Unfortunately, websites are targets for a lot of hanky-panky, ranging from plagiarism, vandalism and identity theft to fraud and blackmail. There is a lot to lose sleep over. Businesses invest a great deal of money and effort into their websites and into building the business that depends on them.
All sites are at risk, whether targeted or not. Malware, including ransomware, can end up anywhere once released on to the web or inserted into popular plugins or software updates. Your domain or email server can also be hijacked and used to distribute malware or defraud others, who then blame you. The law can blame you too, and the potential fines are high. For these reasons, security should always be high on your list of priorities when shopping for a developer or web hosting company.
Choose Hosting Providers Wisely
It is shocking how many businesses can’t name their hosting provider. That usually arises because they let a web developer set it up and never questioned it. Many developers are also hosting resellers, but they are two different vocations. By all means outsource development, but always take care to buy your own packages and security solutions from trustworthy sources, beginning with owning your own domain name – you can explore your options on the names.co.uk web hosting site. Here are some things good web hosting companies do for you.
A firewall application on your server can block a great deal of malicious and suspicious traffic from reaching your website. As well as preventing an actual exploit, a firewall can also reduce bandwidth wasted by malicious access attempts and back-office time wasted cleaning up spam.
Making backups of modern websites is a daunting task – especially if you use a bulky CMS like WordPress and have a database of products and images. It is much easier for your web hosting company to perform it automatically. There are three questions to ask – how often do they perform backups, where do they store them, and how quickly will they restore them when needed?
How often you need a backup depends on your business, but daily isn’t an unreasonable expectation, and they should be stored on a different computer to the one that hosts your website. You don’t want those eggs in the same basket.
Provide SSL Certificates
A Secure Socket Level “certificate” encrypts communications with your visitors – things like credit card details. Many browsers block websites that lack them and issue a warning about an “insecure site”. SSL certificates are cheap (see https://www.lifewire.com/cheap-ssl-certificates-and-recommendations-3469539), but they are a hassle to install, so your web hosting company should do this for you.
Provide Prompt Updates
If you use a CMS, plugins or a programming language such as PHP, installing patches and updates promptly is vital for your safety. They often close newly discovered security flaws. They may perform this automatically or provide with you a one-click install the day updates are released.