Understanding Website Security
Most business owners think that since they are a small business that they don’t need to worry about internet security. They feel that since they are such a small business they don’t have to worry about being hacked. Unfortunately, that is a misconception. EVERY business should have website security. You have locks on your doors and your money in a safe. Why shouldn’t you protect your website?
Protect Your Customer’s Information
If you have any type of form on your site that asks for customer information like name, email, phone number, location, or any type of payment information, you NEED security. This information can be obtained if your site is hacked. We have all heard about larger corporations who have had information stolen and leaked and we all shook our heads at how they let that happen. You may think you are too small of a business for hackers to look at but you have to realize how hackers work. They do not specifically target business and say “Hum, I think I will attack XYZ today.” Believe it or not, most of what they do is automated. A program scans the net looking for sites that are not protected or have weak protection. Add security to your site and protect your clients.
Protect Your Reputation
Adding security will help give you a reputation for caring for your customers. Think back to the last time you purchased something online. You would feel safer if the company you purchased from had solid security, even if they were a small company. If you have good, solid security measures on your site, you will have the reputation as a great and safe company to purchase from. With so many people shopping online, that reputation would be more valuable than gold.
Things To Do To Protect Your Site
Google has put out that all sites that collect information need to have security installed. Here are some things you can do to protect your site.
Use strong usernames and passwords. The stronger the better. Choose usernames and passwords that have a mix of uppercase, lowercase, and symbols – it is harder for hackers to figure out and use. Using a password generator can make this process easier.
Change passwords often. If you change your passwords every 30 to 60 days, it can help keep hackers from obtaining your password. By the time they figure out one, you will have changed it. There are many online programs that require or at least prompt you to change your password. Keep hackers guessing and change it often.
Install an SSL Certificate. This is done by your server host. Once you purchase a certificate they should install it to your site. You can tell if the site you are on has an SSL, meaning it is safe and secure for inputting personal information, by the green lock to the left of the URL in your search bar. Google requires all sites that collect ANY personal information, not just payment information, to have an SSL installed to the site. You can purchase one from sites like GoDaddy, or other domain registrars.
Website security is no joke. Hackers are searching the web everyday for vulnerable sites and no matter your business size, it is your responsibility to keep your website safe. There are many ways you can keep your site safe and I only touched on a few. For a more comprehensive list you should talk to your hosting provider and create a game plan for keeping your site as safe as possible. Your customers will thank you. Next week we will talk about site speed and why it’s important.