When you are a webmaster that collects sensitive information, you have a certain level of security that you need to provide to your website viewers. Nowadays, there is more and more litigation that happens over online happenings and you want to make sure that you are in the green when it comes to any of these issues. One of the ways that you can keep yourself safe is by keeping your customers safe from website security threats. Let’s now go on to talk about how you can protect your customers.
Protecting Secure Information
If you have an eCommerce site, you are likely to have access to credit card information and other sensitive information that people could use to harm your customers if they got their hands on it. When people trust you with that information, you need to put security measures in place to make sure that you are not allowing that information to be compromised.
1. Keep Your Software Up to Date
If you are using a software like WordPress, there are updates that take place periodically, and that means you are going to have to stay on top of keeping your site updated. You should visit your site weekly or even daily to check to see if you are operating on the latest version.
The reason that the software updates is usually because it is fixing a bug in the system. If you do not have the latest version, that means that your website is still open to whatever threat that the update was designed to protect against. Before you update your software, always make sure that you do a backup of your site in case any files mess up in the process.
2. Scan Your Site for Malware
If your site has malware on it, you need to know immediately and have it taken care of. A site with malware could be used to filter sensitive information to hackers. Use a WordPress security scanner to see if your site is infected with malware or if you are operating on the safe side.
There are a wide variety of scanners that you can use for your site. Make sure that you find and use one that has a good reputation. You should make sure that the plugin is updated and is continuously updated when any bugs need to be fixed on the plugin.
3. Keep Error Messages Minimal
If a site user experiences an error, you need to ensure that the error is minimal. You do not want them to know why the error happened since it can make your site easier to hack. Make sure any error messages that are shown to visitors are kept simple and give only need to know information. You your server logs are where you will be able to check for details on what went wrong.
It’s so easy to be lazy with our passwords. The same password for every site and we don’t make it strong either. It’s something like “mydogsname123” or your highschool sweetheart’s name. While a human might not be able to get through and figure out what your password is, there are plenty of bots that are up for the challenge.
The more secure that you make your password the better. You should also change your password every 90 days or so to make sure that you make it more difficult for people to guess or hack your password. Set strong requirements for your user’s passwords so that they can’t use simple passwords that leave them vulnerable to attacks.
5. No File Uploads for Users
If you can help it, don’t let users upload files. Letting users upload files can cause big problems. You want to make sure that your site is protected from malicious files and ensuring that users are not allowed up upload files is the best way to do that. If you cannot keep from allowing file uploads, make sure you have plenty of captcha and security protocols in place.
Always Use HTTPS
The HTTPS protocol provides security across the Internet. It guarantees users are talking to the server they expect to be talking to and that no one is able to intercept or change the content they are seeing.
If you are processing information that your users want private, you need to have HTTPS set up. While you need to make sure that payments and secure and login information is secure, the more of your site you can secure, the better. This is becoming more of a standard across the web so make sure that you know how to do it.
Looking for a search engine boost? If you add HTTPS to your site, Google will give you a little nudge in the right direction.
Protecting all of your website users is an important part of being a website owner. Whether your website collects and stores sensitive information or simply processes it, you need to implement the above security measures.
The more trust that you build with your visitors, the better your site is going to perform. If you aren’t sure how to implement any of the steps above, there are many free tutorials online that will walk you through the technical aspects of fixing your site. The sooner that you make these changes, the better for you, your visitors and for your search engine rankings.