Your website, along with the data and content stored on its web hosting servers, is more likely than not the crucial lynchpin of your entire online presence. Through your website, you can promote your business, present valuable information to your fans and customers, link to your social media presence and explain your services, products and anything else you’re about.
Given all these deeply important components to your site and content, keeping both rigorously secure is an absolute must-do task that you simply can’t ignore. But, you’re probably wondering what sorts of things you need to do in order to achieve that kind of protection. Well, let’s go over the key steps involved.
Also, if you’re thinking of skipping the process because you doubt you’ll ever be in trouble, bear in mind that on average at least 9 to 10,000 websites are detected and blocked by Google because they show themselves to be infected with malware. Many more are simply destroyed or crashed by intruders so that they don’t even appear in search results anymore.
Back Up Everything, Now!
Step one, before anything else should be this; you need to back up every single bit of content on your site along with all the files that make up its internal structure.
This is going to be a general rule that you’ll need to follow from now on a regular basis but to start things off, you should also do it before you implement any other security measures just in case something goes wrong with the process and you scramble your site structure or lose valuable content.
You can back up your site through your hosting provider’s internal backup system –a feature almost any decent hosting service should provide and easily guide you through. Once you’ve created a backup copy, store it safely and redundantly. This means keeping a copy in a cloud storage account, another copy on your computer and another copy in a remote external hard drive. If this seems like a lot of security, just remember the consequences of losing your site data.
Choose some Secure Hosting
Whether you already have a site hosted or are just starting your search, take a close look at your provider’s security features and make sure that they are up to industry standards for security. Most well-known webhosts are but be sure and at a minimum look for a hosting provider that offers all of the following features (you may not end up using them all or even know what they do but at least they show a rigorous security policy from your host): SSL, Server maintenance, Secure file transfer protocol (SFTP), file backup capacity, antivirus and anti-intrusion applications.
If your existing host doesn’t have these minimal security features because they’re sloppy, then get rid of them and switch providers; make a backup file of your website content and upload it to your new, more secure hosts servers.
Keep your Extensions, Software and Plugins Updated, Constantly!
Here is another major source of security leaks that can lead to devastated, blacklisted or disappeared websites; getting lazy about keeping all the site’s plugins, extensions and software additions up to date with the latest versions installed.
Additionally, if your site is being hosted over tope of a content management system like WordPress, Drupal or TypePad, make sure you’d the same, right from inside your hosting Cpanel and your CMS dashboard controls: regularly update your CMS to its newest version and al keep updating all internal site functionality plugins that you have installed to their newest versions.
Use Strong Password Protection Everywhere
As a final brief security tip that you must not ignore or neglect, we also need to remind you that every single point of entry to accessing your content and site data controls should be password protected and protected by a strong password at that.
This means that you need to enforce strict login policies on your hosting control panel, Content Management System dashboard access, File Transfer Protocol and any email servers that are tied to these accounts. By strong passwords, we mean long phrases or character strings of at least 10 to 15 letters, numbers or symbols and by keeping strict login procedures we mean that you should never enable automatic login and never auto-guard your passwords or write them down anywhere obvious.
Author Bio: John Dayton’s expertise has given him the ability to write poignant articles centered around the technology field. When he’s not writing, you can find him working with LWG Consulting or fishing with his two young sons.