security for website

Development

10 Ways To Increase Your Website Security

ChangSheng Sze Tho   27 Feb , 2016  

Website security is a top priority when thinking and planning on getting a website. The web as a whole is growing and as it is, so also the rates at which hackers are at work on the internet, doing what they know best; coming through the back door to breach the security of your website. The reason for this is not just to steal data or maliciously deface your website but also to use your website server for spam relay or to set up a temporary web server to serve data usually for illegal purposes. The good news is that you can beef up your website security and give it the armor it needs to keep these hackers away and keep your site vulnerability level at zero.

Here are top practical pointers that help increase your website security.

Beef up your password

The internet has been around for a while now and activities of hackers on the internet isn’t as old school as or as prehistoric as you think. These guys update themselves as the internet keeps developing. Remember how your antivirus keeps updating itself every day to keep virus away? That’s pretty much what these website hackers do. They’ve got top rate programs developed specially developed for guessing millions of combinations of numbers, words and phrases to get your password combination. These programs have high success rate guessing the standard phrases, words and numbers that make up most password. I advise you throw your PASSWORD, 12345, betty, 08091980 and all what not down the trash and beef up website security with strong passwords that have a combination of capital and small letters, numbers strings (if allowed) and should be a minimum of seven to eight characters. Use these strong passwords on your email, Cpanel accounts, FTP accounts, database accounts, and etcetera.

Keep your versions constantly updated

Want to keep being ahead of these hackers? Keep your software constantly updated. This includes your server operating system (applies when you’re managing your own server), the software running on your system (wordpress, joomla, drupal) and your plugins. If you’re using a managed hosting platform, you don’t need to worry about making server updates yourself. The hosting company takes care of this. Any inconsistencies in software update give hackers a window of opportunity to perform their destructive duties.

Use secure hosting companies

This is also where a large percentage of people overlook. Why? A lot of people believe it’s better using cheaper hosting companies as they get to save money. What you don’t know is that a lot of these so called cheaper hosting companies have lower rates because they don’t spend as much money securing their and maintaining their servers as much as the expensive ones. Truth be told? You end up spending more money when you realize your mistakes. Go with better hosting companies. They’ve got what it takes when it comes to your website security.

Use SSL

Secure sockets layer (SSL) is a form of security certificate us to send especially sensitive and important information over the internet. This is a good website security as it hides your information from the internet hounds.

Restrict link backs

Experts say that the so called “open redirects” are major causes of attacks perpetrated through browsers. I will use this example. You click on a bad link and then unknowingly give a virus access to your system. From this, try and imagine when one of such malicious links is found on your site. You can’t imagine the result.

Always run parameterized queries.

To keep your website security impenetrable, run parameter queries at all times as hackers use SQL injections attacks on your website database. SQL injection attack is done when an attacker uses a URL parameter or web form field to gain access to your site database. Run parameterized queries to fish out these attacks out and stop them from going further.

Think above shared hosting

A lot of people depend on their website as a source of livelihood and where this is the situation, you’ll never think or feel any sort or form of security is enough. If your site is that important, then you will have to go for VPS (virtual private server). A VPS gives your website a lot more security because of its separation from other sites plus you can create custom firewalls and other top security measures that ordinarily won’t be accepted by most hosting companies on shared host servers.

Be very stingy with error message information

Be careful with how you give and the way you put out error information on your site. For example, when you have a login form on your website, and there’s an incorrect login, don’t go setting your website to explain why and then give a hint (greatest mistake ever). Just go with straight to the point replies like “Incorrect username or password”.

Be careful with file uploads

Giving your users room to upload files is an opportunity for hackers to tear down your website security wall. Reason for this is that a file upload no matter how harmless it looks could have malicious scripts and files attached to them, which when executed leaves your website wide open for these hackers. The ultimate wish would be to completely stop them but in a situation where that’s what your site is all about, you can’t stop this. A possible solution is renaming the file on upload to remove stop these possible calamities waiting to happen or set file permissions that will prevent direct access to these files.

Keep reading and asking questions

Probably the most important thing you can do to beef up your internet security vulnerabilities is build your knowledge and keep yourself up to date. Even the least knowledge level could be enough to scare away these hackers. Also ask questions when you encounter a problem and is at loss about what to do.

With these you can strengthen your website security. End of the day, do not underestimate the importance of web security, no matter how big or small your business is.

, , ,

Digital marketing strategist and co-founder of Futureworkz. He consults client in digital marketing and business strategies. A poker expert if he can maintain his poker face.