There’s no lack of dangers out there on the web. While cybercriminals may not pose a physical threat to Internet users, their crimes can be just as devastating, with long-lasting effects. A stolen identity can turn a person’s life upside down, and a drained bank account can leave a person in a bad spot.
Individuals do all they can to protect their sensitive information when browsing the web; however, the moment they enter that information to shop online, they are putting the security of their personal information in the hands of the company they are buying from. Many businesses take lengthy security measures to ensure this data is safe, but even large companies like Equifax, which we expect to protect us, have proven to be vulnerable to hacks.
Luckily, as encryption has evolved, everyone’s information has become safer, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention to the security of your web traffic. Poor security not only puts your visitors’ information at risk but puts your organization at risk, too. Simply putting up a firewall isn’t enough to keep your web traffic secure—you need to take extra measures.
Last year, Google launched a Chrome update that started flagging websites which accepted personal or sensitive information but didn’t have a basic SSL security feature. With 47 percent of the market share, the Chrome update definitely drew attention from both businesses and Internet users. And, according to a survey by HubSpot, 82 percent of those surveyed throughout the US, UK, and Australia said they would leave a website that didn’t have an SSL feature.
Losing that many visitors because your website didn’t have security measures would be a serious hit. Luckily, there are a few ways you can secure your website to make visitors feel safe and encourage them to browse. Here are some of the easiest ways to keep your website secure.
An SSL is a secure socket layer that is a standard security protocol for most websites. If you don’t have one already, it’s important you get one as soon as possible. Each website or webpage you own will need its own SSL certificate; some web CRMs offer SSLs as an additional service, but they can be purchased independently as well.
SSL certificates create an encrypted connection on websites, making your site more secure. This can go a long way in building trust with consumers and making them feel comfortable browsing and purchasing from your site.
You’re probably familiar with HTTPS, and if your site doesn’t have it already, it should. HTTPS provides an extra measure of security and data integrity for your website(s) and the visitors who browse it. It prevents intruders from being able to listen in on conversations or see what you’re browsing and puts visitors’ minds at ease. Even if you don’t accept personal or sensitive information through your site, it’s a good idea to get HTTPS.
If you want an HTTPS, you’ll need to get an SSL certificate first. Once you have that, simply update your site to use HTTPS.
Updates can be more than annoying—especially when they seem to happen every day—but there’s a reason for them, and it’s important to let them run. While they may be a pain, there’s more to updates than just an aesthetic change—updates improve security. Whether it be your operating system, your website software, or anything else pestering you with a notification about a new update, you need to keep everything up-to-date. If you don’t, hackers will take advantage of security holes that have been exposed and cause serious issues.
You can never be too careful, and installing security plugins gives you an added measure of protection. WordPress websites make up more than 28 percent of sites on the web and offer numerous plugins to keep your website as safe and secure as possible. Because it is an open-source platform, any time a vulnerability is found, it is usually fixed quickly, but those security plugins are always good for extra measure.
By now, it has probably been drilled into you how important it is to use secure passwords and change them up regularly. Secure passwords consist of upper- and lower-case letters, numerals, and special characters. It’s important to avoid passwords that could be easily guessed from the personal information you have online (like names of pets and loved ones, anniversaries, birthdays, etc.). With secure passwords being so complicated, it can be hard to remember them all, but there are password managers to keep track so you can keep your information secure without forgetting how to log in.
If you’re not paying attention to the security of your web traffic, you’re opening yourself up to a lot of trouble—both internally and with site visitors. Hackers are quick and have no qualms about wreaking havoc, so it’s important to take all of the steps you can to keep your website secure.