In Featured, Security

Website safety is a substantial subject to cover, however the basics and importance of the safety of your website is simple to understand. The bottom line is there are, and always will be, vulnerabilities, virus’s, malware, and hackers trying to infect websites for numerous reasons. Regardless the reasons, and because you can’t stop it, you need website protection. So what types of protection are there? are some better than others? What is the bare minimum amount of protection that I can get away with? Let’s go through some options and talk about what they can do for you.

WEBSITE HOSTING

The server your website lives on plays a very big part in website security. There are so many options when it comes to hosting your site that it might be overwhelming to choose.

If you self host your website you would be responsible for protecting all your files and breaches to your network. You might think your website isn’t a high profile site that attracts hackers, so why worry? Right? You may be right, but just like having an insurance policy; you never know until it happens. By that time, it’s too late.

Depending on what your website is built with might help you determine where to host it. For example, if you have a wordpress site there are a few dedicated hosting provider such as PAGELY, SQUARESPACE, and GoDaddy that offer managed wordpress hosting solutions. These providers offer other tools to help combat malware and attacks that are easily installed that are fairly affordable. We’ll talk about some of those options next.

If you have a large site, and/or run an E-Commerce store you might consider some of the bigger names in hosting. Rackspace offers enterprise level hosting with “Fanatical Support”. I’ve been using them for years, if you have a site (not wordpress) and need great support and hosting you can’t go wrong with RackSpace.

SSL CERTIFICATES

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private. If you have an online store a SSL Certificate is for the most part required. I don’t know anybody brave enough to run a store without one. The certificates are very inexpensive and there really isn’t a reason to not have one on your site.

Google has actually released a statement about sites that have an SSL Certificate installed get a small boost in rankings over sites that don’t.

There are many different types of SSL Certificates, use This Chart to help determine what might be best for your website.

USERNAME’S & PASSWORDS

One of the most simple and obvious ways to protect your website online, a strong username and password. Do you use “admin” as your website username? Yikes. Even though having a long obnoxious password (jc,?wJHQHYPim8N+kdheTtr9) is impossible to remember, it’s worth it in the long run. Most attacks begin with weak usernames and passwords. This means your website login, hosting account login, FTP login and even email account logins. You really do want to make these as crazy and hard to break as possible. If you don’t want to remember all your impossible passwords, or try to keep track of them using archaic microsoft word, you should check out 1Password, it’s a life saver.

MALWARE PROTECTION

If your site were to get infected with Malware there are numerous things that can take place. One of the biggest problems is that unless you’re monitoring for malware you most likely won’t know you’re infected until it’s too late, by that time Google might have already blacklisted your site.

Even if it’s not bad enough to take your site offline, Malware can cause your site to run very poorly which has it’s own negative effects, such as lowering your rankings in search engines and giving your users a bad experience.

There are many ways to protect your site from Malware. Some of our favorites are Site Lock and WordPress plugins like Word Fence. When you have some time check out those sites and what they offer. They have packages from free on up that will help you get control of your Malware and Website Risks.

FIREWALLS

Along the same lines of Malware protection a Firewall can help ensure complete security for your website. A firewall offers more protection than a simple Malware monitoring tool. SiteLock offers a firewall that protects websites from malicious traffic and blocks harmful requests. A simple 5-minute setup will keep your website safe and secure, they say. Their firewall service offers wide variety of protection.

CONCLUSION

So how much of this do you really need to do? It all depends on how much value you place on your website. If you barely use your website, or if you don’t get any leads from it then it’s probably not that important to protect it. If that’s the case you might want to look into making your website a little more valuable.

On the other hand, if your website is making you money, and bringing you leads in each month I would say that protecting your site in any way you can is pretty important. If I were to recommend a bare minimum of protection it would be to install a SSL certificate and run a Malware tool to watch your site. Of course make sure your passwords and usernames are difficult to guess.

If you have any questions about how to get started with these tools, or are in need of help don’t hesitate to contact one of our Chef’s at imagine THIS.

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