s your job as a website owner to ensure that user data is protected against breaches and other threats. This is why we’ve come up with these 3 things you must do to protect your website visitors’ privacy.
This article will tell you some of the easiest but most important website security tips that you should apply to all of your sites and blogs.
Why Security Matters
Not all websites are created equal. Load times, overall look and feel, navigation, and mobile compatibility are some of the more popular elements many people now consider. However, it’s usually the intangible elements that differentiate a good website from a great one. Take, for example, website security.
Website security deals with vulnerability. Those working on a site’s security usually have to deal with hacks, viruses, spam, and other threats. They’re also often monitoring for any breach in data and information integrity. Websites need to be protected from these breaches and threats in order to protect the one thing that most hackers are after: user data.
User data is an intangible commodity that has long surpassed oil and most other tangible resources in terms of value. And as a business owner, it only makes sense to protect data and information that your customers have entrusted to your business. Failing to protect their data could mean loss of trust that could translate to lost profit – and eventually, may even lead to closure.
So, what are the 3 things you need to do for the sake of visitor privacy?
Invest in Good Hosting
Getting a good hosting plan is essential to the security and the accessibility of your website. While there are some really expensive options, what you really want is the one that matches both your budget and your business needs.
There are only a handful of considerations in choosing a hosting plan. First, look at its datacenter. Data is intangible, but where it’s kept is a very tangible place that must be protected from both man-made risks and natural disasters. Datacenters must be physically protected from thieves, fires, power shortages, and many other dangers.
Another related element is the backup. In cases of emergency, you need to have a backup of your website system kept for you to easily pick up where you left off. You can opt for either automatic or manual backups, whichever works best for your system.
Monitoring is a feature that helps you track suspicious traffic which is an early indicator of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) and malware attacks. This isn’t a popular feature as it can be quite an expensive addition to most web hosting options, but you can ask and learn about it nevertheless.
Firewalls, scanners, filtering, and manual reboots are some other features you might want to consider.
Keep WordPress Updated
A third of the Internet runs on WordPress, and if your website does too, then this is one of the easiest website security tips you can possibly practice. Just keep WordPress updated!
While new features may be introduced in every release, the most common reasons for updates are actually speed enhancement, security, and bug fixes.
A faster load time is essential for sites nowadays, as most people would only wait for a few seconds before giving up and moving on to the next thing on their agenda. Faster load times are also associated with better page rankings, since web crawlers will be able to crawl through your site pages faster.
Security updates and bug fixes are the most important WordPress updates. Many sites running on WordPress make use of the built-in security features of this Content Management System (CMS). This is why security experts and WordPress testers and developers are always on the lookout for any vulnerability in every step of the workflow.
An outdated WordPress site or plugin makes for an easy target in a hacker’s point of view. Neglecting to update your WordPress site and plugins can result in loss of data privacy, if it results in a successful hacking attempt.
Set Up Secure Sockets Layer
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol that allows data to be encrypted and successfully transmitted into and out of a website. This creates a safe environment where important and personal data like social security numbers, credit card numbers, or login credentials can be used, stored, and transmitted.
Without this encryption, data is transmitted in plaintext, or “as is.” Even newbie hackers can eavesdrop on the communication happening between a non-SSL site and a visitor. However, using a SSL is just a first line of defense, and additional precautions are necessary to make a website secure.
You can easily see if a website is SSL-secured by looking at its URL. Sites that use SSL certificates will start with https:// instead of just http://. A padlock will also appear beside the site’s URL.
But what will happen if you don’t have SSL set up for your site?
- Your site’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) will be negatively affected. It will also lower your site’s chances to be featured in a voice search result and Google’s local 3-pack.
- You’ll be violating the PCIDSS (Payment Control Industry Data Security Standard) if you’re transmitting credit card and other financial data, and it may cost your business some $5k to $100k per month.
- Your site may not be accessible to a large number of users, and visitors will be seeing an alarming warning message about the lack of security.
Trying to get by with a fake SSL may give your visitors a false sense of security, fooling some into transacting within the site. If found out, you’ll be risking more than just a hit on the number of your customers.
You’ll be losing your trustworthiness, and you can bet on it that the affected customers will be talking about their negative experience. You’ll be losing both existing and potential clients.
These are the 3 things you must do to protect your website visitors’ privacy: invest in good hosting, regularly update your WordPress, and set up SSL. While there are many other website security tips you can apply, these are the most important ones, and those that most site owners currently apply.
Have You Secured YOUR Website?
Intercept Marketing, LLC provides professional help with website security, including:
- Secure Hosting
- WordPress Updates
- Website Support
- Website Maintenance
- Website Backup
Schedule a FREE, NO OBLIGATION call or in-person meeting today!