As a small business owner, you know that having a website is essential to your success. It’s your most important digital asset, and a properly optimized website can bring you to the attention of ideal customers when they’re most ready to buy.
However, if your website is not safe, no one will contact you — not just through your website, but at all. A company with a compromised website is one that is seen as irresponsible and unprofessional.
Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to keep your website safe and your customers comfortable. Here are four ways to boost your website security.
Choose a High-Quality Website Host
A website host runs the computers and servers that are required to keep your website online. One of the ways hackers can compromise your site is by attacking the host and getting access to their clients’ data.
When you choose a high-quality host, you are looking for one with a strong track record of security that can clearly explain the security measures they take. They should have automatic updates for customers that provide updated security software and patches known flaws.
Take a look at the hosting companies’ reviews, and see if there have been any breaches in the past. Ensure that you choose one that is well-known, has an excellent reputation, and hasn’t experienced any losses from hacking attacks.
Use an SSL Certificate
A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate is an important layer of security for your website. It creates a secure connection when data is transmitted from your website online. When you have an SSL certificate, your website domain starts with “https://” instead of “http://”.
This type of security is so important that Google has made it a factor in ranking websites since 2014. So not only does an SSL certificate give your users confidence when they share data or purchase from your website, it also boosts your SEO.
Keep in mind that an SSL certificate alone is not enough to fully protect your site from hackers. For example, you need to secure your admin login forms to your website separately. Otherwise, a hacker can intercept your login information and gain administrator access to your website!
Keep Website Software Updated
No software is perfect, and vulnerabilities are identified frequently. Usually developers will then send out a software update that patches the hole so your website stays secure. However, if you don’t install the update, you’re still in danger.
As a small business owner, you might feel like you don’t have time to keep up with the latest software versions throughout your website. However, outdated software is something that hackers specifically look for when they want to target a site. They know if you’re not keeping your software updated, you probably aren’t taking other security measures either.
You can’t afford to be lazy with your website. It’s like rolling out the welcome mat to hackers, which can not only cost you your website, it can also damage your reputation, search ranking, and cost you customers.
Have Strong Admin Passwords
Unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of business websites where the owners want an easy, simple password. They have other things on their mind, we get it. Unfortunately, having an easy-to-guess password puts your whole business at risk.
You’d never leave your business store with a closed door that wasn’t locked, would you? That’s exactly what an insecure password is. Anyone who wants to can try the door, walk in, and wreak havoc.
Make sure you use strong passwords, and if they’re hard to remember, use password software to store and encrypt them. Make sure that anyone else who has access to your passwords is trustworthy and practices good security as well. After all, you’re only as strong as your weakest link.
Teach Your Staff Strong Security
Is your website safe? Not if your employees don’t practice good security. As we mentioned, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. That means that if one of your staff compromises your customer data, you’ll suffer just as much as if you did so yourself.
Make sure your employees know what phishing attacks are, how to detect them, and how to avoid becoming a victim. This includes watching out for promises that are too good to be true, not opening attachments, and not clicking links that are unknown or suspicious.
When your staff keeps your data secure, your website will be much safer for both your business and your customers.
A Safe Website is Vital For a Growing Business
No business can succeed without a strong online presence. And that strong online presence has to inspire confidence in your customers, which is why website security is so important.
Of course, web security is only part of the picture. If you want your ideal customers to find your website easily, you need strong SEO and digital marketing. We can help. Contact us today to learn more!