A lot goes into website development. Whether you are at the initial stages of creating content and design, or at the final stages of contracting with a hosting company, there are many crucial decisions to be made. One thing you may not have considered is your website’s security.
Imagine seeing all those weeks of painstaking decisions flushed out the window with a breach of security. Unfortunately, computer hackers are on the rise and no one is exempt from their havoc.
We advise our clients to look at their website every day, think of it like checking your email. You want to make sure you act fast if your site is attacked. It’s also a good idea to check the actual pages of your site, not a cached version. To do this simply type the word “site:” plus your domain in your web browser. No http or www needed just “site:yourdomain.com”. If your site had malware or a virus you would see it here.
Another important step you can take in protecting your website is by purchasing an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is a small data file that works by digitally binding a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. In essence, it’s the way that information is protected when it is being exchanged with a third party present.
There are several things that an SSL certificate binds or protects, including, but not limited to:
- Secures credit card transactions
- Secures data transfer
- Secures logins
- Secures browsing on social media sites
- Binds a server name, domain name, or hostname
- Binds a company name and location
The tell-all you are browsing on a secure website is that little ‘s’ in your website’s url, making it https://, rather than http://. As you may have guessed, the ‘s’ stands for secure. Chances are, you’ve seen those little pop-ups while you’re browsing, warning you that you are being redirected to an unsecured site. Your computer is trying to avoid your information being compromised.
In that same instance, when visitors are coming to your site, especially following a link from an email or another site, they may be seeing that same warning, depending on their computer’s settings. What do you think the chances are they will continue to follow a link to your site when their computer is warning them not to?
In order to avoid that problem, you need to install an SSL certificate on your web server. There are a variety of sites that can provide you with an SSL certificate. A good starting point is your own website’s host. You’ll want to be sure your certificate is authentic and properly installed. Otherwise, it provides no protection at all.
An SSL certificate is about more than providing a safe experience for your visitors. The added level of protection also helps your credibility. Visitors are more likely to visit a secure site, but also Google factors in your site’s security when developing their Google ranking. Sites that are secure are more likely to have higher rankings because they can trust visitors will have a safe browsing experience.
Keep in mind, there are other added layers of security you should be applying to your website. For example, if you have a WordPress site, you need to be sure to keep your site updated. The WordPress updates often include security patches. In fact, WordPress states that their top two reasons for sites being hacked include insecure passwords and outdated, or vulnerable, software.
Don’t let your site become prey to hackers. Install an added level of security with an SSL certificate to not only protect yourself but your customers as well.