Your website is the public face of your business and the way customers find you online. If your website were to get hacked, you could lose not only your data and passwords but also suffer damage to your reputation and standing with the search engines.
So how do you keep your website safe and secure for yourself and your users? If your website is hosted by a third party, that company will take care of much of the behind-the-scenes aspects of security so you won’t need to worry about it – beyond ensuring that you’ve chosen a reputable hosting company.
But your job doesn’t end there. You can take these steps to help keep your website secure.
Carefully Choose Host
When it comes to webhosting, you get what you pay for. A company may have bargain basement prices, but if they are not secure or offer poor customer service, it’s not worth the risk. How do you know which host to choose? Ask colleagues and other business owners for recommendations and read online reviews. Ask potential hosts how they will ensure your website is secure.
Stay Up to Date
Keep the software related to your website up to date. Your webhost will make sure your server operating system is up to date. They may also run updates on add-on software like content management systems, forums, or blogs. If not, make sure you update this software when you are alerted that you’re out of date. Most of them – like WordPress, for example – will tell you an update is available when you log in.
Always use the latest version of your software, and apply updates and patches as soon as you are notified of them.
Use Strong Passwords
Have you heard this one from us before? Passwords should be long and complicated, and they should not contain names, company terms, sequential numbers, or personal information like birthdays and anniversaries.
Employees should follow these same rules when creating the passwords they need to access your website, data, or computer network. Make these rules part of your company computer policy, and require employees to change passwords at regular intervals.
The passwords for your website administrator and server should be especially complex. These accounts have the keys to your kingdom, so to speak, and you don’t want just anyone accessing those accounts.
Test Your Website
It’s a good idea to run your website through a checker to see whether any potential problems or vulnerabilities are present. Google’s Webmaster Tools allow you to check the health of your site for problems Google has detected and see how users are accessing your website. (An added bonus are the tools to optimize your site so Google understands it better.) Just login with your Gmail or Google account to get started.
If website security sounds like Greek to you, it’s OK to ask for help! That’s what we’re here for! PNSolutions can help you check the security of your website, address any problems and issues, and help you keep your online presence secure. Call us today with your questions!