Malware and hacking attacks are rarely out of the news nowadays, with some high-profile victims falling foul of online scams. All businesses need a website, but maintaining one that’s secure, both for you and your customers, can seem like a challenge. However, there are a few foundational steps you can take to bolster your defenses.

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#1 Choose HTTPS and SSL

These are the two benchmarks of internet security. They’re so trusted, in fact, that many website visitors will demand them, especially if your website accepts payments or handles other sensitive data. HTTPS stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure” and is an alternative to the more traditional HTTP. In simple terms, the protocol prevents interruptions and interceptions occurring while users send data to your website. As a result, HTTPS makes it extremely difficult for hackers to steal a user’s data and gives peace of mind.

SSL is an additional layer. It stands for Secure Sockets Layer. When a website visitor transfers data between your website and database, that data is at risk. SSL encrypts the data, though, and also stops unauthorized users from accessing it. An SSL certificate is absolutely essential if you accept payments via your website, and most customers won’t shop without it.

#2 Outsource to professionals

No matter your best intentions, you’ll never be able to keep pace with the world of hackers and malware. Hackers update their methods on a routine basis, which means that security responses need to be endlessly updated too. That’s where IT Management companies come in. They keep up to date with all the latest security threats and remain ahead of the curve, responding to new threats as they emerge.

Bringing in an IT Management firm to manage your cybersecurity has a range of advantages. It provides a better and safer customer experience while giving you peace of mind as well. It’s a big-time saver since you won’t have to tackle cybersecurity yourself, and you won’t have to worry about website downtime either. It might seem like a big step but bringing in an IT Management firm and Manage all your IT operations which takes all the stress out of cybersecurity.

#3 Update your website

Following on from the previous point, hackers don’t slow down. They update their methods continually, and that makes old websites especially vulnerable to attack. Out-of-date plugins are major security risks and should either be updated or removed. The same applies to software. Take updates seriously and always install them when prompted. Keep your website fresh, and it will be less of a target for hackers.

Your website isn’t always the biggest risk factor, however. Hosting platforms come with a range of security features, including firewalls, but not all of them are updated as regularly as they could be. A routine audit of your hosting platform is essential. Check the security features on offer. Does the host offer Secure File Transfer Protocol? Is FTP Use by Unknown User turned off? Does it offer backups? How frequently are these measures updated? If your host doesn’t stack up, it might be time to make a switch.

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