In the modern world, a website can play a significant role in the success of a business enterprise. Not only does a website allow current customers easy access to the business’s products or services, but it also helps boost the business’s visibility and presence in the market, thus connecting it with more customers from any location. It can be an important asset, especially in this digital era, where most consumers prefer to browse for goods and services online.
However, though there are many benefits to having a website, it can also expose your business to certain risks. Since your website may contain important business data or client information, there’s a chance that those could be stolen or destroyed by hackers or other unauthorized entities.
Fortunately, with the advent of technology today, there are various measures you can take to strengthen the cybersecurity of your website and ensure the safety of your business data. These are measures you may want to take upon designing your website, but if you already have one up and running, it’s never too late to implement them.
With that being said, if you want to protect your website from unauthorized entities, here are the best practices you can incorporate.
- Hire An IT Expert
One of the best ways to ensure that you have strong cybersecurity for your website is to work with IT experts. You could opt to hire someone with the qualifications to work for your business, or you could hire reliable managed IT services in Toronto or wherever you may be. This would be better than trying to handle the cybersecurity of your website yourself. With their skills and experience, IT professionals are well-equipped to handle the security of your website and its systems.
These experts understand all the security risks that your business might face, and they can easily spot high-risk areas in your system. For that reason, they can help put preventive measures in place before problems can arise.
In addition, if you decide to work with an IT service provider, you can rest assured that they will use the best security software for your website. This is due to the fact that, as much as possible, IT firms try to employ the latest technologies so they can help their clients stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. They’re aware of the trends in cyber threats, and they keep their software up-to-date to be able to provide the best possible security.
- Update Your Systems Regularly
Even with security measures in place, it’s crucial to ensure that you update your website’s system regularly. Developers release new patches and updates every once in a while, as they’re constantly fixing bugs in the system. If you forego regular updates and stick to the older version of your system, hackers could exploit that to look for weak spots. Outdated systems are more vulnerable to cyberattacks than modern ones, so don’t slack off on system updates.
If you find the task to be troublesome or overwhelming, you could set up automatic system updates so you don’t run the risk of forgetting. This could be a feature already available in your system; if not, there are applications or software you can install to handle this task. You could opt to have it update automatically whenever there’s a patch or update available, but if updates typically take too long to install, you could set the system to update every two weeks or every month.
- Avoid Making Online Purchases With Debit Cards
As a business owner, you may be sourcing products or materials from other online businesses or suppliers. This may entail making payments online. In such a case, avoid making these purchases with your debit card, as that is yet another channel that hackers could exploit. Once they have access to your bank account, they could easily make away with your money.
Instead of using a debit card linked to your account, you could use a prepaid card or a digital wallet that you can transfer just the right amount of money to. Even if hackers are able to access that, they will be met with a dead end, as the account doesn’t contain all your funds. In addition, it will be much easier for you to disable that account rather than your main bank account.
Regarding the safety of your own website, in addition to allowing alternative payment options for your customers’ safety as well, you should ensure that the site’s payment option isn’t directly linked to your bank account. You could set up an alternate account for business purposes and transfer the funds out weekly so you don’t store a big amount there.
- Implement Antivirus Software
Another good cybersecurity measure for your business website is to install antivirus software. Though it seems like a basic precaution, this program has proven to be effective in protecting systems against viruses, worms, malware, phishing attempts, and spyware.
Any antivirus software is better than none at all, but of course, you may want to use the best one available. Consider the different options on the market and choose the one that can work best for your site. Once you’ve installed it, remember to keep it regularly updated and maintained.
- Use Strong Passwords
Passwords are essential for every online platform. For this reason, people are often encouraged to ensure that their passwords are strong and cannot be easily guessed. Instead of using just a simple word or phrase, you could strengthen the passwords used for your website by incorporating numbers and symbols, or by mixing uppercase and lowercase letters.
If you’d like to ensure that your passwords can’t be guessed easily, you could also use a password generator. This can give you a unique and random combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Of course, you have to ensure that you memorize these well or store them on a password manager that only you can access.
For maximum security, it would be a good idea to change your passwords regularly, perhaps every month or so. If a hacker manages to acquire one of your old passwords, it won’t matter if you’ve already changed it.
- Utilize SSL Encryption
SSL, which stands for secure sockets layer, is a computer program that encrypts data before sending it to the intended user. It essentially makes information unreadable, so even if your data somehow falls into the wrong hands, it will be useless to whichever entity stole it. To be able to access the data, the recipient will need to use a code, which you can send separately. This allows sensitive information to be sent over online platforms without risk of being hijacked easily.
Though business websites offer a number of benefits to companies and give consumers ease of access, they also provide hackers and online entities with a channel to hack into. For the safety of your business data and your clients’ information, you should ensure that the cybersecurity aspect of your site is strong enough to ward off attacks. With the tips given above, you can incorporate good cybersecurity practices into your website.