Top Tips to Improve Your Website Security

In order to have a decent website, you need to ensure that it is well-optimized, stylishly designed, and safe. While the first two are important parts of any website, safety is arguably the most important aspect. If you have an unsafe website you not only risk performance issues and complete crashes. But, you also risk potential lawsuits from your customers and major loss of data. So, let’s go over some must-know tips on how to improve your website security.

What you can do to improve your website security

Before we start it is important to note that website security is a broad and complex subject. There is no single article out there to read that will make you a website security expert. So, if you have any doubts by the end of this article, don’t shy away from consulting with a website safety professional. The more you invest in the safety of your website, the more you spear yourself from future headaches and difficulties.

Regular updates

While there are many reasons to keep your website up to date, the most important one is safety. Here there are two aspects to take note of. Firstly, your website platform provides you with more safety measures than you could ever implement on your own. People at WordPress take great care in ensuring that their platform is as safe and optimized as possible. And the only way to make use of their hard work is to keep your website updated at all times. More often than not, WordPress updates come with important safety features that address the current online threats. So, even if you feel that your website was safe so far, know that it needs regular updates to stay on track.

Programmers trying to improve your website security.
WordPress programmers work hard at trying to improve your website security.

The second aspect is plugins. As the WordPress versions progress, so does their functionality. This doesn’t have to have a big effect on your plugin. After all, few are so deeply integrated with the WordPress engine that a small update will affect them. But, some updates can cause small issues to the functionality of your plugin. These small issues can be potential safety cracks that crafty hackers can make use of. So, all in all, updating plugins turns out to be just as important as updating your WordPress.

Pick a strong password

The most common reason for unsafe websites isn’t lack of website safety software or lack of funds to run it. It is the laziness of the website managers. As website safety is something they often outsource to a third-party company, they tend to pay little attention to it. But, even a couple of small changes in your online behavior can drastically impact the safety of your website. One of the more obvious ones is password strength. What happens is that lazy managers opt for simple passwords like:

  • 12345678
  • password
  • admin

These passwords are so ineffective that they might as well be non-existent.

A message that "Authentication Failed" signifying that your website was likely hacked.
The last thing you need is for someone to hack your password and get full access to your website.

To keep your website safe you need to have a strong password that uses capital letters, numbers, and standard letters. The combination of the three makes hacking your password essentially impossible as trying out different combinations would take too long. Also, try to avoid saving your website on your work computer. While there are other changes you can make to your online behavior, we would suggest that you start with these two, as they are both the easiest and the most impactful.

Make regular backups

Even with the best of efforts and top safety measures, no website can be 100% safe. A crafty, highly motivated hacker may be able to harm your website. Modern website safety software is designed to recognize these attacks and shut your website down if needed. But, unfortunately, by the time this happens, the damage can already be done. The only efficient way to salvage your website from this point is to have a backup. The more arduous, route is to rebuild your website by memory, which is both costly and ineffective. Plus, if you get your customer data deleted or stolen, you might never get it back. So, do the smart thing and make regular backups.

Backups are also necessary for regular updates as they ensure that the update doesn’t cause any permanent issues. Not all plugin updates are well crafted. Some can cause issues once they interact with other plugins (while previously they worked fine). If this happens you might experience a performance drop, or a complete website shut down. This is where having a backup comes in handy, as you can easily revert to the previous state. And seeing that you can make backups automatic, we see no reason why you shouldn’t use them.

Install firewall and antivirus software

No matter how hard people at WordPress work, they simply cannot cover all aspects of online safety. Keep in mind that WordPress hosts various types of websites, from eCommerce shops to online universities and even art galleries. All of them have quite specific security needs, as their data and access points can vary drastically. So, if you are serious about improving your website security, you need to see which type of firewall and antivirus software you actually need. A good idea is to see what your competition is using and understand why they are using it. Good website safety software will cover all the bases that WordPress doesn’t and essentially ensure your website’s safety.

Different aspects of a website opened on various devices.
A suitable firewall will keep all aspects of your website safe, even on different platforms.

Final thoughts

For further learning on how to improve your website security, we suggest that you focus on your type of website. If cyberattacks in general sound like an interesting subject to you, there are online courses you can take. But, if your only goal is ensuring your website’s safety, you ought to see what other people have to say. You will likely learn a couple of website-specific practices that will cover the aspects of your website that are most commonly under attack.

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