Did you know that in 2015, the average company experienced 160 successful attacks online every week? The GreenGeeks team thought this might be a perfect time to touch upon some of the things you can do to make your own website a little more secure. GreenGeeks offers several services to help with website security. There are also other things you can do to make sure you don’t fall victim to hackers, malware or other nasty things that can happen to blogs, ecommerce websites or anything else you host with us.
Have you ever taken the time to check out what SiteLock is all about? What about the use of SSL certificates for your website? We hope to shed some light on these awesome security features GreenGeeks provides and a handful of others that you might not know about. While the beginning of the year has just about passed us by, it is never too late to think about website security.
1. SiteLock Website Security Scanning
There are several great external services you can use to help protect your website. When it comes to website security scanning, not many can match SiteLock. If you have not used this service, I am willing to bet you have seen their SiteLock Secure badge on thousands of different websites out there.
SiteLock checks your website for a number of different security issues. Some of these include: SQL Injection scans, CSS (Cross Site Scripting) vulnerabilities and search your website for malware you may not know you are hosting. Once your website has been scanned, you will get a report letting you know other things you might want to keep an eye on too. It is worth the price knowing you will not have to do this by hand or hire some security expert to do it for you.
2. The Use of SSL Certificates
What is SSL? It stands for “Secure Socket Layer” and is used to provide security over the Web. For those out there confused already – most browsers display a green lock when you are viewing a website from a SSL protected link. Anytime you are passing sensitive or personal information, it is good to make sure you are using SSL. If you are not – it is possible that nefarious people could steal the information you are passing along. To get started – you will need a dedicated IP and the dedicated SSL certificate. Once installed, any information passed over a HTTPS connection will be protected. Learn how GreenGeeks can help you get a SSL certificate and enable HTTPS on you website.
As a side note, it is also worth mentioning that Google prefers websites with HTTPS over HTTP too. Never a bad thing to make Google happy – especially when it could bump up your website’s standings in the search engine itself.
3. Protect Your Domain Registration Information
When anybody registers a domain name – their personal information is available for the public to view. To view somebody’s domain registration information all you need to do is run a quick WHOIS search on the domain in question. Scary right?
Thankfully, for GreenGeeks clients, we offer ID Protect. To use it you must have your domain name registered with GreenGeeks. It serves as WHOIS domain privacy protection. Rather than having your first name, last name, postal address and phone number listed for the public to see – you will instead be listed privately. The name, address and more will be shielded from the public.
Without this service protecting your domain name, any data miners could grab your personal information and add you to calling lists, unsolicited junk mail lists and more. GreenGeeks’ ID Protect service can be added to .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .pro, .tv, .cc, .me, .asia and .cm domain names. If you do not want to be bombarded by telemarketers and junk mail, you need this service. It is just one more way to add an extra level of website security.
4. Keep Software Up to Date
This advice might seem obvious to some but it should not be overlooked. Not all scripts are kept up to date like they should be. Even popular blogging scripts like WordPress need to be updated from time to time. Make sure you have automatic updates installed and you are also updating additional script features like themes and plugins. These add-ons can also create security holes that could spell trouble for your website security.
Thankfully, many third party website scripts have websites where you can learn more about how to keep them secure. WordPress has even started updating its core files for a few versions now. It is still best to be diligent and do your homework when your website is depending on technology or scripts form other outside companies or organizations.
5. Create Complicated Passwords
It might sound a little obvious – but you need to have good password. Everybody has password issues from time to time. Which is better though? Forgetting your complicated password or being the victim of identity theft? Use secure passwords! That might be the biggest cornerstone of website security. You need to do your best to use passwords that are complicated enough not to be guessed but easy enough for you to remember.
The days of using your mother’s middle name as a password are long gone. Everybody should be using passwords that contain: capital and lower-case letters, numbers, and special symbols (such as: $,&,#, etc.). The more complex your password system is – the less of chance you have of somebody breaking into your website.
On the website management side of things (for scripts like blogs or forums) make sure that passwords are stored as encrypted values. A lot of scripts come with this functionality built in – but this is a good time to double check, do your homework and make sure. You need to get in the habit of changing your password often too.
The issue of fraud comes in many different shapes and sizes. Here are five major security related topics you should look a little deeper at this month. There is no doubt that you should check into SiteLock, use SSL certificates anytime you can, protect your domain name registration information, keep all installed software up to date and use complicated passwords.
Do you have any other website security questions or suggestions? Let us know in the comments!