Hackers are constantly looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities in websites. They often try to gain access to sensitive information or steal credit card details. If they succeed, they can cause financial damage and even put your business at risk.
There are several steps you can take to prevent hackers from accessing your site. This includes implementing security measures such as using strong passwords, updating software regularly, and ensuring your web server is patched against known vulnerabilities.
In the following article, we will take a look at how you can secure a website using 5 simple steps. We will also show you some of the best methods to protect your online presence.
How To Secure A Website (In 5 Steps)
If you have ever worried about hackers breaking into your computer, then you know that it’s not just an idle fear. In fact, cybercrime has become one of the most lucrative industries on the Internet today.
According to the FBI, there were more than 1 million reported cases of cybercrime in 2019, with the number increasing in recent years.
So if you want to secure your website against hackers and other malicious users, here are five easy steps you can follow:
Step One: Use Security Plugins
The first step towards securing your website is to install plugins that help keep your site safe. These include anti-virus and malware scanners, password managers, and firewalls. You should always make sure that these tools are up-to-date and working properly.
For example, WordPress uses a plugin called Sucuri to scan its code for potential vulnerabilities. It checks for common issues like outdated versions of PHP, missing security patches, and weak credentials. If any of those problems are found, it alerts the user , so they can fix them.
You can use similar plugins for other platforms such as Joomla, Drupal, Magento, PrestaShop, and others. However, before installing any new plugins, check their reviews first.
What Are The Best Security Plugins?
As we previously mentioned, there are countless plugins available for different content management systems. But here are some of the best ones that you should consider using:
- iThemes Security
- Watchlog Pro
- JHacker Watch
- Antivirus Website Protection
Step Two: Use HTTPS
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It is a protocol used by websites to send data securely over the internet.
When you visit a website via HTTPS, your browser automatically encrypts the data being sent between your device and the site. This means that if someone intercepts this data, it cannot be read by anyone else.
To ensure that your visitors see only encrypted data, you need to enable HTTPS on your site. There are two ways to do this:
Enable HTTP Strict Transport Security
This method forces all traffic to go through HTTPS. This ensures that all information sent to or received from Google is encrypted.
However, this approach isn’t ideal because it slows down page load times. So it’s better to use HSTS Preloading.
Preload HSTS Header
With this technique, you add a special header to your web pages that tells search engines and browsers to start sending requests to your site via HTTPS.
When you preload the HSTS header, all future requests must go through HTTPS. This way, no matter what happens to your server, your visitors will continue to receive encrypted data.
Step Three: Keep Your Site & Software Updated
It doesn’t take much effort to update your website regularly. For instance, you could create a monthly schedule to perform routine maintenance tasks. Or you could set up an automatic system that updates your software whenever a new version becomes available.
But even with automated updates, you still need to monitor your site regularly. That’s why you should also run regular scans to identify any potential threats.
If you don’t have time to manually perform these scans, you can use a free service that scans your website, daily, weekly, and monthly.
Step Four: Use Secure Passwords
Your password should contain at least eight characters. And it shouldn’t include anything personal. Instead, choose something unique that won’t be easily guessable.
For example, you could use the following guidelines:
- Use at least one capital letter
- Use numbers and symbols
- Avoid words like “password” and “123456”
- Use Strong Password Generator
You can use strong password generators to generate random passwords that meet your requirements. These tools usually require you to enter a few details about yourself. Then they generate a secure password-based on those details.
You can then save this password in a safe place, so you don’t forget it.
Step Five: Use Automatic Backups
Everything we have covered thus far still comes with a risk, which is why you should always back up your website. In fact, you should make sure that your backups occur every day.
The reason for this is simple: If you lose access to your site, you might not be able to recover everything.
So when you restore your backup, you want to make sure that you get everything back exactly as it was before. In addition to backing up your files, you should also back up your database. You can use a tool like MySQL Workbench to do this.
There are other precautions you can take to protect your website. These precautions include:
- Using Parameterized Queries – When you send queries to databases, you often pass sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. To prevent hackers from accessing this information, you should use parameterized queries instead of concatenating strings together.
- Use CSP – Content Security Policy (CSP) is a security measure that prevents attackers from injecting malicious code into web pages. It does this by blocking certain types of content from being loaded over HTTP.
- Lock Directory & File Permission – Your website folder should only be accessible by users who need to modify its contents. This includes administrators and developers. So if someone tries to view or edit a file outside their permissions, they will see an error message.
We hope you found this article helpful and that you will use it to secure your website. We recommend that you keep all of the above steps in mind whenever you create new websites.
And remember, it’s never too late to start securing your website. Even if you already have a website, you can follow some tips outlined here to improve its security.