Your website is typically the first connection you’ll make with potential customers. With 2.6 billion smart phone users around the world, and 81% of shoppers conducting online research prior to making a purchase, a good website is ideal for generating sales. You’ll want to ensure that it’s easy to navigate and not confusing, and that any information a person could want to know about your business, is relatively straightforward. This includes your store and/or office address, contact information, links to social media accounts, and ultimately, what sets you above the rest. The design should be interesting enough to keep their attention, and the content should be written in a way that highlights your unique brand.
When it comes to websites, design is usually the first thing you think about, and it makes sense. But ultimately, in the grand scheme of the internet, ensuring that your website is secure should be a top priority.
Many small businesses assume that hacking won’t happen to them because they’re too small to be noticed. However, hackers don’t discriminate when it comes to breaching websites and they’ll even use automated tools to find vulnerable sites. Your website embodies your brand, and as the first contact with customers, ensuring it’s security will save you from potential disaster in the future.
Hacking threats can come in many forms – infecting a website with malware in order to spread that malware to site visitors, stealing customer information (such as names, email address, and even credit card information), and even hijacking or crashing your site. As a small business owner, a single security breach could destroy customer trust.
In the past week, over 1.5 million websites have been hacked after a vulnerability was utilized in the release of WordPress 4.7.1. Quietly, and then very publicly, WordPress released version 4.7.2 to rectify the situation. But for those nearly 2 million websites, it was already too late. While it’s not yet clear how the WordPress sites are getting infected in the first place, it’s possible that login credentials that allow the site content to be changed aren’t being locked down, or there’s an unknown vulnerability in the CMS, or operating system they run on. What we do know, is that once a system is infected, the malware installs a variety of backdoors on the webserver – a feature that’s causing many hacked sites to repeatedly be infected.
There are many ways that you can protect yourself, including running premium security plug ins and having daily back ups with a proper security plan in place with your provider. Most managed hosting providers will be able to show you how they keep your website secure if you ask. If you’re running a business, security should never be a support option – it should be included with your hosting plan!
A Few DIY Tips For Your Website Security
With the goal of keeping it simple, here are a few options that you can implement now to to help maintain the security of your website.
- Keep Your Website Updated. Hackers are always thinking deviously when it comes to gaining access to websites, and developers move just as quickly to block them. Ensuring that your website is always up-to-date on a weekly, or even daily basis, will address those security fixes as they happen, in turn, lowering your risk!
- Use Stronger Passwords. Remembering a complicated password can be difficult, but as many as 8% of websites that have been hacked, were because people didn’t utilize a strong password. Try creating a password that is a minimum of 6 characters and a combination of letters, numbers and symbols! Don’t forget, passwords are case sensitive so you also utilize both uppercase and lower case letters!
- Select Your Website Host Carefully. Nearly 41% of the websites that were hacked were because the hosting service didn’t put the necessary importance on security! Before choosing a hosting service, make sure you ask about their security protocols and find out if they have the necessary firewalls and malware scanning.
Here at Octopus Creative we keep your online brand safe, and security is never an add-on option, it’s an absolute necessity. Get in touch with us if you have questions about your online security or if your web provider recently told you that YOU have to pay for a new site because of their security vulnerabilities!