How to Create a Secure Website

A photo of a designer's computer backlit with a magenta light featuring photographs on an iMac.

Whether you’re still in the development process or you already have a finished website, you should be thinking about website security long before a hacker attempts to infiltrate your data. Even if you haven’t been targeted by malware yet, studies show that website security can affect whether potential customers feel comfortable interacting with your site, with 82% of survey respondents on HubSpot claiming they would leave a website that was not secure.

Website security is also a primary factor considered by Google, which currently owns over 92% of the world’s search engine market share. Not having an SSL certificate installed and neglecting other safety precautions can make your business’s website take a dip in SEO or even be blacklisted.

If you are starting with a blank slate, now is the perfect time to take the necessary steps to keep your website safe from ill intent. Today, Prime Encode presents the following guide to help you along.

Choose a Qualified Web Host

To make your site live to the public and available on the World Wide Web, you need to find a secure web hosting service. You will also need to purchase a domain name, but this service is separate from where your site hosting. While you may be able to save a lot of money paying for a bargain hosting plan, TechRadar explains that this can leave your website vulnerable to attacks and affect overall performance and site speed.

Choosing the Right Tools

Deciding what design platform and choosing the right plugins or add-ons for your website can be a daunting task even if all you have to do is find the right tools for the job.  However, you must also consider whether the creators of that software are going to last long enough to provide you with key functionality and security updates for years to come.  In addition, what if the software developers are disingenuous and provide you with malicious software?  It is important to ask these questions and to find software you can trust from reputable sources.

Install Security Software

In addition to secure hosting services, make sure you install proper precautions now so that you can stop threats before they even start. Begin with a platform like Tausight that’s specially designed to protect all your data by using a real-time, situational PHI awareness platform. This is especially critical in areas like healthcare, where patient confidentiality is paramount. Thus, you must choose the correct security platform to suit your industry to avoid overkill or lacking the required security protocols. Whatever you decide to use, make sure you have a firewall enabled and have the capabilities to scan your site for malicious code.

Have a Strict Internal Protocol

While web professionals can help ensure your site is updated and optimized for better performance and security, they can't control who you give access to. Evaluate who actually needs access to the backend of your website, which may include essential staff members or even outside agencies, like a marketing company. Whoever you do choose to add, consider what user role he or she will need.

Also, ensure all passwords to your website are strong and securely stored. These should be long—generally twelve characters or more—with a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. They should not include identifiable information a hacker could retrieve or guess, such as a birthdate or nickname. Consider storing passwords in a notebook as a completely hack-proof method for remembering your login credentials, or invest in a password manager program that can safely store and share sensitive information online.

While securing your new website may take some financial resources and time on your end, it is worth the effort. Even a small security breach can damage your business’s reputation and cause major revenue loss. It is much easier to prevent a site from an attack than to combat threats once they’ve already taken root.

Prime Encode offers logo and branding, print, web design, and secure web hosting services for local small to medium-sized businesses. Call 585-278-7367.

Owner and operator of which aims to celebrate women’s achievements in the workplace and is dedicated to increasing the number of women-led corporations, organizations, and small businesses by educating others about women-led achievements.

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