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Website Security for the Small Business Owner With Zero Tech Experience

By Guest Author: Christopher Haymon of

You don’t have to be a web designer, developer, or IT guru to have a safe and secure website. But, you do need knowledge. Keep reading today’s Visual Design blog for information that can help you keep your site secure.

Types of Online Threats

The first thing you’ll need to do is understand the types of threats that your website faces. These include:

Spam. Spam comments are a problem for both your website and its visitors. Spam links compromise your customers’ security and, just as important, might make your site look less-than-reputable to the search engines.

Domain registration. When you buy a domain, you have to register it, much like you would if you were buying physical real estate. This means that some of your personal information is accessible publicly. Use an LLC when you register so that you do not have to put your name, home address, and telephone number out into the public domain.

DDoS attack. This is essentially a tactic in which hackers will overload your address with fake visits. This keeps legitimate users from easily accessing your website.

Password attack. If your users are not required to use strong passwords, their personal information is at risk and so is your reputation.

Keeping Your Website Safe

Even if you don’t have much technical knowledge, it is not that difficult to put protections into place. Tips include:

Hire a web developer. Hiring a dedicated web developer is not the least expensive option (if you don’t believe us, you can search “how much should you charge as a freelance web developer” to see what even novice IT pros are charging). However, having someone intimately familiar with website design and security on your side is the best thing you can do if budget allows.

Use security protocols. If you currently use antivirus software on your own computer, it may have stopped you from visiting websites that do not have the HTTPS protocol installed. This is because unsecured websites are a hacker's dream, and criminals can easily change and steal information from them. Make sure that your site is secure by confirming the HTTPS is a prefix to your domain.

Keep your software up-to-date. The vast majority of software companies provide regular patches and updates to each program they provide. Make sure that your software and computer are set to update automatically.

Use only a reputable and secure host. When you buy your domain, you have to host it so that people can see it. There are thousands of hosts online but do not choose the cheapest. There are many secure hosting firms, including BlueHost and WP Engine, that have a reputation for keeping their clients' sites safe.

Regulate uploads. An upload is when a user loads something onto your website server. This is problematic on many levels and can damage your infrastructure and introduce malicious content to your website. Design your site so that executable files are not uploadable. You may allow users to upload PDFs or work files, but verify file type before allowing the upload to complete. Opswat notes that this is crucial as attackers can simply change the extension and bypass your security without verification.

While your best first line of defense against cyber attacks is hiring a web developer, there are still plenty of things that you can do to keep your site safe. Start by knowing the types of threats that are out there. Then, take measurements to ensure that your hosting company is reliable and that your site isn’t vulnerable to weaknesses, such as password attacks and malicious uploads.

Do you want more information about website and dashboard design? Get in touch with Visual-Design.Net today to subscribe to the newsletter.

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