“Who am I?” you think. “I’m just a small local business. What could a hacker possibly want from me?” Clever hackers know you feel this way, so they try to catch you with your guard down.
Keep in mind that 30,000 websites get hacked daily. Moreover, 47% of those hacks happen to small businesses. I’m not here to terrify you. But it is essential to understand the reality we’re living in.
Think of website security like driving on a busy highway knowing you can get into an accident at any time—and taking all reasonable measures to help ensure you don’t. There’s no reason to be scared daily, but you’re wise to take the right actions.
How do you shut down hackers before they even have a chance to pounce? Believe it or not, it’s not that difficult when you follow these tips:
1. Use HTTPS and SSL
Google rewards websites that use HTTPS with higher rankings. HTTPS tells your visitors they’re interacting with the correct server.
Plus, users expect to see it. So, you make them more comfortable and willing to stay longer when they see “HTTPS://” before your website address.
Meanwhile, SSL encrypts information transferred between users’ web browsers and your server: meaning that if they purchase from you online, their credit card info isn’t readily visible to hackers.
It would be best if you simply used both today, no question about it.
2. Use a Password Manager
Do you use the same password for everything? Perhaps this was generally okay in the past when hackers were less sophisticated, say, around 10-15 years ago. Today, it’s a big no-no. The same goes for sharing passwords, credit card info, or banking info via email.
LastPass (and dozens of similar password managers) is a free resource that creates and stores all your passwords in their securely encrypted app. For example, you can create a 25-character password with letters, numbers, and symbols. Good luck to any hackers who attempt to crack that!
LastPass automatically enters your username and password when you encounter login screens. You click a button and log in with a uniquely created password and need only remember your LastPass password. That’s it!
Plus, you can share your password with other LastPass users. It’s free to store and send passwords (alongside some paid features, too), so there’s no reason not to use it.
3. Always Have a Backup Plan
Your website should always have a backup in place, just in case the worst happens. After all, it’s better to be non-operational for a day or two while you get back online than to find everything stolen and then rebuild from scratch.
Regardless of the CMS or hosting service, low-cost backup options are available. You may want to pay more for better functionality, but you can undoubtedly get a backup in place at an easily affordable cost.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
There’s more to website security than just these things. But if you implement them, you cut off most major avenues hackers may take. And best of all? They don’t require a lot of time or money!
Here’s to your safety in 2022 and beyond.