In order to compete in the 21st century global economy, you must be online. There’s no way around it. Your business needs a well-developed website that’s capable to attract leads, convert sales, and build brand awareness. However, simply launching a website and taking a step back won’t work. You need to focus on security and protection with each step you take.
The Value of Security for Small Businesses
As a small business, you have two major concerns when it comes to security. Firstly, you need to protect your physical office, inventory, and assets with adequate security systems and monitoring services. Secondly, you need to protect your virtual assets, data, and private information.
While the first is fairly straightforward, involving choosing the right security solution and installing effective hardware, the second can be a bit more challenging. However, when you consider the fact that cybercrime costs the global economy approximately $300 billion per year, it’s clear that something must be done sooner rather than later.
Four Website Security Tips
In an effort to prevent your business from becoming part of that statistic, keep the following website security tips in mind:
1. Stay updated
Regardless of whether your website was designed from scratch or based on a standard template, it’s your duty to ensure all software and add-ons are up to date. If you use a CMS provider, such as Joomla or WordPress, the good news is that patches and updates are frequently released in order to combat security threats and reduce vulnerability. Keep track of these releases, and make a habit of deleting old plugins to eliminate entry points for hackers.
2. Use strong passwords
One of the first things a hacker will attempt to do when targeting a website is to crack an administrative password in order to access files, plant malware, and steal information. When hackers succeed in this method, it’s almost always because of simple, predictable passwords. By using complex character strings and frequently changing your password, you can reduce your risk of being infiltrated.
3. Invest in HTTPS
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is standard protocol for transferring sensitive information between websites and servers, and you need to make sure your website is protected by this extra layer of encryption. Simply having HTTP is not enough, especially if you’re conducting online transactions.
4. Connect with Webmaster Tools
Google takes site security seriously and will blacklist websites that are infected with malware. In order to avoid getting on this list, register with Webmaster Tools. This resource checks your site’s health on a regular basis, diagnoses potential issues, and provides tips for site optimization and stronger site security. To add your site to Webmaster Tools, click here.
Make Security a Priority
While there may seem like more pressing issues at hand for your small business, don’t underestimate the importance of website security. Just as you place an emphasis on necessities, like alarm systems and video surveillance, make your website’s security a priority by heeding the advice discussed here.