Having a website of your own is surely a good marketing strategy for your business or brand. A website allows you to have a presence online. This is a way of taking advantage of today’s technology and the Internet where most people spend a lot of their time in. If you have a website, and a good one at that, you can have your target market find you easily.
When setting up a website, you have to consider its custom web design. A customized website allows you to showcase the uniqueness of your business or your brand. It also helps your target market differentiate your company from your competitors.
The function of your website does not end after the launching. You will have to make sure that the website is functional all throughout. This means that your target market should be able to use the website the way it is supposed to.
One of the things that you have to ensure after the launching of your website is its security. Remember, users and online visitors will be navigating through your website, even performing online transactions with you over the Internet. They definitely want to feel safe and secure when doing such transactions and your website should play a big part in ensuring that.
Here are 8 ways on how you can secure your customized website after its launch:
Invest in an SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate helps secure the transfer of various important details between the server and your website. Such important details include contact information, personal data, and credit cards, among others. These are all sensitive information that your clients or customers are wary of parting with online.
If your online business requires sensitive information from your consumer, an SSL certificate is definitely necessary. Apart from protecting your their data, search engines are also ranking secure websites higher than those that do not.
Adding an SSL certificate with good custom web design can help protect your customers’ data when performing online transactions with your website. With such investment, your website will become more credible and trustworthy in the eyes of your customers.
In most cases, you will have to pay a minimal yearly fee to have an SSL certificate. But, this cost will surely be dismal compared to the encryption level it provides. A website that has a valid SSL certificate often has “https” on the address bar, telling customers that the website is safe for online transactions.
Install security plug-ins
After launching the website with the custom web design you take pride in, you can improve a page’s security through plug-ins. These security plug-ins can help prevent.
There are a lot of security plug-ins available, free or at a certain charge. These security plug-ins have certain features that help protect the website from various vulnerabilities. Such plug-ins can help detect malware, identify potential security vulnerability, and perform virus scans, among others.
Use secure passwords
Passwords to your websites are crucial. They add a layer of protection, making it hard for hackers to steal data. Using a password may be a simple act, but it is very important and somewhat frequently forgotten by many.
It is quite tempting to be choosing or creating a password that you can remember easily. Such password is easier to remember, thereby requiring relatively lesser effort on your part. However, the danger of using an easy password is its susceptibility. Anyone can just easily guess the password, especially when hints that point to such password are also available. These include birthdays and default numbers such as “12345”.
When setting up an admin password for your website, make sure to use a secure and difficult password that is hard to guess. As much as possible, it should be a combination of letters and numbers as well as special characters if applicable. Make it long, too. Additionally, if your website stores data from your customers, advise them to set up a strong password, too.
Invest in algorithms that help improve the encryption of passwords being used in your website, may it be your admin password or those of your customers. Two of the best algorithms to choose from are those that use hashing algorithms as well as salting techniques. Decrypting passwords that are protected by these algorithms take a lot of time, if not impossible to guess in an instant.
Keep the website and its software up-to-date
As a website owner, you know that keeping your custom web design up-to-date is essential in attracting your target market and providing them with timely and relevant information about your company. The design is not the only thing that should be updated. Even the software should be updated. Keeping them updated helps secure the website.
You have to see to it that all scripts, plug-ins, apps, and content management systems, among others, are up-to-date. Make sure that you have the latest versions of the software that you are using on your website. Most content management systems typically offer regular updates to website developers or owners. In the case of WordPress, they have WordPress Updates on the dashboard. Check out how you can update your website through the specific content management system that you are using.
Do not wait until it is too late. Get notified with the latest versions or releases for patches and updates. Website developers also can utilize various tools to be notified about the latest updates. Install them immediately. Do not forget to update the SSL certificate to the latest version, too.
Keeping everything up-to-date helps prevent a situation where hackers can abuse security holes found in the older versions of such software. Newer releases often have workarounds on these security holes which hackers most likely cannot decipher.
Make admin folders hard to locate
Developing a website involves a series of folders and files that contain the different codes and data that are responsible for the functionality of such website. These folders and files each have certain sets of permissions that regulate who can read or edit the codes or data stored in the web hosting account. Since this is the case, it is important to set the right permissions for the kind of data that are stored in the account. For instance, fewer permissions can be required for those that are shared with multiple individuals. Those folders and files with more important data and information should be locked down as much as possible to prevent a data breach.
Furthermore, it can be of great help not to make admin folders noticeable to potential hackers. Do not make admin folders obvious by naming them as “admin folders” or something that construes something important. Renaming important folders with general names will help hide them from the hackers’ eyes. They will be hard to locate in this situation. But, make sure that you do not forget where these folders are located, though.
Protect the website from XSS attacks and SQL injections
There are many threats that website owners have to be on the lookout for. These include XSS attacks and SQL injections. Both can steal login information not only on your website but also on your customers’ or online visitors’ pages.
Another threat that you should be protecting your website from is an SQL injection. This is actually one of the most common website hacks. In an SQL injection attack, the attacker utilizes a URL parameter or a web form field to manipulate the website’s database. The attacker can get information or delete important data by inserting rogue code into the query.
To prevent an SQL injection from ruining your website, you have to make sure that you will be setting specific and explicit parameters in your website’s query. You should use parameterized queries which do not allow hackers to mess with such codes.
Use simple error messages
The use of simple error messages can actually help your website a lot. As a best practice, you should limit the amount of information that you are providing or displaying the error message. As much as possible, keep the error messages simple.
Too much information can be used and exploited by hackers to gain unauthorized access to your website’s directory or do some damage on your website. A detailed error message can leak secrets to the attackers about your website and the server with which it is on. If possible, you might want to offer a short apology and redirect the users or online visitors back to the previous page.
Avoid letting users upload files to your website
When you allow users to upload files to your website, you also encourage a big security risk to happen. Even simple uploads such as changing profile pictures or avatars can already become a big security risk. Any file that is uploaded to your website may contain a script that, upon execution, can compromise the security of your website.
Think twice about allowing file uploads to your website. As much as possible, avoid this feature to ensure the security of your website as well as the information of your clients stored in your database.
Of course, your website may need to have files uploaded as part of your business operations. In this situation, you might want to limit the type of file or files that users can upload to the page. You may also try limiting permissions. Make sure that you are also using a secure server. These are some of the actions that you can do if you are hosting your own web server. But, if you are using the services of a hosting provider, they can help you with security configurations.
There surely are different ways that can help boost the security of your website. Not only will it boost such security but also boost your business’ or brand’s credibility. Having a knowledgeable and experienced web design and development team will help ensure that your website gets the kind of security that is required of it.
Proweaver‘s Contribution to Your Website Goals
At Proweaver, our custom web design and development team values security as you do. We make use of our expertise to help secure the websites of our clients, along with our experience and various tools. Allow us to help you not only create a website that suits your company’s needs but also make sure that such website is safe and secure for your users and online visitors.
Call us today for further info on our services!