Ways to Secure Your Website

Cybercrime is on the rise. There have been numerous hackings of prominent websites in the news in recent times that should worry all website owners. Fortunately, there are several ways to secure your website from hackers and malicious software. If you follow the below suggestions, your website will be quite secure against malicious hackers:

Update Software

This is a rather simple step to take to secure your website. When you use various plugins and add-ons on your site, make sure you keep these tools updated. Software developers don’t make major announcements when there’s a vulnerability in their programs. Rather, they prefer to quietly issue patches for exploits. So, keeping all your web tools updated is a must. Enable automatic updates if possible. This may not be possible in some cases. So it’s best to join RSS feeds for CMS platforms which announce security issues so you can get your software updated on time.

Purchase a Secure Sockets Layer Certificate

A Secure Sockets Layer, or an SSL certificate, is a protocol that secures the data that goes in and out of your site. A protocol is a way to describe how an algorithm should be used. An SSL security protocol establishes an encrypted link between a browser and the server. So sensitive information, like credit card numbers, can be transmitted between the server and your website via the browser securely. Hackers cannot obtain and view this data. This security protocol is essential if your website engages in online transactions of any kind. Also, showing this certificate will indicate to users that they are using the authentic version of the site, and not a mirror version that tricks clients.

Use Parameter Queries

Using parameterised queries can protect your site from malicious SQL injections. An SQL injection is a form of a cyber attack where a hacker can gain access to your site. They can do this by manipulating a URL parameter, online form, or a database. Scripts like Transact SQL are so standard, it’s very easy for hackers to corrupt it with rogue code. When you use parameterised queries, this risk is greatly minimised.

Avoid Descriptive Error Messages

Don’t go out of your way to provide technical information in your error messages. Too much information can indicate to hackers how your code works and possibly lead to exposing a serious security vulnerability. Users must be informed of what’s wrong if an error message shows up, but keep this message very simple and detail free. Keep the detailed reports in your server logs so you can view the messages later and provide updates if needed.

Validate Data on Both Ends

Make sure data validation is done on both server and browser ends. Most browsers nowadays can catch small issues like empty fields. However, a skilled hacker can take advantage of these small issues to insert malware code into your website. So data validation on two fronts is absolutely necessary to keep your site secure.

Use Complex Passwords

This is a very simple step you can take to make your site secure. Always use complex passwords that are hard to guess. You can use a random letter or number generator to come up with a unique password a hacker will never be able to guess.

It’s important to note that your site cannot be kept completely secure. However, if you implement the above suggestions, the risk of hacking will be reduced as close to zero as possible.

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