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How to Make a Website Secure: A Comprehensive Guideline

Discover how to make a website secure. From SSL installation to regular updates and strong passwords, safeguard your online presence against cyber threats.
How to Make a Website Secure

How to make a website secure? This is an essential question in this digital age, as all the information of an organization nowadays is updated on the website for users and visitors. As the development of websites increases, cyber threats also grow significantly. With cyber threats on the rise, understanding how to make a website secure is crucial for protecting your data and maintaining the trust of your visitors.

Securing your website begins with fundamental practices. One key aspect is installing an SSL certificate creating an encrypted link between your site and its visitors. This not only protects sensitive data but also establishes trust. Regular updates, strong passwords, and employee training contribute to a robust defense mechanism.

The choice of a reliable hosting provider is equally vital. Opt for providers that offer built-in security features, automated backups, and anti-malware scanning. This introduction sets the stage for exploring these crucial steps in securing your website.

How to Make a Website Secure

How to Make a Website Secure

Securing your website is crucial to guarding your data and sensitive information from your customers. Preventative measures to protect your site can save time and money and protect your brand reputation. Seven practical ways on how to make a website secure have been explained below:

SSL Certificate

1. Secure Your Website with an SSL Certificate

What is an SSL Certificate?

Secure your website by installing an SSL certificate, ensuring the safety of data exchanged between visitors and your site. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol establishes an encrypted link between your web server and the visitor’s browser, guaranteeing the security of exchanged information.

Why SSL Certificate is Needed

If you run a WordPress website, especially for e-commerce, securing it with an SSL certificate is essential. This certificate protects your customers’ sensitive payment information and builds trust in your online platform.

How to Get an SSL Certificate?

Obtaining an SSL certificate is user-friendly and doesn’t demand technical expertise. You can easily acquire one from your hosting provider, domain registrar, or certificate authority (CA). Notably, there are free options available for obtaining an SSL certificate.

From Hosting Providers

Several hosting companies provide free SSL certificates within their hosting packages. For example, if your site is hosted on HubSpot’s CMS Hub, you can secure your content and lead data with a free standard SSL certificate, ensuring website security at no extra cost.

From CA

If your hosting provider doesn’t offer a free SSL certificate, you can opt for certificate authorities like Let’s Encrypt, providing a cost-free option. Several free or low-cost SSL certificate authorities offer an affordable and secure solution for website owners.

Installing an SSL certificate enhances your website’s security, reassuring visitors that their data is handled carefully. So, when contemplating how to make a website secure, consider implementing this fundamental step for a safer online experience.

Regularly Update Your Software

2. Regularly Update Your Software

What is an SSL Certificate?

Regularly updating your website is crucial for boosting security and preventing potential threats. Outdated software exposes your site to viruses and cyber-attacks. To minimize these risks, periodically check for updates or, better yet, set up auto-updates for your website.

For WordPress users, many hosting providers offer managed hosting services, streamlining the update process for you. This means the hosting service is responsible for keeping your WordPress core, themes, and plugins current, ensuring your site has the latest security patches.

Enabling auto-updates for your WordPress site is a straightforward process. The following guidelines will help us to do that:

WordPress Core Auto-Updates

  1. Navigate to Dashboard > Updates.
  2. Click on the “Enable automatic updates for all new versions of WordPress” link.

WordPress Plugins Auto-Updates

  1. Visit Dashboard > Plugins > Installed Plugins.
  2. Find the installed plugins.
  3. Select the “Enable auto-updates.”

WordPress Themes Auto-Updates

  1. Visit Dashboard > Appearance > Themes.
  2. Select a theme (update all if you have multiple).
  3. Select “Enable auto-updates.”

In addition to regular updates, exercise caution when integrating third-party extensions or services. It’s crucial to check reviews and validate the developer’s authorization. Not doing this could result in installing vulnerable plugins or components, risking your site’s security.

Proactively updating and enabling auto-updates improves your website’s performance and boosts its security. As you contemplate how to make a website secure, prioritizing regular updates is a simple yet effective measure to fortify your online presence.

Implement Strong Password

3. Implement Strong Password

Ensuring the security of your website begins with the simple yet powerful step of using strong passwords. Opting for common words, number sequences, or quickly guessable choices is akin to leaving the front door open for hackers. These weak passwords create vulnerabilities that can compromise your website’s integrity.

Cost-Free Method of Strong Password

To fortify your website’s defense, employ strong passwords encompassing alphabetical and numerical characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, and special characters. Crafting such passwords is a straightforward and cost-free method to bolster your website’s security against potential threats.

