The role of cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important in 2019, with studies showing that the average data breach in the UK can cost companies around £2.7 million and up to 163 days to correct.
Whether it is phishing or external hacks, the exposure of key data can be hugely costly to an organisation and some may never recover. With this in mind, there are a few simple things you can do in order to protect your website, big or small, from hacking and the associated costs.
1. Add SSL
One of the simplest things you can do to your website is add an SSL certificate, which simply makes the site https, instead of http.
This is usually around £100 per year from your hosting provider or some domains and hosting packages include this for free. You can always go one step further and acquire extra security but this could be several hundred or thousand pounds.
The SSL adds extra encryption to your website and simply makes your website encoded and hard to hack externally. This simple measure adds a lot of security to your website and it also benefits your search rankings too as it is something that Google value very much.
2. Secure Hosting
Some website owners do not opt to host their websites, given that they do not get much traffic. However, web hosting is essentially to evade potential hacks and also manage any influx of traffic and avoid the site from crashing.
Whilst most domain providers offer hosting from £1 or £2 per month, the quality of it is not ideal. You are essentially sharing a server with millions of other websites and there is a lot of cross contamination – so you are likely to receive a lot of backlinks that you never asked for.
By spending a bit more on hosting and using a professional provider, you will have a lot more security and also speed up your website. You can look at packages from £10 or £20 per month for web hosting or opt for a dedicated server.
3. Captcha forms
Whenever you have an empty contact form on your website, it is sometimes like inviting people to hack your site and put malicious spam and messages in the contact forms.
One simple thing you can do is to add tick boxes yo your forms so that a robot cannot make an entry. This is also achieved by free captcha forms which offer a tick box and typically ask you to do a sum or identify ‘how many cars in this picture’ – things that only a human would be able to do.
4. Beware comments and pingbacks
If you are using the popular platform of wordpress, you must be aware that accepting comments and pingbacks opens you to potential spam and hacking. This could be by external sources trying to acquire backlinks from your website or steal your content.
You can change the settings to discard any comment sections or pingbacks or for the very least, incorporate tick boxes and captcha forms as discussed.
5. Software and plugins
There are specialist softwares and plugins that you can add to your website to provide more security. This includes using the likes of McAfee or free plugins on WordPress such as Wordfence.
Anything you can do to prevent robots crawling your website will allow you to minimise the risk of hacking, any downtime on the website and loss of revenue. Read more about how to improve web application security.
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