Creating a secure website: 6 Crucial Tips you Should Know.

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Creating a secure website
Creating a secure website

Building a successful website isn’t easy.

Creating a secure website – It requires some serious dedication and prolonged efforts to finally create a profitable website.

However, online websites always carry bulky baggage with them, i.e., the ever-increasing threat of a devastating Cyber Attack.

What makes this baggage heavier is the high incidence of automated Cyber Attacks that are extremely difficult to stop.

Worried?

Let’s find out the most effective ways you can create a secure website and safeguard it from cyber-attacks.

(1)    Update more frequently

How many times do you update your website? Is it once or twice a month?

If your answer is yes, then your site has a strong chance of being vulnerable to cyber attacks.

What you need is a good amping up of your website update frequency, if you are really keen on saving your website from automated bot attacks that are the most prevalent form of cyber attacks these days.

Automated bots, these days are constantly looking out for obsolete website softwares that can easily be compromised, and by having a sluggish updating mechanism, you are providing them an easy pathway into your website.

The solution- Make it a point to keep a sharp eye out for new website plugins or versions of CMS software and to immediately update them for your website.

An easier way is to download plugins that are specifically dedicated to informing you whenever an update is available.

Also,a website firewall from a reputed source would help you in patching up security gaps, every time a new update is released.

(2)    The Single server issue

Another naive mistake that website owners frequently commit is stuffing up all their domains on a single server.

Have you heard of “website contamination”?

Website contamination occurs when an individual site gets affected by malware, originating from one of the numerous sites that are operating on a single server.

The worst thing about website contaminations is that all your websites would be subjected to the malware attack at the same time.

The solution: The most obvious solution to this problem is to start hosting your websites on more than one server.

If you are not keen on that, we have another one as well.

Customer Account isolation is the next suitable solution, in this case.

So what is account isolation?

Simply stating account isolation is putting ever individual user account that is present among the multiple websites into separate virtual segments.

 This ensures that there is no resource/service sharing across multiple accounts. In this way, a damaged or compromised account won’t have ripple effects and affect other sites/accounts in the server.

Isolation through virtual machines

This involves using virtual machines like VMware, KVM, etc., where every user account in a server is provided with a fully isolated environment with independent IP and operating systems.

However, virtual machines might not be a feasible option if you are new to the website business and have a small budget. Let’s look at something that’s a bit lighter on your pocket.

Isolation through container virtualization

Some popular examples of these are OpenVZ and Docker. Even though these virtualization systems use a single operating system to serve all customer accounts, they have file system restrictions that can effectively isolate each customer account.

(3)    CMS Extensions

Do you add or update an extension without proper scrutiny to your existing CMS software?

 You’re not alone.

A common perception among majority website owners is that “a new plugin/ extension would definitely enhance my CMS software.”

Well, it’s not that simple.

The solution: You should consider checking the last time such an extension has been updated. If the last update was a long time ago, say a year, it’s definitely not a good sign, as the extension is not being supported by the author itself.

Subsequently, what you need to watch out for is whether your extension has been developed by an established and experienced author. Creating a secure website. An easy way of ensuring this is by checking the number of downloads that this extension has. High download numbers are a good sign of genuinity in this scenario.

Always remember, downloading extensions from pirated sources are a big no as the only motto of such sources is to infect your website with malware.

(4)    Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) – The “Middleman Eliminator”

A small yet crucial aspect of website security.

Transactions are an inherent part of website operations. On a daily basis, a website engages in numerous monetary transactions with its customers.

So what does it mean to have an SSL certificate?

In simple terms, SSL creates encryption that provides a safe pathway for the website and its customers to indulge in an online transaction. SSL would act as a barrier for intermediaries/ middlemen to get involved in such transactions and pose any mala fide threat to them.

Customer passwords, sensitive information like credit card numbers, etc, everything is kept safe if you own SSL Certificate. Creating a secure website

I hope that I convinced you enough to get an SSL certificate for your website immediately.

(5)    User access 

If you own a website that has a multitude of users/ logins, it’s very important that you clearly define the levels of authority, every user can have access to.

A temporary user of your website, such as a guest blogger cannot have access to certain information or privileges that only a senior employee associated with your website can have access to. Creating a secure website

This is how you can prevent your website from being compromised by rogue users.

(6)    Passwords

Passwords are the most underrated piece of the website security puzzle.

You can take all the hefty measures mentioned above, and yet suffer a website compromise due to a weak or predictable password.

The solution: Use long and unique password for your websites.

How about an unconventional one?

Have you ever considered using a random and meaningless password for your website?

It’s hard to believe, but nowadays there are automated password guessing programs that can easily guess your passwords from online dictionaries. 

That means if you can speak your password, it has a strong chance of 

getting compromised.

Therefore, it’s high time that you start being creative with your “meaningless passwords”.

(7)    Backups

Now, let’s talk about something to look up to, once the tragedy has struck you.

Having backups is a huge respite if you have to recover from an inevitable cyber attack.

As a website owner, you should always make sure that you maintain an off-site backup for your website.

The solution: You can either use Cloud Computing Services or a Tape based backup.

In the case of the former, you transfer a complete copy of your data to a third party cloud server. The third-party cloud server can adequately redeem your whole data in case of a cyber emergency.

The Tape based backup is very simple; it involves copying the website data from your server and copying it to a tape cartridge. A third party service provider then transfers the cartridges to a safe storage location. 

A useful tip; no matter which backup method you choose, always conduct a regular test of your backup to ensure its adequacy.

From the above points, it’s very much apparent that your website’s security is a huge responsibility that you just can’t ignore

Use the above measures to draft a proper security mechanism/ strategy, and you will dearly thank yourself in the future.

Author Bio- Hi There, I am Shaun Williams, a content writer with Goodfirms, a research platform for top Software Development Companies, Bot Development Companies, among many others. I enjoy communicating ideas and knowledge creatively and also ensure that the readers never suffer from boredom while reading my posts.

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