Browser's Suggestion for Strong Password

If devising a robust password proves challenging, consider leveraging your browser’s suggestion feature to generate one.

Free Tools for Strong Password

Additionally, free password management tools like Dashlane can assist in organizing and controlling your passwords across various devices, including desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.

Two-Factor Authentication for Strong Password

Taking security measures a step further, integrate Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) as an additional layer of protection. 2FA operates with dual authentication structures to thwart malicious attempts to access your website. This security layer combines your password with a secondary element, such as a text code, facial or retina recognition, or fingerprint authentication.

The added complexity of 2FA creates a dual-sided puzzle that potential intruders must solve, significantly enhancing your website’s security. While not foolproof, implementing Two-Factor Authentication is a valuable enhancement to safeguard your website from unauthorized access. Setting up 2FA can be done for free on your site, especially for a limited number of users using providers like DUO.

As you contemplate how to make a website secure, prioritizing strong passwords and integrating Two-Factor Authentication are integral components of a robust defense strategy against cyber threats.

Back Up your Website

4.Regularly Back Up your Website

Ensuring the security of your website involves more than just preventive measures; it requires a proactive stance, and one essential practice is regularly backing up your site. While not a direct security measure, routine backups serve as a crucial safety net in the face of malicious attacks, hardware failures, or unforeseen disasters.

Having a backup of your site ensures a swift restoration process, preventing the loss of valuable data, customizations, and settings. Whether it’s your website’s core files, media content, non-media elements, or databases, comprehensive backups provide a safety buffer against potential setbacks.

Creating backups can be done manually, using dedicated tools, or relying on your hosting provider’s backup services. Many tools and hosting services allow you to schedule and automate backups, streamlining the process and minimizing the risk of data loss.

For instance, Nexcess, in its WordPress-managed hosting plans, offers a generous inclusion of 30-day backups. This feature provides added peace of mind, knowing that your website’s data is securely archived and can be restored.

For smaller websites, hosting providers often offer backup plans, some of which include free or low-cost automatic data backups. However, larger and more complex websites may require substantial storage space for backup data. In such cases, investing in cloud storage becomes a viable solution, ensuring your data is accessible anytime and anywhere.

Regularly backing up your website is fundamental to securing your online presence. While it may not prevent security threats directly, it serves as a crucial safety net, allowing you to recover swiftly from unforeseen events and maintain the integrity of your website. Integrating routine backups should be a cornerstone of your overall security strategy as you explore how to make a website secure.

Cyber Security

5. Train Your Staff on Cyber Security

Investing in the security of your website goes beyond technical measures; it involves ensuring that your entire team is well-prepared and vigilant. Even top-tier cybersecurity companies can fall victim to clever hackers; sometimes, the vulnerability lies within untrained staff members. Regardless of their expertise, employees can inadvertently make innocent mistakes that become gateways for attacks and viruses.

Training your staff to recognize and respond to potential security threats is crucial to mitigate these risks. Conducting cyber security awareness training programs within your organization is an effective strategy. Educating your team members empowers them to identify suspicious activities and exercise caution when encountering dubious links or emails from unknown senders.

Highlight the significant threat of phishing attacks, where employees may unknowingly grant unauthorized access to sensitive data like email addresses, phone numbers, login credentials, and financial information.

When considering how to make a website secure, prioritize staff awareness. Conducting cybersecurity training empowers your team to protect the company’s data and customer information confidentiality.

Scan Your Site Regularly

6. Scan Your Site Regularly

Regularly scanning your website is critical in fortifying its security and safeguarding your visitor’s user experience and brand reputation. Detecting and addressing issues or threats proactively can prevent severe damage. Numerous free website malware scanning services are available to assist you.

Some notable free website malware scanning services include SiteLock Free Website Scanner, Quttera, Astra Security, SiteGuarding, VirusTotal, and MalCare. Utilize these tools to spot and address potential threats early, fostering a safer online environment.

When considering how to make a website secure, you can also choose a hosting provider that offers malware and virus scanning services as part of their package. This approach is particularly advantageous for non-e-commerce websites where financial transactions do not occur directly through the website.

Hosting providers such as Namecheap and Hostwinds are ideal for various web applications, thanks to their built-in scanners designed to detect malicious activities. Again, WPX and WP Engine excel in providing comprehensive security solutions tailored specifically for WordPress websites.

