The Importance of Website Security
Not having a secured website is like leaving your cash register and front doors wide open. With so much of our information online and ecommerce as a huge source of revenue for many businesses, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself, your site and your customers.
Beyond the security risk, if your website and product listings don’t appear trustworthy, your site is likely to repel customers.
At IdeaZone, our team of digital marketing and web development experts will build a secure website for you. Our monthly maintenance packages include security and performance scans as well as regular updates. And if the unthinkable ever happens, we include free site restoration if your site is hacked.
Top Reasons to Make Sure Your Site Is Secure
Cybersecurity attacks put personal information at risk
Credit card information, social insurance numbers, theft of intellectual property, and hacked systems/data all pose a very real risk to your business and those who do business with you. In 2017, the Equifax breach was perhaps one of the most famous cybersecurity breaches in Canadian history, which “exposed the personal data of more than 143 million customers.”
HTTPS sites rank higher
(Source- Google Webmaster Central Blog) Google has used HTTPS since 2014 to determine which sites rank better. Sites without SSL certificates are hard-pressed to get preferential treatment from Google.
Phishing attacks damage the global economy
(Source- Cybersecurity Ventures) Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that by 2021, global cybercrime will cost $6 trillion annually. This finding is backed up by media, industry experts and senior government officials, who have all found that the rate of cybercrime and online ransoms have been increasing.
Protecting Your Site
Whether you DIY or hire a team of web security experts like IdeaZone, the following steps will help to defend your website and protect against online threats.
Have a secure connection encrypted by HTTPS
If you’re not sure what this is, check out our full post here. HTTP sites that haven’t been converted to HTTPS are flagged as not secure. An unsecured site is a huge red flag to consumers, so definitely take the time to get set up with an HTTPS connection.
You can do this by purchasing an SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL is basically proof that you are who you say you are, and your site is safe. This security upgrade not only protects your site, it protects your visitors’ information. Read more about SSL here.
Use legitimate, updated plugins
It’s important to make sure that any plugins you’re using are active and up to date (included in our monthly maintenance package). A neglected plugin or one from an iffy source can lead to incompatibility with themes and many other aspects of your site. We build sites using WordPress because it updates often for an extra layer of protection.
Look at your payment program
When your customers are plugging in sensitive contact and payment information, you want to make sure that it is as secure as possible. Invest in safe online payment methods like VeriSign. Take your time to choose a reputable and ironclad payment program.
According to TechRadar.com, PayPal leads the pack, mainly since it’s a household name and many users will already have accounts. However, PayPal isn’t the only player, so you might want to ask other business owners, check online reviews and shop around before you commit to an online payment program.
Create security alerts that will notify you in real-time
A foreign IP, multiple failed login attempts, invalid phone numbers, or many identical orders being placed at the same time are all suspicious activities. Being alerted to these types of activities happening in real time will let you—and the staff you’ve put in charge of security—stop fraud immediately.
Add a firewall to your domain
An Endpoint Web Application Firewall (WAF) acts as an internal security guard for your site. Web firewall apps are easy to get and are made to block potential hackers right away. Virtual patching is also a simple way to block all the different aspects of your site, from third party coding to plugins and hosting platforms.
Have an ironclad password and solid login
Avoid using important dates, names of family members, or anything that can be easily solved. Number sequences 1,2,3, your anniversary, etc.… are all so easily guessed by even the most inexperienced hackers and bots.
Instead, use a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols, upper and lower case. When you change it, change it completely. If you’re the type to forget your passwords, a notepad or specialized password keeper book will really help. Lock it in a safe and record new passwords or logins as you create them. Change the password every quarter (or more often) setting a reminder for yourself so you don’t forget.
Choose specific staff for admin roles
The greatest threats to a company’s website security actually comes from inside the organization itself, so when you’re looking at security plugins and updates, also consider who can access the inner workings of the site and any potentially sensitive information.
Prevent this information from reaching too many people by appointing a few staff members as website admins. Also, block repeated login attempts to add an extra layer of security and prevented anyone not authorized from accessing the system.
Digital marketing and security go hand in hand to build effective, secure websites. In today’s increasingly online world, it’s extremely important to ensure that yours and your clients’ valuable information are protected. Our expert team will work with you to build your website, content and company image in the most secure way possible. Based in Victoria, BC, we provide digital marketing, branding and web design for companies worldwide. Contact us today to get started.