The internet is an excellent resource for all
kinds of information. However, with all of its advantages, there are also some
things that you need to pay attention too. Knowing how to secure a website is a
must, and anyone with an online identity needs to pay attention to this.

As the internet can also be a dangerous place
for websites knowing how to protect them is an investment in the long run. As
an owner, knowing that somebody can wipe out your entire page feels quite bad.

What is needed is to add protection that keeps
out hackers, bugs, or any harmful things. If this doesn’t happen, the entire
data can be at risk, the site can crash, and you could lose money.

Why should you know how to secure a website?

Even if you have a small website that you
consider not relevant for a hacker, websites are still compromised all the
time.

Most of the problems that appear are not
related to data or to mess up the layout of a website. The main reason is to
use your server as an email relay for spam or to add files of an illegal
nature. Other things hackers do is to compromise machines, a well-known one
being to mine for Bitcoins using your hardware.

How can you secure your site?

One of the best ways to do this is by going
for simple choices. You know that you should keep the website safe from
surprises, but when you go down in the rabbit hole of a website, You can
discover difficult concepts.

No worries, there are still some basic steps
that you can take together with decisions so let’s see them.

Password and protection

First of all, start by having more complex
passwords than in general. Avoid using the same old one for your accounts and
especially your website’s administrator login. Never use easy to remember
passwords because they can be even guessed sometimes by hackers.

Do not use words that relate to your family or
your name. Passwords that contain your birthday are so easy to hack that you
can’t even complain that you did not expect that to happen.

Also, when you access your website, use a
secure complex password that you can’t guess. A single user’s weak password can
make your entire website be at risk, together with all of its registered users.

Keep everything up-to-date

This can seem quite obvious, but sometimes
people just don’t do it. Make sure that all of the software that you are using
related to your website is on its latest version.

A lot of them are open-source, so this means
that hackers can check the source code and find vulnerabilities. This is how
they usually manage to get inside of your website and take advantage of it. So,
whenever you think it’s
a good idea to downgrade WordPress
, don’t. New versions usually fix
vulnerabilities.

Choose a reputable hosting provider

Today, there are many hosting providers that
you can choose from. Even if most of them are safe and have many protections,
they can still get hacked. This is probably one of the current disadvantages;
you can’t control how secure your hosting server is. The only thing you can
control is who you choose as your host provider.

It’s probably in your interest to go for
reputable, world-class hosting providers that invest big amounts in providing
the best services.

Go for HTTPS and SSL

If you don’t know what HTTP and SSL are, you
need to find out, especially if you are a site owner. People that are running
online shops and have transactions made need to pay even more attention to
their protection.

SSL certificates are obtained from reputable
providers and offer great protection. Understanding how to secure a website
should always include an SSL certificate.

Install security plugins

If you built your website with a content
management system (CMS), you could add security plugins that prevent your
website from getting hacked. Each of the main CMS options has security plugins
available, and a lot of them are free.

Security plugins for WordPress:

Security options for Magento:

Security extensions for Joomla:

These options are focused on the security
vulnerabilities that each of the platforms has.

Prevent users from uploading files

What this means is that people don’t get forms
through which they can upload files. Limiting forms of how users can upload
files to just photo extensions can be a solution. Sure, they’ll receive more of
those „this
file is not permitted
” errors. But you’ll be safer.

Another one is to add an email address to your
contact page where users can email their files rather than sending them
directly through the website.

Beware of error messages

Be careful about how much information you are
giving in the error messages that your website has. Only give minimal errors to
the users. Sometimes errors can send sensitive information like API keys or
database passwords.

If you don’t change them, you risk getting
certain attacks on your website. This information is good to know, and if you
could do a check to it for sure, it is going to be only in your interest.

Watch out when opening emails

Many attacks from hackers take place by using
emails. They send all kinds of viruses, and they can target you or your
employees, for example.

So the entire team needs
to double-check when they open an email
because you don’t want to
compromise the security of your website due to a virus that is ready to mess up
your online presence.

Secure data using VPN

Even if there are many options for safeguards,
the best one to secure your data transmission is using VPN. It is a great
service that is designed to make sure that all of your data gets routed only
through secure channels and that they are highly encrypted.

Create backups regularly

If you don’t do it, now is the time to start.
A backup can help you recover fully if any of your website content gets
damaged. There are lots
of options out there
to try.

What is cool now is that you can set the
frequency of how often they are getting done. So for sure, this is another
useful tip on how to secure a website, especially if this is the first time
that you are doing it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding how to secure a
website is all about having good practices. Simple solutions are, most of the
time, the efficient ones. This is why the ones that you can see in this article
are easy to use. So the best way to start your own check is by seeing if you
are applying all of them.

Make a list of what your website is doing now
from a protection point of view. It’s better to invest some time and energy now
when you can and not after you’ve been targeted by hackers.

About the Author

author photo

Bogdan Sandu

Bogdan is a designer and editor at DesignYourWay. He’s reading design books the same way a hamster eats carrots, and talks all the time about trends, best practices and design principles.


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