Regular website scanning into your security strategy is a proactive measure that can help promptly identify and address potential threats. Whether you opt for independent security software or choose a hosting provider with integrated scanning services, prioritizing regular scans contributes significantly to the overall security of your website. As you navigate how to make a website secure, consider these scanning options to enhance your security measures.

Use Security Tools

7. Use Security Tools

Securing your website is multifaceted, and utilizing effective security tools is crucial to this process. Below, we’ll explore some essential security tools that offer free and premium plans, providing valuable protection for your online platform.

Sucuri is a renowned cyber security company offering comprehensive solutions to safeguard your website against critical security threats. From malware and spyware to trojans, denial-of-service attacks, and hackers, Sucuri provides a robust defense mechanism.

Sucuri has four plans as per user’s needs: Basic Platform at $199.99/year, Pro

Platform at $299.99/year, Business Platform at $499.99/year, and Multi-site & Custom Plans (Pricing details upon request).

For those using WordPress, the SiteGround Security plugin proves invaluable. With premium security features, this free tool shields your website from threats like brute-force attacks, compromised logins, data leaks, and malware. Its user-friendly interface ensures easy installation, while its monitoring capabilities provide added security, complemented by weekly security reports.

Specializing in security for cloud-based applications and servers, Qualys is a cyber security company that aids in identifying a wide array of security risks. It offers assistance in protecting your web applications and IT servers, making it a valuable tool for enhancing overall website security. It provides free and paid version packages as per its users’ needs.

As a network security company, UpGuard secures sensitive data within organizations. Its services include third-party risk management, attack surface management, and managed security. UpGuard aims to prevent data leaks and bolster your website’s security by monitoring data from vendors and other parties.

Basic Plan is for small businesses at $5,999/year. For most other companies, four plans are available: Starter Plan at $18,999/year, Professional Plan at $39,999/year, Corporate Plan at $89,999/year, and Enterprise Plan (Pricing details upon request).

Like UpGuard, Detectify provides security services with a unique AI risk monitor. This tool inspects your website for over two thousand security exposures to malicious attacks. Detectify’s approach is thorough, aiming to comprehensively identify and address potential vulnerabilities.

Detectify offers two plans for small attack surfaces, including 2-week free trials: Surface monitoring from €275 /month and Application Scanning from €82 /month. It also provides a complete EASM solution with 2-week free trials (Pricing details upon request).

A Swiss-based security company, ImmuniWeb, utilizes machine learning and AI technology to track malicious activity and vulnerabilities, particularly for SaaS-based applications. ImmuniWeb conducts inspections based on various standards, including PCI, DSS, GDPR compliance, HTTP headers, and CMS-specific tests for platforms like WordPress and Drupal.

Incorporating these security tools into your strategy on how to make a website secure provides an added layer of protection against diverse threats. Whether you’re concerned about malware, data leaks, or vulnerabilities, these tools offer valuable assistance in fortifying your website’s security posture. Consider the specific needs of your website and choose tools that align with your security objectives.

A Checklist for Website Security

Regardless of your website type or platform, you should understand how to make a website secure by following the strategies mentioned below:

  • Install an SSL certificate.
  • Regularly update your website or enable automatic updates.
  • Enforce strong password practices and encourage employees to do the same.
  • Establish regular backups using automated services.
  • Conduct cybersecurity training for staff.
  • Utilize anti-malware software, often included in hosting plans.
  • Leverage free security tools.

Conclusion

Securing your website and employing effective strategies is crucial for safeguarding your data and visitors. Considering how to make a website secure helps you to ensure a robust defense against potential threats. From installing SSL certificates to regular updates, strong passwords, and employee training, these steps form the foundation of a secure online presence.

Selecting the right hosting provider is vital to enhancing your website’s security. Look for providers offering built-in security features, automated backups, and anti-malware scanning. Fully managed hosting, exemplified by providers like Nexcess, takes this further, providing top-tier security features, dedicated support, advanced caching, and higher reliability and flexibility. By prioritizing these measures, you empower your website with a robust defense against evolving cyber threats.

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About

Mahfuz M

It is with extreme enthusiasm that I express my fervor for assisting startups in their journey to conquering obstacles and reaching new heights. Working alongside one another, we can construct a marketing strategy that will bring your business to soaring heights. With an unwavering belief in the strength that comes from perseverance and vigorous labor, I have complete confidence that we will reach your objectives.

My guarantee is to deliver the guidance and resources essential for your triumph, no matter what the road holds. Join me in this adventure towards accomplishment, confident in the knowledge that every barrier successfully surmounted leads us one step nearer to making your wildest dreams a reality.

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