It was a dark and stormy night… Well, maybe not quite, but it was certainly a tense and frustrating couple of days when my client’s website was hacked. Together we had worked hard to create a website that represented their business well and provide valuable information to their customers, only to have it all taken away in an instant by some unknown hacker. Unfortunately, this client had originally decided against our services for additional website security, leaving them a little vulnerable. However, after some consultation and some hard graft, I was able to help them reclaim their website and teach them the importance of website security.
In this blog post, I want to talk about website security in more detail and how you can ensure that your website is as safe as it can be from hackers.
Should you be worried?
The short answer is yes. It’s tempting to believe that you’re secure from hacks since the hackers have little reason to target your website. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It is true that some hacks are maliciously targeted toward a specific company. However, more often there is no relationship between hacker and site owner. All that is important to a hacker is an easy way in – they don’t care what the website is about! At the end of the day, if your website is online and in the public domain, it is vulnerable and should be protected.
A hacked website can be devastating if you aren’t prepared correctly. Your website is often the first interaction that potential customers have with your business, and if it’s not a positive one, they may never come back. In addition to the negative customer service implications, a hacked website can also cost you money in terms of lost sales, website downtime, and damage to your reputation. This is why website security should be a top priority for any business with an online presence.
So, what can you do to avoid being hacked?
There are a few key things you can do to help secure your website and protect it from hackers.
1. Choose the right Hosting Provider
One of the most important aspects of website security is choosing a good web hosting provider. A web hosting provider is a company that provides space on a server* for your website. When choosing a web hosting provider, it is important to do your research and make sure that they provide features that will help secure your website. Some features to look for include website backups, security scanning, and firewalls. Funnily enough, these are just a few of the features included in our PB+J hosting packages.
*What is a hosting server
A server is a super-computer that stores website files and makes them available to website visitors. When you choose a web hosting provider, you are essentially renting space on their server to store your website files. This space is also known as hosting.
2. Keep Your Software Updated
Another important aspect of website security is keeping your website’s software up to date. WordPress, for example, is a popular content management system used by many websites. It is important to keep WordPress updated to the latest version to ensure that your website is as secure as possible. Updates often include security fixes for newly discovered vulnerabilities, so it is important to install them as soon as they are available.
3. Use strong passwords
It is also imperative to use strong passwords and two-factor authentication whenever possible. A strong password should be at least eight characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that requires you to enter a code from your phone in addition to your password when logging into your website. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your website, even if they have your password.
If you are using WordPress, Wordfence provides a fantastic plugin that includes two-factor authentication as well as a firewall and malware scanning. Their free version is a basic minimum, but their pro version costs just $99/year, provides superior security against possibly vulnerabilities and is something I recommend to all of my clients.
4. Have a post-hack plan
Finally, as has been proven by some of the world’s biggest companies, despite your best efforts you can still be vulnerable to a persistent hacker. With this in mind it is really important to have a plan in place in case your website is hacked. This plan should include steps for how you will regain access to your website and how you will restore any lost data. Additionally, you want to make sure that you have a backup of your website so that you can quickly restore it if it is hacked. At the end of the day, the quicker you can get your site back up and running, the less chance the hack will have to have a negative impact have on your business.
So there you have it... your crash course in Website security
By following these website security tips, you can help protect your website from hackers and keep your business running smoothly. Website security is arguably the most important part of running a successful website, and it should not be overlooked. If you take the time to implement proper website security measures, you can help protect your website from attacks and keep your business running smoothly.
Don't know where to start?
We can help!
If you have any questions about website security or would like help protecting your website, please feel free to contact me. Equally, if all of this is a bit overwhelming or just appears to be an enormous amount of effort, not to worry! At PB+J Web Design we provide hosting and maintenance solutions that will take care of everything for you so you don’t have to lift a finger!
For more information, please check out our website or give us a call today. We would be happy to help you secure your website and protect your business.