5 Essential Tips on How to keep your Website secure in 2021

A website is at the heart of many modern business operations. Whether you use your website as a personal portfolio or for your blog you must keep it safe and secure throughout. A well-constructed website will attract and convert customers regardless of the industry that one works in.

Like any valuable company asset, however, a popular and well-designed website is often prone to attacks from unseen forces.

As a fact, at least 15,000 small businesses websites are attacked each year and affected by malware. As such, if you want to prevent an attack from being launched on your website, here are 5 essential tips that will help to keep your website safe in 2021:

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Ensure that your software is always up to Date

It may seem obvious at first but it isn’t always apparent to website owners that their software always needs to be updated if they want to keep their websites safe. Updating software is an important aspect of running a website. According to Liventus,  if your website has security holes that are easy to access, it invites hackers to come in and take advantage.

The good news is that most website owners rely on a managed hosting solution, which means that the software is updated periodically even without the website owner’s knowledge. If you are using a 3rd party software on your site, it is also a lot easier to fix any security issues that need fixing. Many CMS systems such as WordPress will automatically notify you if any system updates need to be done on your website when you log in.

If you are not relying on a popular CMS such as WordPress, then you will be entirely responsible for managing all your software dependencies, as well as security vulnerabilities.

It is essential that you keep all your dependencies fresh and up to date using handy tools that will send you automatic notifications when a vulnerability in your system is pointed out.

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Pay Attention to SQL Injections

SQL injections take place when an attacker utilizes a web form field or URL parameter to gain unwarranted access to your website. When someone uses an SQL injection on your website, they can easily manipulate your database. Standard transact SQL can be used to insert a rogue code into one’s query, thus changing important elements such as tables or even going as far as deleting important data.

The best way for preventing SQL injections is by explicitly parameterizing one’s queries. It is important to understand that of all the attacks that can be launched on a website, SQL injection is by far the most damaging and the most pervasive type of attack.

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SQL injection can ruin a business; it’s the same tactic that has been utilized to target well-known organizations such as the US Government website, as well as the Wall Street Journal.

Protect your Website from XSS Attacks

XXS attacks, also commonly referred to as cross-site scripting works to inject malicious JavaScript into one’s website pages. When this happens, the malicious JavaScript runs in the browsers of users and can do destructive things such as changing one’s page content or even stealing important information such as credit card details that are then sent back to the attackers.

For instance, if a website owner shows displays comments on a page without proper validation, then it may open the room for an attacker to submit comments that contain script tags and JavaScript.

These types of comments can steal login cookies, which will ultimately allow the attacker to take control of every account of all the users that have viewed the comment in question.

As such, website owners must work particularly hard to make certain that users cannot inject any active JavaSript content into their pages. This is usually a big concern for most modern apps, which usually boast pages that are created from user content and which in many instances generate HTML.

Always check your Passwords

Website owners recognize the value of using complex passwords but very few actually take the time to ensure that their passwords are strong enough. If you are looking to protect your website from hackers, it is extremely crucial to utilize strong passwords on one’s server as well as the admin area.

If you have a website that requires users to input their passwords, it may also be worth it to enforce password requirements for members that are logging in. As a rule of thumb, passwords should always be a minimum of 8 characters, including at least one uppercase letter, as well as a number to protect users’ information.

At all times, passwords should always be stored as encrypted values, preferably using a hashing algorithm. With this technique, it then becomes a lot easier to authenticate users. For extra security, it is also recommended that you salt the passwords.

Always use HTTPS

For the best security on your website, you should always use HTTPS, which is a protocol that provides enhanced security for website owners. HTTPS ensures that users are redirected to the correct servers and that no one else intercepts or changes their intended plan of action. If your website is fond of collecting sensitive information from users, then HTTPS is non-negotiable.

This means that if you typically collect sensitive information such as credit card details, then you need to have HTTPS installed on your website as soon as possible. HTTPS is not only critical for website safety, but it also counts towards ranking on search engines. For instance, Google boosts websites that use HTTPS over websites that don’t.

Final Thoughts

In recent years, the importance of a well-designed website has become highlighted. However, keeping a website safe and protected from unwanted attacks isn’t always the easiest thing to do.

A lot of business owners recognize the value of a secure website, but few hardly ever understand just what it takes to keep a website secure. These tips we have shared above will help to keep your website safe so that you can assure your users that their data is safeguarded at all times.

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