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  • The Importance of Website Security

    Small businesses are 65% more likely to experience a cyber-attack. Is your website secure?

    In the age of technology, website security has become a major concern for users across the globe. From small businesses to major financial bank websites getting compromised, ensuring your data and website are protected should be top priority when developing a new website or modifying an existing one. The last thing you want to deal with is your website being down, losing business and unhappy customers.

    That’s why we have put together a comprehensive list of things you should consider when securing your website:

     

    #1) SSL Certificates

    One of the most important elements and easiest ways to ensure that your website has a layer of security is to install a SSL Certificate. SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and it is a standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links between a web server and a users browser in online communication.

    The purpose of having a SSL certificate on your website is to protect your customers and users, ensuring their online transactions remain confidential. This applies to any website that utilizes a form to collect user data. That can be as simple as a general contact form or as complex as a full on e-commerce website that gathers users credit card information. A common way to tell if a website has their SSL is if their website’s address begins with HTTPS, showing it is a secure site.

    Any moderately skilled hacker can easily intercept and read the traffic on a website unless the connection between a user and the web server is encrypted. Think of a SSL certificate as the lock on your front door at your home. It’s the first step to ensuring no unwanted guests enter.

     

    #2) ReCAPTCHA to Verify Form Submissions

    Now this one I’m sure everyone has had experience with. Typing in those wiggly words and numbers or clicking on all the pictures that have trees. It’s the “I’m not a Robot” and it is the second element to securing your website.

    Called a reCAPTCHA system, these nifty boxes may be a nuisance when you are the user, but it has a very important role ensuring your website stays secure.

    reCAPTCHA is a system that protects websites against bots by generating and grading tests that humans can pass but a computer program can’t. It’s an efficient security measure that is protecting websites from harmful viruses and anything that may jeopardize their site and information.

     

    #3) Privacy Policies

    Although this next one isn’t necessarily something that will protect your website from getting compromised, it is an essential element to being transparent to your users about what you are doing to ensure they are protected when visiting your website.

    A privacy policy is one of the most important documents on any website. It details your company’s views and procedures on the information collected from visitors. Although a privacy policy is technically a legal document, great effort should be made to craft a document that is both accurate and easy to understand, obscuring hidden clauses in reams of text is not acceptable.

    If you are in a regulated industry, you must have a privacy policy that covers all issues required under the regulations governing your industry. Failure to do so may result in fines or suspension of your business license. However, if you are not in a regulated industry, you are under no obligation to have a privacy policy. While a privacy policy is required in certain industries, with others it isn’t so much a requirement as it is a necessity to stay on top of the market. As website users are more and more concerned about their privacy, privacy policies are becoming a part of common business practice and essential to telling your users that you are ensuring that personal information is kept private.

     

    #4) Usernames and Passwords

    This one seems like it would be common knowledge but it still blows my mind how many of our clients use simple username and passwords. For usernames, you should never use your name, company name or “admin”. For passwords, please don’t make your password, “password” or the name of your company. In 2018, the most common passwords were “123456” and “password”. It may feel like hassle generating a long random password that you never use, but it can be the first step to ensuring that your website does not become compromised.

     

    #5) Quality Web Hosting

    One of the last elements we want to mention is the host of your website. While using one of the major companies like GoDaddy or Bluehost is a good step in the right direction, these “shared” hosting companies do not necessarily tell you what the best hosting option is for you in regards to security and privacy.

    Using a quality web hosting provider that is proactively taking steps to ensure the security of your website is up to date on a regular basis can really help put your mind at ease and minimize issues in the future.

     

    Making sure your website is secure in the 5 different areas we’ve discussed will ensure your business provides a safe and protected online experience for customers. Not sure if your website is safe in all 5 areas? Give Boost Creative a call! We are experts in all things web and can provide an assessment of your current website’s security.

     

    About Boost Creative

    We are Southwest Florida’s proven design resource for digital and print marketing for over 15 years. Our specialties include corporate identity, advertising campaigns, website development, and content marketing. We also offer a range of other services including marketing consultation, print production, search engine marketing (SEM), and social media marketing. Our team is composed of creative minded, forward thinkers. With solid multi-industry experience and a foundation in education…we are the real deal. We serve businesses all over the country and are the chosen outsource option for many other advertising agencies and marketing consultants. Learn more about who we are.